Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities
By Milan Dinic (Press Officer) and Marjan Kovacevic (DIS reporter)
Following three rounds of play, India, the Philippines and Poland are in the lead at the first FIDE Chess Olympiad for people with disabilities
The third round was opened by the Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Husein Memic.
Despite a very friendly and warm atmosphere at the tournament, the battles over the chessboard are becoming tougher and the games are lasting longer. Despite the extended ‘work hours’, many of the players continued to spend time outside of the playing hall, waiting for their other teammates and analysing the games, often with members of other teams. This is rarely seen in other chess events.
One of the guests at the event is Bharat Singh Chauhan – secretary of the All India Chess Federation and the tournament director of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai. Speaking about the inaugural Olympiad for people with disabilities Singh complemented FIDE and local organisers on putting this event together.
“It’s a very difficult tournament and it’s a great initiative by FIDE to bring disabled people together”, Singh noted.
Singh believes that people with disabilities should have their own Olympiad: “It’s a right decision for FIDE to have a separate event for people with disabilities. It’s a right for them to have their own, separate Olympiad.”
Asked to summarise what it takes to organise a chess Olympiad, Singh singled out one thing – courage. “We had three months to organise a huge event [the 44th Olympiad in Chennai] and it was right after the peak of Covid.
Singh also compared the Olympiad for people with disabilities to other events: “Every tournament has different challenges. Here even – every player is different. It’s really difficult to say that this is an easy tournament to organise.”
Top games and results of the third round: Tough at the top
Top-favourite Poland continued convincingly as they defeated the international squad of FIDE with 3.5:0.5. FIDE team’s Andrei Obodchuk and Natasha Morales Santos missed their chances to save the balanced endings.
The most exciting match of the round was played by the teams of India and Israel. Until the last seconds it looked like the round will finish 2:2. Darpan Inani from India was regretting he had missed an opportunity to make a big surprise. However, the Goddess Caissa gave Indian players a hand in the following position:
While the experienced GM Yehuda Gruenfeld was looking for the fastest road to win with black pieces, the time on his clock expired and Shashikant Kutwal won the last game of the round and the whole match – 3:1!
The Philippines scored an impressive victory over the second team of Serbia (3,5:0,5). On board four Darry Bernardo extended his material advantage with a small combination:
34.Qe7 Nf6 35.Rxe6 fxe6 36.Qxe6 Qf7 37.Qxc8+ and Vladan Petrovic resigned in 42nd move.
As a consolation for domestic fans, the first team of Serbia won in the ex-Yugoslav derby, against Montenegro – 3:1.
The Cuban team quickly came to a 2:0 lead, and the draws on lower boards were enough for 3:1 win against Romania. Pedro Morales Romero found an elegant way to break the castle around the black king:
25.Rxf4 Qxf4 26.Bxe6 and Mihai Bursuc immediately resigned. After 26…fxe6 white queen occupies the “seventh heaven”: 27.Qd4+ e5 28.Qa7, with an inevitable mate on the 7th rank.
The rise of the Uzbekistan team continued with 2.5:1.5 against Germany. It was interesting to see how Axadxson Kimsanboev posted two different mating threats to Manuela Mekus. White sacrificed a piece to escape from the first one, but fell to another one:
40….Re8 41.g4 h4 42.Ng3 hxg3 43.Kxg3 Bc7+ 44.Kh4 Kf7 45.Rxd3 Rh8#
The 4th-seed Croatian team recovered from surprising losses in the first two rounds. The maximal result of 4:0 against Panama came with some luck since Jesus Camilo Osorio lost a completely winning position on the 2nd board. The African derby ended with a convincing win by Zambia over Kenya – 3.5:0.5.
The standings after round three can be found – here.
The pairings four round four can be found – here.
The centenary of the birth of – Svetozar Gligoric
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of one of the greatest chess players in history, Svetozar Gligoric (who was born in Belgrade on 2nd of February 1923 – died in Belgrade, on 14th August 2012), the Serbian chess federation will host a reception at the prestigious Veterans’ Club Building in Belgrade on Thursday, at noon.
The event will feature a short movie dedicated to the great Yugoslav and Serbian chess legend, accompanied by an exhibition of photos from Gligoric’s life and career.
Chess players, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich as well as high-ranking officials of the Serbian government will attend the event.
In honour of the great Gliga, a Blitz tournament will be held in Belgrade on the 5th of February, followed by a two-day Rapid event featuring strong international players
About the event
The Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities will be played at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia.
The tournament will be played under the Swiss System, with six rounds. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. Default time is 15 minutes.
The fourth round starts on Thursday, 2nd February, at 3 PM CET time.
For more about chess for people with disabilities, you can go to the official website of the Players with Disabilities Commission: http://dis.fide.com/
The second half of the Olympiad begins with the 4th round, and the two key matches for the three teas with all three victories: Philippines – Poland, Hungary – India and Israel – FIDE. The start is at 15 CET.
NIS (Petroleum Industry of Serbia) is one of the largest vertically integrated energy companies in Southeast Europe. Its core business includes exploration, production and refining of crude oil and natural gas, sales and distribution of a wide range of petroleum products, as well as implementing projects related to petrochemical operations and power generation. One of the NIS’ strategic commitments and fundamental practices is continuous improvement of the living standard of communities of the company’s operation. NIS also attaches immense importance to setting an example and supporting development of professional and children’s sport.