Chennai : Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA) and All India Chess Federation (AICF) had organized a tournament for the visually impaired on Tuesday. This was a part of the celebratory build-up for the upcoming World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Vishwanathan Anand that will be held in Chennai from 9th to 28th November.
The 1st edition of this tournament had a participation of 87 players from 32 districts across Tamil Nadu.
K Muthuraman , the General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Braille Chess Association said, “The turnout is very encouraging. We have 4-5 players here who have a FIDE rating of above 1600. The association has also announced a cash prize of Rs 50,000.”
The state of Braille Chess in India is good, but Indian players are yet to find their feet on the global circuit. Tournaments and initiatives like these go a long way in the growth of the sport.
“When I started chess , there was not a single rated braille player in Tamil Nadu. Today, there are five,“ said Sai Krishna the top-rated player in the tournament (FIDE 1768)
“Before (Vishwanathan) Anand , chess existed only in capital cities. Very few people used to play the sport. Anand brought about a wave , seeing his success , even people in remote areas started playing chess,” said Tirukallathy, the Assistant Treasurer of TNSCA.
A celebration-cum-awareness drive has been going on in the city for the past two months. Various tournaments are being held to promote the wealth of talent that Tamil Nadu has.
“This is the 4th instance in the history of competitive chess that a World Championship is being held in Asia. In a celebratory build up to it, we have been organising tournaments in public parks, tournaments for the elderly etc. Awareness drives are being carried out amongst school children between the age of 7-17 years.”
Anand and Carlsen are currently in their last phase of training at undisclosed locations with undisclosed trainers. Whatever their training methods, the match is expected to be a cracker.