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In almost every war with Prisoners of War (POW), POWs have credited chess literally with saving their lives.  Any many POW camps, chess playing was the main diversion.  During World War II, POWs played chess with their German guards to distract the guards from escape attempts by other POWs.   The Red Cross shipped thousands of chess sets to POWs during World War II.  Many American POWs during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953 played chess, which kept their mind sharp and focused.   Chess pieces were made out of any material the POWs could get their hands on, such as cork, wood, or soap.  Chess pieces during the war sent to POWs and were used to hide currency and compasses inside the chess pieces.  Maps were inserted between chess boards.    During the Vietnam war, many American POWs spent the majority of their time playing chess.

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