The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) held an inaugural open chess tournament dubbed ‘Chess Behind the Walls’ which attracted players from across the country including inmates.

61 chess players of all age groups with the youngest aged 6 converged at Harare Central Remand Prison on Saturday (yesterday) to participate in the chess tournament.

ZPCS spokesperson Superitendant Priscilla Mthembo said the initiative is in line with the rehabilitation process of inmates to be exposed to meeting professional players from society.

Zimbabwe Chess Federation (ZCF) national instructor Elton Mhangarayi noted the open cross age and gender event was based on the Swiss pairing concept where a player’s points determines his or her next opponent.

Six year old Anotidaishe Madamombe and 12 year old Refilwe Mudodo said chess has opened avenues for them to travel worldwide while an inmate serving until 2026 Macdonald Matseka said the sport is teaching him patience and restraint.

ZCF provided the chess kits and clocks for the tournament which comes ahead of the Easter Open tournament to be held from the 14th to the 18th of this month in the capital.