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Jennitha Anto becomes the IPCA World Champion for a record sixth time!

by Satanick Mukhuty - 10/07/2019

The life story of each disabled athlete is unique and could make a book in itself. The value of chess in particular and sports in general in the life of a disabled person lies in the fact that they are great levellers. The International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) recognizes this and gives all disabled chess players the special opportunity to excel in the chess sport in their own way. The 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 recently came to conclusion. Even though chess is primarily a mental game, it demands from its players great physical stamina. To keep finding good moves on the chessboard even after hours of strenuous battle is not for the faint hearted. Every participant of this event showed great tenacity sitting at the board and fighting it out for 3-4 hours at stretch, despite their serious physical limitations. In this report we bring you the glimpses of their bravery, their games, results, and more.

19th World Championship for Physically Disabled Chess Players

The 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 took place from 28th June to 6th July in Ruzomberok, Slovakia. It was a nine rounds swiss event following time control of 90 minutes for the entire game with 30 seconds increment from move one. The tournament was organized by the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) which is the international federation uniting all physically disabled chess players who have got a congenital or an acquired reduced efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and who have got difficulties in walking. 

No adversity is too great for these brave chess players who win hearts with their love for the sixty-four squares | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Founded in 1992, the IPCA is affiliated to the FIDE on equal rights with the National Chess Federations and its primary goal is to organize chess tournaments for physically disabled chess players (men, women and youth) around the world who are IPCA members. In the last 26 years since its creation, the federation has organized many high-ranking events like the IPCA World Chess Olympiads, the IPCA Europe Individual Chess Championships and the IPCA World Individual Chess Championships. In addition, it has also facilitated the participation of disabled chess players in the FIDE World Chess Olympiads. The IPCA teams of men and women have taken part in the FIDE Chess Olympiads since 2002.

Svetlana Gerasimova from Russia is the current and the fifth president of the IPCA. She was one of the participants in this years individual championship | Photo: Chessfest 2019

The story of K. Jennitha Anto

WIM K. Jennitha Anto from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu bagged the IPCA World Women's title the sixth time this year. Jenitha was struck with polio at a very young age and has been wheelchair bound ever since. But nothing has deterred her from achieving her dreams to become a world class chess player.

Jenitha has won several laurels for the country. In the 2018 Asian Para-games she made a huge mark by winning four medals - one gold, two silvers and one bronze!

At the 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 she secured 5.0/9 points to become the highest scoring female player in the event and thus clinched the title for a record sixth time. She is easily one of the most inspirational figures of Indian chess. 

K. Jennitha Anto after her victory in Ruzomberok, Slovakia | Photo: Chessfest2019

With this victory Jennitha Anto has surpassed Vishy Anand in the number of World titles won by an Indian!

The following game from the last round is a noteworthy performance by her in the event:

Yarmonov is the champion once again!

Igor Yarmonov, an international master from Ukraine, has been the IPCA World Champion among people with limited physical mobility four times - 2002, 2013, 2016, 2018. Rated 2389 and a member of the Olympic team of IPCA for 16 years, he was the clear favourite of this year's edition of the event as well. Scoring 7.0/9 along with Andrei Gurbanov and Mikha Nikolay he was declared champion based on a better tie-break.

Igor Yarmonov is also a proficient chess composer and holds the title of fide master in chess composition | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Yarmonov bagged the IPCA World Champion title the fifth time this year | Photo: Chessfest2019

Igor's grit and spirit to fight it out till the very end is evident from the following game against Valenta Vit which went for a staggering 118 moves and was the longest game of the event.

Valenta Vit is a fide master from Czech Republic. He is rated 2147 and finished fourth in the event with 6.5/9

33 years old Andrei Gurbanov is an international master from Israel. He finished second with 7.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019 

Ukrainian master Mukha Nikolay also scored 7.0/9 but had to settle for third place based on tie-break score. His win against much higher rated Andrei Obdochuk and Andrei Gurbanov in the fifth and sixth rounds of the event are notable | Photo: Chessfest2019

 Andrei Obdochuk, the Russian International Master rated 2316, was the second seed of the event but couldn't perform well and finished 11th with 5.5/9 | Photo: Chessfest2019

IM Babula Milan is 69 years old but still going strong. He finished fifth with 6.0/9 points and in round 6 he subjected Igor Yarmonov to his only defeat in the event | Photo: Chessfest2019

21 years old Polish FM Lukasz Nowak suffers from muscular dystrophy and has a rating of 2267. He finished sixth with 6.0/9, his last round comeback, after losing to Yarmonov in the previous round, against Andrey Tersinsev is a testimony to this young man's indomitable will | Photo: Chessfest2019 

IM Shashikant Kutwal, who has been a former IPCA World Champion in 2017. He fought hard and scored 6.0/9 and finished seventh. | Photo: Chessfest2019

Samartha Rao, who suffers from Celebral Palsy, finished 4.0/9 and gained 30 Elo points. Samartha finished 28th and immediately after the tournament ended has left for World Juniors for the disabled in USA. We wish him the best. | Photo: Chessfest2019

Pamarthi Audietya Azadh, scored 4.0/9, gained 57 Elo points and finished 30th | Photo: Chessfest2019

Angappan scored 4.0/9 finished 32nd and gained 64 Elo points | Photo: Chessfest2019

Jennitha Anto and Angappan Sri welcomed after their exploits in Slovakia.

Final standings after round 9

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
11IMYarmonov IgorUKR23897,048,553,52375977,05-0,0520-1,0
23IMGurbanov AndreiISR23007,047,051,52371976,160,842016,8
311FMMukha NikolayUKR21597,046,550,02385974,202,802056,0
413FMValenta VitCZE21476,548,052,0233596,53,952,552051,0
55IMBabula MilanCZE22206,047,051,02238965,700,30206,0
64FMNowak LukaszwPOL22676,045,550,02223966,36-0,3620-7,2
77IMShashikant KutwalIND21766,044,048,02183965,710,29205,8
817Kovacevic KrstowCRO20496,041,044,02103964,721,282025,6
96Palin DenisRUS21805,545,048,5215595,55,68-0,1820-3,6
1015Tebenkov VladislavU20RUS20965,545,048,0210295,54,840,664026,4
112IMObodchuk AndreiwRUS23165,543,547,0209995,57,40-1,9010-19,0
1216Lipilin IliaU20RUS20845,543,047,0207095,54,850,654026,0
138Juvan JakaU20SLO21685,540,044,0208795,56,21-0,7140-28,4
1410Gedgafov ChamalRUS21635,044,047,02053955,68-0,6820-13,6
159Tersinsev AndreywRUS21645,042,045,02088955,77-0,7720-15,4
1619Jurkiewicz KrzysztofPOL20075,042,043,02072953,641,362027,2
1712Glazar DomagojwCRO21535,040,544,52009956,31-1,3120-26,2
1818Sovetov OleksandrwUKR20095,040,044,01979954,680,324012,8
1922WIMJennitha Anto K.wwIND19725,039,042,01895954,990,01200,2
2025Alekseev MikhailU20wRUS18694,544,047,0206394,52,352,152043,0

Overview of Indian performances:

7IMShashikant Kutwal2176IND1½110011½6,07205,80
22WIMJennitha Anto K.1972IND0110100115,019200,20
34CMSamarth J Rao1593IND0½10½01014,0282030,00
39Pamarthi Audietya Aazadh1346IND0011010014,0302057,60
41Angappan A1267IND0½010½1014,0324064,40

Get to know our champions better

Story of how Shashikant Kutwal became the IPCA World Champion

Jennitha Anto, from being a girl hit by Polio at the age of 3 to becoming a multiple time IPCA World Champion

Samartha Rao's story of grit and determination

Coverage of IPCA World Championships 2018

Related news:
Kishan Gangolli and Jennitha Anto - the golden warriors of Indian chess!

@ 30/11/2018 by Anantharam Rathinam (en)

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