Students, prisoners face off in chess

Nov. 20, 2008 at 5:32 PM

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The seventh chess tournament between Princeton University and the New Jersey State Prison saw a surprising number of prisoner victories, participants said.

The "Inmates and Ivy" chess tournament brought six Princeton students to the prison in Trenton to test their chess skills against a collection of convicted felons and thieves, The (Newark) New Jersey Star-Ledger reported Thursday.

The Princeton students, who played several simultaneous games against groups of prisoners, said the event usually ends with the school nearly sweeping every game, with an occasional single prisoner victory during the tournament. However, this year's competition saw victories by prisoners Malvern Lewis, 43, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend by stabbing; Carl Gooding, who was convicted of killing a man during a drug deal in 1987; and Alonzo Hill, 39, who is serving life after a carjacking that left a woman dead,

"They're good this year, but we have only one master and one ranked expert. In the past, the inmates have had to face much more phenomenal players," said John Marshall, a chief actuary for insurance firm Benecard who took over running of the event after his company ceased to sponsor the tournament.

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