Pune: Indian Team from Yerwada Prison Wins Bronze Medal At Intercontinental ‘Chess for Freedom’ Online Championship for Prisoners

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Pune, 19th October 2022: Representing India, the Chess Team from Yerwada Prison, Pune, secured the Bronze medal at the recently concluded Intercontinental ‘Chess for Freedom’ Online Championship for Prisoners, organized by World Chess Federation (FIDE). The event witnessed the participation of more than 85 teams from 46 countries. IndianOil, in association with the All India Chess Federation, selected the participating Indian teams through the first ever “Parivartan – Prison to Pride Online Chess Tournament” wherein 20 prisons took part. Teams from Pune and Prayagraj Prisons had qualified for the finals to book their berth for the Intercontinental Championship while the Women & Juvenile teams from Tihar Jail qualified in the respective categories.


The qualifying tournament leveraged IndianOil’s path breaking “Parivartan- Prison to Pride ” initiative, conceived by Mr S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, to engage and rehabilitate prison inmates across the country through sports coaching programs. Congratulating the teams, Mr Vaidya said, “ My compliments to the Yerawada team for the win. I must also laud the IndianOil Sports stars who came forward to coach these Champions. Successes like these strengthen our resolve to help enrich the quality of life of the community around us through unique social initiatives such as Parivartan.”


Under the “Parivartan- Prison to Pride” initiative, IndianOil is facilitating training programs in various sports such as chess, basketball, badminton, volleyball and carrom across prisons in India to help improve the physical and mental well-being of prison inmates.


Since its launch on 15th August 2021, IndianOil has covered 37 Prisons spanning 20 states and 5 UTs, coaching over 1750 inmates, in three phases. Through this outreach coaching facilities are being provided along with the equipment and kits to the participants. International-level sports persons from IndianOil are supervising the programme.


Coaches from IndianOil include Grandmasters Ms Esha Karavade, Ms Soumya Swaminathan, Ms Padmini Raut, Mr SS Ganguly, and Mr Abhijit Kunte in Chess; Ms Manjusha Kanwar (former National Champion), Mr Abhinn Shyam Gupta (Arjuna Awardee), and Mr S Arun Vishnu (former National Champion) in Badminton; Ms Rushmi Chakravarthi (Former National Champion) in Tennis and renowned international players Mr Yogesh Pardesi, Mohd. Gufran, Ms Kajal Kumari, and Mr Ramesh Babu in Carrom.