Para chess championship at Trichy brings together talents from across India
India is home to thousands of para athletes and sportspersons who have showcased their skills in national and international events. These talents have proved that with right training and guidance, a disabled person can shine in any sport.
To encourage greater participation among people with disabilities, the Chess Federation for Physically Disabled (CFPD) in Tamil Nadu held a two-day championship in Trichy where over 37 people from across India participated. The winners will take part in the upcoming chess championship in Slovakia in June.
The event brought together talented players from eight different states in India including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The event was held at the Spastics Society jointly by the CFPD and Tamil Nadu Physically Disabled Chess Association (TNPDCA). Before the championship, a medical practitioner confirmed that all the participants have 50% disability and more.
This event was exclusively for disabled people. Many talented participants were there for the championship. Since it was also a selection event for choosing participants for the upcoming world championship, we had ensured a good selection process. We also got sponsors for the event. Some players from Howrah was supposed to attend it but couldn't due to Cyclone Fani. - G Kanickai Irudayaraj, Secretary, CFPD
There were nine women and 28 men participants. Sasikanth Poduval won in the men's category and Jennitha Anto was the winner from women's category. Both are world chess champions.
Reportedly, India has the world's second maximum number of disabled chess players after China. These young talents are confident of bringing home laurels in years to come.
Jennitha hopes in future years more women must come forward to take part in chess championships. Jennitha was also a five time world champion in para Asian games, consecutively from 2013 to 2018.
"It is great to see many young talents coming forward. But in India, we have more of men over women to play chess. Even in this championship, men had better standards of playing and was trained better when compared to women. It would be great if younger women with disabilities come forward to play chess and make our country proud at international events, says Jennitha.