What is ICARUS?

The ICARUS project sees the game of chess in prison as a lever for the development of soft skills in inmates. Through a Toolkit of mixed chess activities and training ICARUS will help participants decode the behaviours they engage in during the game and use them to acquire a greater awareness of their own emotions and those of others, stimulating self-reflection and developing more positive relationships with the others.

Our Aims and Tasks

Implement a Self-Development Toolkit dedicated to the development of soft skills for the prison population, based on an innovative mixed methodology, combining chess game and metacognitive development activities, test the Toolkit in prisons in 3 European countries, publish a Self-Development Manual dedicated to support both prisoners in their own self-awareness and self-assessment pathway, and EDA trainers to expand their training offerings by making them more inclusive.

The Project’s Outcomes

Implementing a toolkit for the development and self-assessment of soft skills in the prison population, through the use of non-formal and informal learning activities aided by the game of chess.


Experience a training course in prisons in 3 European countries with the co-teaching of a chess trainer and an adult teacher.

Create a Self-Development Manual useful for adult teachers across Europe to enhance the teaching of soft skills in prisons using informal practices, such as the use of chess, and innovative methodologies.


Promote the results of the project locally, nationally, Europe-wide and globally, so that the tools developed can be used by as many adult teachers and end users as possible

Inclusion and Diversity

The project aims to provide access to high quality, innovative and effective training to a target group that has very few opportunities, namely prisoners. For this purpose, a partnership has been set up which has already started activities with prisons, so that we can be sure that the planned intervention can be realised. Furthermore, the products of the project encourage a more inclusive approach of both EDA trainers and training agencies by offering a toolkit specifically designed for such a vulnerable target group.

Learning Opportunities

Creating and promoting learning opportunities for all citizens and generations. This priority, closely linked to that of inclusion, is realised through the eminently practical approach followed in the project, which addresses an intergenerational target group characterised by strong social, cultural and religious diversity.

Improving Skills

  1. Contact with the world of chess will enable adult trainers to learn a new powerful training tool, linked to the chess metaphor; likewise, chess trainers will be able to broaden their skills by becoming well-rounded adult trainers.
  2. Prison training offers adult trainers the opportunity to approach a particularly sensitive target group, developing in the trainers themselves skills of empathy and emotional intelligence that represent a valuable inner enrichment.
  3. The use of metacognitive methodology will provide trainers with valuable tools to support learners in the processes of self-assessment of their own competences.

The Project

Total Project Duration: 24 months

Period: 1° November 2023 – 31° October 2025

Target Groups: adult trainers and teachers, chess instructors and prison inmates


The leading partner of ICARUS. A training company based in Rome, Italy, with strong experience in soft-skills training and Erasmus+ projects.



UniChess was born from the working experience of several chess players, who after achieving high achievements in the competitive arena, decided to promote their passion for chess at all levels.



The national federation that gathers all chess players, trainers and entusiasts in Latvia.



A Spanish chess club from Mérida that combines competition and promotion of chess with social and therapeutical chess.



A Spanish training and coaching company from Cordoba specialised in soft-skills and training courses, with great expereince in the Erasmus+ sector.



A Latvian education and research centre that focuses on innovative training and eco-sustainability.