Upper Austrian talent experienced it:

This is how (outstandingly) blind people can play chess!

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10.07.2024 17:00

A special duel for Upper Austrian chess youngster Edi Raber at the Jaques-Lemans-Open in St. Veit an der Glan: The Mühlviertel native faced a blind opponent! The "Krone" took a look at how the game works for blind players, how extremely strong they can play and which rules are out of force. 

Edi Raber from Mühlviertel met (and defeated) Mohammadi Sholeh (D), a blind player, in Carinthia. Chess is one of the few sports that can be played by blind and sighted people together (almost) without restrictions. However, good visualization is also required for sighted players, as the board position is only the starting point for calculations.

Second board in the game
And this is how chess for the blind works: the player uses a second, separate board so as not to disturb the opponent when feeling out the positions. On this board, the black squares are raised in relation to the white squares.

Board for the blind: Black squares raised, pieces at the head with small nails (Bild: zVg)
Board for the blind: Black squares raised, pieces at the head with small nails

Pieces with one nail 
There are push-fit pieces, the black ones have a small nail in the head. This allows blind players to feel the game without knocking over pieces. The sighted player announces his own moves and must also execute those of his opponent on his board. "He has a kind of double burden, which is why it's not easy to play at full strength," says referee Gerald Hametner. He explains: "The only rule that doesn't apply to blind players is 'touched - led'. It states that a touched piece must also be moved.

Polish grandmaster
"You wouldn't believe how hard blind players can play," says Günter Mitterhuemer, President of the Upper Austrian Association. The Pole Tazbir Marcin, for example, is a grandmaster and, with a playing strength of 2492 ELO points, number 683 in the world.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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