27 June 2021

'Chess for Freedom'

It might have been because I was asleep at the time, but I don't remember seeing any mention of this conference in the usual places where I go for chess news. Maybe it was because the title of the conference doesn't really describe its purpose. Whatever the reason, it's a fitting subject for this month's post on The Sociology of Chess (November 2016).

"Chess for Freedom" Online Conference (2:15:31) • 'Streamed live on May 11, 2021'

Although the video's still is a giveaway, the description of the video is also evasive regarding its subject:-

The "Chess for Freedom" project, launched by FIDE and the Cook County Sheriff's Office (Chicago, USA), kicks off on May 11. The Online Conference will feature FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the 12th World Chess Champion Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, and Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, among other distinguished guest speakers

Only at the project's home page, Chess For Freedom Project, do we discover its purpose:-

The International Chess Federation is pleased to invite you to take part in the first event of the Chess for Freedom programme, organized together with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Chicago, USA). The project, aimed at the introduction of chess as a tool for education and social inclusion in prisons of different countries, is carried out under the 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov’s patronage.

The same page has advice to keep in mind when tackling the subject:-

IMPORTANT: Members of the media will get an opportunity to ask questions to the players and the officials during the press conference. However, please note that it is considered inappropriate to ask the team members any questions concerning their imprisonment and, following the instructions of the authorities, we would like to request from you the commitment to not ask about things like the reason for their imprisonment, or how much time they are serving.'

For a previous post on the same topic in the 'Sociology of Chess' series, see 'Chess Behind Bars' (October 2017).

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