Online training for blind chess players planned, says chess federation president

President of All India Chess Federation for the Blind Charudatta Jadhav said Indian Blind Chess Association is formulating an online mechanism to train the blind chess aspirants.

Speaking to media persons here at National Open FIDE-rated Chess Tournament and National B Chess Championship for the Blind held for the Dr T M A Pai Memorial Trophy, he said an online study material version for the normal chess players is already available.

However, it would be redesigned to cater to the needs of blind players. India has already printed chess book for blinds – which is the first of its kind in the world, he added.

Asserting that recognition is very important, the former chess player stressed on the need for government to support to take up new initiatives. The government does not consider the blind chess players under sports quota. The lack of government patronage is the biggest hurdle to inspire the new players, he regretted.

Chess is being introduced as an optional subject in schools in some parts of the country and it helps for talent hunt. The online study material is prepared to overcome the inconveniences owing to the time constraints of both the coaches and players, he said.
The online study material ensures interactivity and the current challenges are addressed.

Plans are also on to set up virtual classes for blind on regular basis, using Skype.Technology should be used extensively as sometimes the coaches are reluctant to teach the blind aspirants, he remarked. Technology will help with sharpening the skills and offers oceanic information, he added.

Jadhav said he developed interest in chess when he was 13 years old, after he lost his eye sight. The turning point came into his life in 1981, when he was playing for district-level championship and he started pursuing chess professionally. He has played six international championships. For the sake of livelihood, he had to stop playing in 2004. However, he continued to promote the game by coaching the budding players, he said. He has played in 1987, 88, 90, 91 and 1997 national championships and excelled. He said he is the first blind software engineer.

Arjuna award winner and grand master D V Prasada said Indian chess has a lot of scope. Youngsters are doing extremely well and would surely go on to become international masters, he added.

Computer-aided technology and open tournaments would help, Prasada added.
DH News Service

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