In a joint initiative from both Battersea and Hammersmith chess clubs, a match was organised on Saturday 5th October inside HM Prison Wandsworth, one of the UK’s largest prisons, against the prisoners.
This is a great way for us chess players to support and give back to our community. After all, isn’t chess all about improving by learning from our own mistakes?
Hammers Kostis and Nadim joined a few other Battersea members and represented our club in the Big House Chess Match.
The preparation of the event was spotless, and great effort was put into the organisation. With thanks and support from the prisons education department, the men inside the prison even prepared colourful bespoke chess boards, board numbers and score sheets all specially designed, printed and laminated for the occasion.
Finally, the universal language of chess was spoken and everyone enjoyed a few rapidplay games. All abilities were represented on both sides, and some endgames got very tense and spectacular but no matter who won the games, the biggest benefactors were both chess and the community.
The participating prisoners enjoyed the event so much and were very thankful throughout. As one of them said, it was a great occasion to have a morning “outside the prison”.
We hope that this initiative will continue, and that in the future more Hammers will have the occasion to participate.
Whether behind bars or not, chess will continue to be a great way to simply bring people together.