Parasports February 25, 2020
First state-level chess tournament for physically disabled people held in Delhi
The All India Physically Disabled Chess Association is seeking to encourage and promote talent across India. To begin with it has asked different states to form their own associations and conduct state-level tournaments to unearth talent. Delhi is the most recent state to form an association and organise a tournament.
Twenty eight physically disabled chess players from Delhi and Haryana made history as competitors in the Chess Tournament for Physically Persons. This was the first such tournament organised in Delhi by the Delhi Physically Challenged Chess Association (DPCAA) and aims to unearth and promote talent.
Event aims to spread popularity of physically disabled chess
The DPCAA is affiliated to the All India Physically Disabled Chess Association which comes under the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
This was the first chess tournament for the physically challenged organized in Delhi and our aim is to build a strong team and take them to national-level tournaments. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh already have state-level associations for physically disabled chess and Delhi is the most recent one to follow. – Manoj Gautam, President, Delhi Physically Challenged Chess Association
Vaibhav Gautam emerged on top at the end of the tournament. The 20-year-old, has cerebral palsy and is 90% disabled. He cannot speak or walk and does all his talking through his chessboard moves.
“He started playing chess competitively three years ago”, says his dad Manoj. “He used to play as a child and got hooked”. Vaibhav used to play for his school and his ELO is 1293. “Such tournaments are an opportunity for the disabled community to show the world that disability is not the only thing that defines them”, adds Manoj. “There is much more to them than that”. Vaibhav is already busy preparing for the national-level tournament in Chennai.
In second place was Sonu Bisht, also from Delhi. Sonu, who has cerebral palsy and a speech disability, has been playing for three years. “I am glad for such an opportunity. It will give me a chance to improve my skills and play at national and international levels”.
Neha, who was declared winner in the third place, has been playing chess since 2012. She has an orthopaedic disability and takes chess classes for beginners, mostly non-disabled.“This was my first competitive event on this scale and I am grateful for the opportunity. This gives us hopes of taking our game to a bigger platform”.
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