Pestaño: Chess for disabled players

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


AS A testament to the popularity of chess compared to most sports, the game is played even by the disabled.

The World Chess federation recognizes three organizations- the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA), International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) and International Chess Committee of the Deaf (ICCD).

The ICCD was established at Copenhagen in 1949. It stages a four-year world championship cycle of its own for individuals and teams for both men’s and women. The rules are the same, however the only difference is that in any ICCD event, the deaf player must have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in the better ear and must not wear a hearing aid during the game. The Fide arbiter must also have an assistant who has knowledge of the international sign language .

The IBCA is an organization for blind and visually-impaired chess players. It was formed in 1948 by Reginald Walter Bonham with representatives from nine Western European countries. Today, it has over 60 member nations around the world and hosts two major competitions— the Blind Chess Olympiad and the Blind Team World Cup. It also has individual competitions in some member countries.

They play on a specially-designed chess set. All the black squares are raised about three millimeters above the white squares and each of the square in the board has a hole in the center so the pieces can be placed on the hole. Each of the pieces has a nail at the base, so they can be fixed securely on the board. All the black pieces have a pin fixed on their heads, helping the players distinguish between white and black pieces.

By feeling the raised or lowered squares, the players can figure out whether the piece is on a white or black square. By feeling the shape of the piece, they can determine whether the piece is a pawn, knight, bishop, rook, king or queen. The move is also announced loudly and recorded on a tape recorder.

The physically disabled chess players must have a considerably reduced efficiency of the musculoskeletal system. Examples are cerebral palsy, congenital, deformation or amputations, curvature of the spine, poliomyelitis or bone tuberculosis, partial or complete rupture of the spinal cord and paralysis.

Other who qualify are those who suffer from myopathy or multiple sclerosis or myasthenia gravis, polyneuropathy and achondroplasia.

These disabled players have been playing in Olympiads now and are competitive compared to the teams of other countries.

In the last Olympiad in 2012 in Istanbul, the blind placed 44th, the deaf 77th and the physically-disabled was 90th among 157 teams in the men’s division. In the women’s division, the disabled placed 67th, the deaf 85th and the blind finished 90th among 127 teams.

The First World Disability Chess Championship was a seven-round event consisting of members of IPCA, IBCA and ICCD held in Dresden Germany in October last year.

The champion was FM Stanislav Babarykin (Elo 2319 IBCA) from Russia and the second placer was Andrei Obodchuk (Russia IPCA). The third placer was Stachaczyk Jacek (Poland IBCA ).

Cepca. Our June tournament will be held this Sunday at Handuraw Gorordo at 2 p.m.

Dubai-based Jobannie Tabado is donating a top of the line chess clock worth P3,500 to the champion. Cash prizes for second to fifth is sponsored by Ben Dimaano.

The format is five rounds Swiss and Class A players will have 10 minutes, while class B players will have 15 minutes.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 27, 2014.

Sports

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