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US, Russia inmates play chess tournament via Skype (VIDEO)

Russian inmates have teamed up with their counterparts in the biggest prison in the US, Chicago's Cook County Jail, to play a chess tournament via Skype.
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Alena Kats and Emanuel Grunfeld face off in the HBO Bryant Park Chess Challenge in New York City’s Bryant Park on May 24, 2011. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Russian inmates have teamed up with their counterparts in the biggest prison in the US, Chicago's Cook County Jail, to play a chess tournament via Skype.

Ten prisoners from across Russian jails in Astrakhan, Samara, Saratov, the Yekaterinburg region and Krasnodar sat down in Moscow to play 10 others in Chicago, all starting today at 9 a.m. EST. The Russians were supported by former World Champion Anatoly Karpov and the Americans were encouraged by the head of the Cook County prison chess program, Dr. Mikhail Korenman.

"The participation of Russian convicts in the chess event testifies to their desire to follow the path of correction," said Russia's federal prison service.

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It also noted that regardless of the result of the tournament, members of the Russian chess team would not receive a reduced sentence.

The tournament was planned after Karpov visited the Cook County Jail last year and then met with the head of the prison in April.

Karpov will be the one to present the tournament winners with certificates, and the event will also be attended by Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) management as well as their counterparts in Chicago.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/us-russia-inmates-play-chess-tournament-skype-video