Chess in Prison!
Chess behind Bars!
Following up on yesterday’s theme on chess’ declining prestige in MSM, and how we in the chess community continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, I present Carl Portman and his new book (Quality Chess, 2016) Chess Behind Bars.
One review of this book writes :
“Chess Behind Bars offers a guide to chess in prisons that will instruct and entertain regardless of your situation. It covers almost every aspect of chess imaginable – from the rules to chess history, from puzzles to famous games, and even some tips for improvement. It is a smorgasbord of chess, seen from an unusual angle.”
Of course, the person who wrote this prattle clearly did NOT read the book! The author, Carl Portman, had one principal objective, and that is to present the game of chess as a potential and useful rehabilitation tool in the prison system. In itself, a very noble aim. HOWEVER, given that a fairly significant percentage of said prisoners already know how to play chess, I would think that Portman’s efforts will not likely amount to much. After all, it can be equally argued that chess did not help them to avoid ending in prison in the first place!
Except, of course, to bring more ridicule to our noble game…Portman’s book has no real market to sell to, except the ‘captive’ market in prison. And then the question of prioritizing what little money prisoners have…I am certain that there are more pressing items to save for.
Previous article on this blog about chess in prisons: LINK