A Judge's Sentence: 25 Hours Of Chess

A Judge's Sentence: 25 Hours Of Chess

| 38 | Misc

Bye bye chain gang. Hello pawn chains.

A new youth offenders program in Alberta, Canada, has an innovative way to get young people back on the right track: chess. Read on for that story and other chess cornucopia in this edition of "In Other News."

Canada Tries Chess Instead Of Jail

This is hardly a life sentence; instead it's "Chess for Life." A 25-hour program in Alberta is a new alternative sentence to juveniles caught doing wrong.

According to the article, the idea is an outgrowth of recent research showing that punitive punishments don't do much to rehabilitate. The chess program seeks to show youth that their actions have consequences. Additionally, the meetings provide a respite from the chaos intrinsic to many of their lives.

Have a problem during your game? Well, there's no arbiters, but you can consult your probation officer.

Get To Know Your New Women's World Champion

While is in talks with GM Ju Wenjun for a special event on this web site, in the mean time, here's a quotable feature on the new women's world champion.

Ju Wenjun

GM Ju Wenjun at the 2016 Olympiad. | Photo: Mike Klein/

Here's some choice offerings from Ju Wenjun:

  • "I was a quite naughty girl,” Ju reflects, “but chess slowly changed me into a quiet person. It’s a basic requirement for a chess player to stay cool and calm."
  • "I’m always thirsty for knowledge about chess and have probably spent more time than others on training and analyzing games,” she says. “My coaches have all said the same about me."
  • "Willpower is crucial in the sport. When you are in an inferior position, you have to hold on to yourself and try and pull the situation back."


Going to the World Cup later this month? That doesn't mean you have to forget about your roots.

Fans attending matches in Saransk, home of 2000 Russian Champion GM Sergey Volkov, need only to head down to Pushkin Park for games with local players.

Not only will Saransk chess teams take on tourists, but the local football club will also host some matches.

Chess Set Rekindles Thoughts Of The 1970s

Flashing back to the U.S. political scene of the early 1970s, the country was in revolt amidst the Vietnam War, the Watergate crisis, and an oncoming recession and gas shortage. One of the flash points for protest was liberal college campuses, with the University of Wisconsin-Madison being one of the most vocal.

Lorna Campbell still has the chess set she crafted back then while in college. Each piece represents an archetype of that time: pawns were the proletariat, the rooks crumbling institutions, and the kings were those in power like President Richard Nixon.


President Nixon's administration had a hand in Fischer-Spassky, 1972. Here's an invented phone call between the two, published in the New York Post on July 27, 1972.

Campbell sees similarities in the political situation today. But no need to carve another one -- luckily for her, she kept the chess set. The U.S. Open is in Madison this year, for anyone that wants to try to track down Campbell and her set.

Magnus Carlsen At The United Nations

He's played a simul pretty much everywhere else in the world, why not at the world's tower of diplomacy?

You can read about the event and hear GM Pascal Charbonneau's emceeing here, or you might prefer this hysterical take by chess beat reporter Oliver Roeder, who claims "it really went off the rails" for him on move one.

Trump And 3-D Chess, The Metaphor That Will Never Die

OK actually Roeder represents a new spin on this cliche. He claims President Donald Trump may be playing "Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe" which roughly represents chess on several dimensions. Check out the game and see if you agree.

And if you still need more 3-D Chess in your life, yours truly still has this segment live on, with more than 600,000 views. Of course, it might just be the guy with the mullet that drives people to watch on repeat:

More from FM MikeKlein
Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

New ChessKid Adventure App Released

New ChessKid Adventure App Released