Serbia prepares for second Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners

Convicts from Belgrade prison Padinska Skela played a simultaneous exhibition with GM Aleksandar Indjic.

Last year, the International Chess Federation, jointly with Cook County (Chicago) Sheriff’s office, launched the project “Chess for Freedom”, which is dedicated to convicted and detained persons worldwide. As a part of it, the Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners was organised. Its first edition was supported by 17 national federations, including the Chess Federation of Serbia.

The Administration for the Enforcement of Penal Sanctions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia established strong cooperation with several Penal Correctional Facilities in Serbia.

Last year, a team of Serbian convicts from the Penal Correctional Facility in Belgrade (Padinska Skela) participated in the very first Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners.

This year, Serbia will field four teams in the competition: men’s teams from Penal Correctional Facility in Padinska Skela and Zabela Pozarevac, a women’s team representing Penal Correctional Facility for women in Pozarevac and a youth team from Juvenile Reformatory in Krusevac.

As part of the preparatory activities, tournaments were held in several penitentiary institutions, and the first board of the Serbian national team, grandmaster Aleksandar Indjic, played a simultaneous exhibition on the premises of the Penal Correctional Facility in Padinska Skela on September 7 2022.

The warden of the Penal Correctional Facility, Vladimir Bukvic, wished the simultaneous game participants to give the most vigorous possible resistance to Grandmaster Indjic and use this opportunity to improve their chess skills.

On behalf of the Chess Federation of Serbia, Nebojsa Baralic, Chief Advisor to the President of the Serbian Chess Federation and Director of the FIDE Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for Prisoners, expressed his gratitude for the hospitality. He told the attendees about all the activities that have been carried out since the beginning of the project. He also introduced them to the plans of FIDE and Serbia Chess Federation in this field, as well as the organisation of the upcoming Intercontinental Championship.

The country’s four largest Penal Correctional Facility – Sremska Mitrovica, Pozarevac (Zabela), Nis and Belgrade have been having chess sections for many years, and all prisons regularly organise tournaments with more than 100 convicts participating.

Chess tournaments and numerous sports activities have been regularly organised in the Penal Correctional Facility in Padinska Skela (Belgrade) since last year.

The Intercontinental Online Chess Championship for prisoners is open for teams representing any correctional facility. Currently, 45 teams from 23 countries have already registered for the tournament.

The registration deadline is September 21, 2022. Participation is free of charge.

Tournament regulations (pdf)

Registration form