The two-month chess tournament, funded by New York City finals, is part of a series of education and campaign to reduce joblessness sponsored by the New York City government that originally funded the New York City government with $ 38.9 million start up.
"It (chess) can teach them how to think and how to apply tactics that can help them in their environment," said James Walsh, associate program associate for adults and community .
Although this is the first official chess match at the Rex Island Prison, chess has long been popular in prisons. 53-year-old Carl Portman, head of Chess at the Chess Federation in the United Kingdom, wrote the book Chess Behind Bars to illustrate the phenomenon. The book states that prison's history of chess games dates back to World War II, when prisoners polished their pieces with scraps of everyday life and coffee dyed pieces to distinguish them.
"The more time they play chess, the less time it takes to attack guards, fight fights, or focus on other negative things," Portman said.
Mikhail Korenman spent five years as a correctional officer at Cook County County Prison, the largest prison in the United States, where he watched chess races. According to him, prison guards often encourage prisoners to play chess because chess can lead them to healthy competition, make rational decisions and long-term planning.