April 16, 2024

World Chess Championship for the Blind starts on October 08 in Rhodes

The 2023 IBCA World Individual Chess Championship for the Blind and Visually Impaired will take place on the Island of Rhodes, Greece, from October 08-18. The event, organized by the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), the Hellenic Sports Federation for Persons with Disabilities and the Chess Club “Ippotis”, will bring together 80 players from 31 countries. The competition is held as part of the World Chess Festival in Rhodes.

The tournament will be held under the official IBCA and FIDE rules as a nine-round, Swiss system event, with one round played daily.

Blind people use braille boards for playing chess. Such chess board has special modifications that help visually impaired players. All the black squares are elevated a few millimetres to be easily identified by touch, and each of the squares has a hole in the center in which pieces are sturdily fixed with the help of nails in their bases.

The rating favourite of the tournament is GM Marсin Tazbir (2494, Poland), the winner of the FIDE World Championship for People with Disabilities 2023.

“When people play with me, they don’t think about my disability, they may not notice it. But sometimes, playing with people with disabilities can be hard for healthy people due to the psychological fact that you are playing against a handicapped person. Even though you still want to win, sometimes you feel a little bit guilty for yourself that you are playing such a game. The tournaments where people with disabilities can meet together and compete are something special. For all of us, it is a great opportunity to overcome our limits.” Tazbir says.

The tournament will take place in the Rodos Palace Hotel on the northern seaside of the island.

Event Schedule

08/10 – Arrivals
09/10 – Technical Meeting, Opening Ceremony, Round 1
10/10 – Round 2
11/10 – Round 3
12/10 – Round 4
13/10 – Free day
13/10 – Round 5
14/10 – Round 6
15/10 – IBCA Congress, Round 7
16/10 – Round 8
17/10 – Round 9, Closing Ceremony
18/10 – Departures

IBCA is the supreme body responsible for chess for the blind and visually impaired. The IBCA is part of the International Blind Sports Federation and an Affiliated Member of FIDE. Founded in 1958, the IBCA regularly holds world championships for blind and visually impaired people.

Starting list of players

Regulations for the 2023 IBCA World Individual Chess Championship

Photos: Mark Livshitz