Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Prison Chess

Most of us in the chess community know of prison chess, but probably don't spend much time thinking about how it works, what role it plays in the prison system, etc. Fresh Inc. - the weblog of Inc. Magazine - has a very interesting piece on a recent prison chess tournament in New Jersey.
"All the guys talk about in the yard is the tournament," says Jesus "Big New York" Sanabria. "You beat the Princeton guys and become a hero for a few weeks, get bragging rights and maybe a few extra packs of cigarettes." It's not hard to fathom why chess has caught on. From the inmates' perspective, it takes up time and as 'Red' taught us, prison time is slow time. It also keeps the mind sharp, doesn't cost much and makes for a nice press release because participation requires a good behavioral record...

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