(Sports news) The 16th AICFB National Chess Championship for the Visually Challenged, presented by Onward Technologies was concluded at the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Keshav Srushti, where Kishan Gangolli has won the title of the National Chess Champion for the 7th time yet again.
The final scoreboard shows Kishan Gangolli (Karnataka) with 7.5 points, followed by Aryan Joshi (Maharashtra) & Soundarya Kumar Pradhan (Odisha) with 7 points, Ashvin Makwana (Gujarat) & Darpan Inani (Gujarat) with 6.5 points, and Somender BL (Delhi) with 6 points. These winners were awarded a total of Rs 1 lakh cash prize and trophies from All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB).
Expressing his gratitude over the prize distribution event, Dr Charudatta Jhadhav, President of the All India Chess Federation of the Blind (AICFB) and International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) exclaimed, “We are very proud of all the players who have strived hard and reached here to achieve recognition on a national level. After this, our next steps will include preparing the national winners for the World Championship and Asian Para Games of 2023.
“Along with this, we will also move forward to achieve our vision of providing technology-based infrastructure to empower the visually challenged to pursue chess and prepare themselves for all the various tournaments in the coming future. Besides this, we also wish to come up with a standard maturity model to track the performance of players and highlight improvisations.”
He continued, “Lastly, we are taking every possible initiative to promote chess in schools for the visually impaired and start chess academies in every state under the Program Uddan. Our targets can be achieved with humble support from stakeholders and government organizations.
AICFB is coming up with various initiatives, including mobile software for the visually challenged to learn, play, and analyze chess independently; an online training portal with pre-recorded lectures; and an online library with audiobooks. Additionally, AICFB is coming up with an online tournament platform to make it feasible for the visually challenged to compete from their homes for the experience.”
The top four players—Kishan Gangolli, Aryan Joshi, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan and Ashvin Makwana — will form an Indian team for the forthcoming World Individual Chess Championship that will be held in the month of October in Greece. Besides this, twelve other players in the categories of totally blind (B1) and partially blind (B2 & B3) will be selected for the upcoming Asian Para Games that will be held in October in Hangzhou, China.
A total of 56 players (all visually challenged) were selected to take part in this prestigious tournament on the basis of their performance at the state and zonal chess tournaments conducted all over India.
Also read: My goal is to make blind chess more accessible to the visually impaired: AICFB President Dr. Charudatta Jhadhav