Dresden is now hosting the first Chess World Championship for players, who are physically handicapped. Until October 29th, participants will compete in the categories “Physically Handicapped”, “Blind Players”, and “Deaf Players”.
72 participants from three continents
For this special event, 72 players from Europe, Asia, and Africa have travelled to Germany. Most of these originate from Europe, of which many players are German. The winner is expected to be from Russia, as the largest country of the world has, by far, the most competitors in the tournament. Over and above that, the seeding list is led by no less than seven Russian players. The greatest chance on the victory has Andrei Obodchuk (Elo 2414), followed by Alexey Pakhomov (Elo 2377) and Dmitrij Scerbin (Elo 2369). Germany hopes for a strong performance of Artur Kevorkov (Elo 2212), who is seeded 11th, while previously advertised Thomas Kuther will not be present at all.
Top-favorites begin tournament with victories
In the first of seven rounds, mostly the top-favorite players prevailed. Andrei Obodchuk defeated Georges Vasquez and the number 33 of the seeding list from France (Elo 2013) in short duels. Dmitrij Scerbin also achieved a victory over fellow countryman Yury Alchindi (35th / Elo 1997), whereas Pakhomov only played a draw against the German Michael Gründer (34th / Elo 2009). Artur Kevorkov was able to beat Ilja Markov (43rd / Elo 1917) from Russia.
Dresden with experience in tournaments for handicapped players
For the Chess World Championship of Handicapped to be carried out in Dresden is not coincidence. The Eastern German city has hosted several events for disabled chess players, such as the World Games for Disabled, which were first set up in 2011 and have quickly become the official World Championship for people with disabilities. The longest journey travelled chess players from India: Nine players from the country of the Chess World Champion Anand have lined up in Dresden.
Picture: flickr.com/ Jack Pearce
written by Michael, translated by Birthe