International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 22 May 2024 10:16
Chess for Freedom Conference: List of speakers announced

FIDE is excited to announce the list of distinguished speakers for the upcoming Chess for Freedom Conference, scheduled to take place from June 19 to 21, 2024, in Pune, India.  FIDE, in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation, is organizing the conference, hosted by the All India Chess Federation and the Maharashtra Chess Association. The event aims to explore the transformative power of chess as a rehabilitation tool in correctional facilities worldwide.

Registration of participants is open until June 07, 2024, via the following link.

Conference schedule:

Day 1: June 19, 2024

Keynote Speakers:

"Chess for Freedom project in India": Chairman of Indian Oil Corp. will discuss the partnership project.

"How to achieve 40 facilities in the Championship?": Adolfo Jesus Toledo Infanzón from Mexico will share details on the Chess for Freedom initiative in Mexico.

"Supporting Talents in Prisons": Dr. Cris Fanning, Executive Director, Kansas Department of Corrections, will present online on statewide chess initiatives in the USA.

"Achievements and the future: Intercontinental Chess Championship for prisoners": Nebojsa Baralic will highlight past successes and future plans.

"Chess puzzles in prisons, and their relevance to life on the outside": Carl Portman from England will present online on the importance of chess puzzles for inmates.

On Day 1, conference participants will also visit the Yerawada Correctional Facility, play chess with the inmates, and have a presentation by the prison authorities. The presentation will cover how Indian Oil is implementing chess and other sports programs.

Day 2: June 20, 2024

Speakers and Presentations:

● All India Chess Federation will open the day, followed by personal stories from former inmates Steven Maruwo, Hector G. and Emanuel Garcia

● "Step-by-step to implement Chess for Freedom in prisons" by Grandmaster Kevin Goh Wei Ming outlines the exact program 

● "Building Bridges: Tips, Tricks, and Encouragement for Successful Volunteer Engagement in Correctional Setting" Lāsma Kokoreviča from Latvia will discuss volunteer engagement in correctional settings.

● "Chess Reinvented: Tailoring Training Strategies for Inmate Learners" Boris Bruhn from Germany will talk about tailoring chess training for inmates.

● "Chess in prisons for resocialization: Evidence-based approach" Mikhail Korenman from the USA will present an evidence-based approach to using chess for resocialization.

● "Social Chess – so much more than a game" André Vögtlin, FIDE Social Commission Chair, will discuss the broader social impact of chess.

Panel Discussions and Workshops:

● A panel discussion on "Chess for Youth Freedom" will feature David Acheampong, Kevin Goh Wei Ming, Nebojsa Baralic, and a representative from India.

● A workshop titled "Let's Shape the Future of the Chess for Freedom" will be conducted by André Vögtlin.

Gala and Networking Events:

● The conference will include a gala dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Indian Oil Corp. and FIDE, offering opportunities for networking and celebrating achievements.

About the Speakers:

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya 

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya is the Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., India's largest oil refiner and fuel retailer. He is a Chemical Engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, with over 36 years of extensive experience in the downstream petroleum industry. Vaidya is a prominent figure in the global energy sector, known for his work on integrating refinery and petrochemical operations. Under his leadership, Indian Oil has embarked on a green transition path to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2046. Vaidya has also been instrumental in launching initiatives like the 'Prison to Pride' program, which uses sports, including chess, to rehabilitate prison inmates​​​ (IndianOil)​.

Adolfo Jesus Toledo Infanzón 

Toledo Infanzón is a key advocate for the Chess for Freedom initiative in Mexico. He has played a significant role in expanding the program to numerous correctional facilities, aiming to reach 40 facilities across the country. His efforts focus on using chess as a rehabilitative tool to help inmates develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Dr. Cris Fanning, Executive Director of Programs and Risk Management, Kansas Department of Corrections

Dr. Cris Fanning oversees various programs and risk management initiatives within the Kansas Department of Corrections. She has been a strong proponent of integrating chess into correctional education programs, highlighting its benefits in supporting inmate talents and aiding in their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Nebojsa Baralic 

Nebojsa Baralic has been pivotal in organizing the Intercontinental Chess Championship for prisoners, which has seen significant success and growth. His work focuses on showcasing the achievements of inmate chess players and planning future expansions of the championship to include more countries and facilities.

Carl Portman 

Carl Portman is an expert on the application of chess puzzles in correctional facilities and the author of the book "Chess Behind Bars." He advocates for using these puzzles to help inmates develop strategic thinking and cognitive skills that are beneficial for their lives after release. He will present online on the relevance of chess puzzles to life skills.

Steven Maruwo, Hector G. and Emanuel Garcia 

These former inmates will share their personal journeys of transformation through chess while incarcerated. Their stories provide powerful testimonies to the positive impact of chess on personal development and rehabilitation.

Kevin Goh Wei Ming 

Grandmaster Goh Wei Ming is an accomplished chess player and coach who will discuss the step-by-step process for implementing the Chess for Freedom program in prisons. His presentation will focus on practical strategies and best practices for successful implementation.

Lāsma Kokoreviča

Lasma Kokoreviča is an officer of a penitentiary authority in Latvia, an expert in volunteer engagement within correctional settings. She will provide strategies for successfully involving volunteers in chess programs, emphasizing the importance of community support and involvement.

Boris Bruhn 

Boris Bruhn specializes in adapting chess training to suit the needs of inmate learners. His presentation will cover innovative methods for making chess education engaging and effective for incarcerated individuals.

Mikhail Korenman 

Mikhail Korenman will present an evidence-based approach to using chess for resocialization. His work emphasizes the measurable benefits of chess programs in correctional facilities, including improved cognitive skills and reduced recidivism rates.

André Vögtlin, FIDE Social Commission Chair and President of the Swiss Chess Federation

André Vögtlin will discuss the broader social impact of chess, highlighting its role beyond the game itself. As the FIDE Social Commission Chair, he has been instrumental in promoting chess as a tool for social good and rehabilitation.

David Acheampong

David Acheampong will be part of a panel discussion on "Chess for Youth Freedom," where he will share his experiences and insights from working with youth in Ghana, emphasizing the role of chess in youth development and empowerment.

Jop Delemarre

Job Delemarre is a Dutch International Master who will present online on a topic to be announced, focusing on innovative approaches to integrating chess in correctional facilities and the benefits of such programs.

Sergejs Kļimakovs 

FIDE Master Sergejs Kļimakovs will also deliver a presentation on a topic to be announced, contributing his expertise in chess education and its application in correctional settings.

Vasil Liparteliani

Vasil Liparteliani will share his knowledge and experience in the field of chess and sports management for rehabilitation, with details of his presentation to be announced.

This conference will bring together leaders and experts from around the world to share their experiences and strategies for leveraging chess as a powerful tool for change within correctional facilities. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to learn from diverse international perspectives and contribute to the future direction of the Chess for Freedom initiative.

Contact Information:

Lasma Kokorevicha
Secretary of the FIDE Social Commission
WhatsApp: +371 29 221 222