Cook County Jail Creates Chess Program for Inmates

Cook County Sheriff's office says inmates can gain focus and patience from playing chess

By Katy Wolpoff
|  Monday, Apr 2, 2012  |  Updated 7:28 PM CDT
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Could Cook County inmates learn a thing or two from kings and queens? A new chess program at the Cook County Jail is designed to help inmates make the right moves when they leave custody.

Could Cook County inmates learn a thing or two from kings and queens? A new chess program at the Cook County Jail is designed to help inmates make the right moves when they leave custody.

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The Cook County Jail is starting a new program, Sheriff Tom Dart announced Monday, and it's not what you think.

"There are many advantages by playing chess," Dart's office said in a statement. "It helps you gain mental clarity and keeps you focused."

Dart announced the new program, to be implemented in Division 11 of the county jail, during a Monday press conference.

He made the announcement with Dr. Mikhail Korenman and Anatoly Karpov, founders of the first chess school in the U.S.

Korenman is a member of the United States Chess Federation Scholastic Council, and Karpov is a world-renowned chess player and world chess champion from 1975-1985, and then again from 1993-1999.

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said it believes chess will teach the inmates "responsibility, planning ahead, patience, problem solving, and learning from past mistakes to name a few."

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