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Cook County Jail Inmates Participate In International Chess Competition

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Inmates at the Cook County Jail moved around a chess board Tuesday morning, as they competed online against inmates in Armenia, Spain and Russia.

From moving pawns, to taking bishops, to finally checkmate.

This is the fifth time the Cook County Jail has competed in the international tournament. Part of the reason for the competition is to teach life skills and work on decision making.

One inmate who's participated in the program before wrote a letter to organizers thanking them for the opportunity, and said he believes it could change the world.

"The sum of all evil would be greatly diminished if the race of man sat quietly in their rooms lost playing chess," said Carl Portman of Chess in Prisons.

Inmates earned their way into the tournament through internal competition. They must also have good behavior to qualify.

The Cook County Jail started the chess program in 2012.

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