Chess Brings Students & Inmates Together - New York News

Chess Brings Students & Inmates Together

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

A Princeton University Inmate Chess Program which started back in 2001 has started to pick up steam. Last Friday about 6 students took the time to play chess with 60 inmates at New Jersey State Prison. Each student faced about 8 to 10 inmates at a time.

Chess is said to help with your problem solving, memory, reasoning, and temperament. These skills are useful for both the Princeton students and the inmates. One of the inmates, Philip Dixon, said that chess is life. “It’s all about knowing what to sacrifice and what not to sacrifice. It’s knowing when to move, when not to move. Sometimes be aggressive, sometimes not be aggressive. It’s all about life,” he said.

The Princeton students and the inmates may have a different idea of what life means, but one of the students, Austin Wang, sees chess as a way to make connections with other people. “I think one of the great things about chess is that it kind of brings people of all ages together,” he said.

Though Princeton students are winning more often, especially since they are playing more than one game at a time, the inmates do win games too. “The caliber of players that we have here is on par to their caliber. You know, a lot of people make that mistake of thinking that because we’re in jail, that our game is slightly diminished or is not as good as their game,” Dixon said.

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