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Blind National A 2018 R01: Tournament takes off thanks to public support!

by Sagar Shah - 04/02/2018

2,93,153! Yes, that's the amount the chess community has contributed towards the National Premier Blind 2018. A total of 74 donors have come forward in just two days! When you have such a tremendous backing for the event, the morale of the players is bound to be on a high. As one of the participants said, "I feel more motivated this year because I know a lot of people will be seeing my games!" Thank you, dear contributors, for making this tournament possible. The first round began on 3rd of February 2018 and we saw some very interesting chess being played. Detailed report with analysis by IM Sagar Shah. 

Marimuthu and Krishna Udupa shine on day one

After receiving some heart-warming support from the chess community all over India, the National Premier Blind 2018 began on the afternoon of the 3rd of February 2018. 14 of the best blind players in our country were pitted against each other. There were quite a few upsets in the first round itself. The fight is for the top five spots as they will be representing India at the International arena. This is the first time that we are witnessing three players below the age of twenty - Aryan Joshi (born in 2001), M. Marimuthu (2001), and Soundarya Pradhan (1999). This clearly shows that new young talents are entering blind chess with loads of ambition and fresh energy.

Mr. Ravindra Dongre was the chief guest at the opening ceremony. Did you know: Mr Dongre was instrumental in AICFB being launched in 1997. He is currently the advisor to the AICFB.

It is pretty rare for me to be on the stage at the opening ceremony. But I used this opportunity to tell the players as to how the chess community was looking forward to this tournament eagerly. "Many top GMs, IMs, WGMs and WIMs would be following your games, so play to the best of your potential!"

Dr Charudatta Jadhav being felicitated by Aryan Joshi. Charu is currently the President of the AICFB and one of the key reasons why blind chess has progressed in the country.

"I think the blind tournament has more life for an arbiter than a normal event. At a normal tournament, once the round begins you can relax, while here you have a lot of work including taking care of the needs of the players and telling them the time left on their clock and so on." - Chief Arbiter Manjunath Jain who is doing an amazing job!  

That's how the playing hall looks like. There are 14 players, 7 boards. In the center, you can see the live boards that are being used. We are awaiting a key wire that will arrive today in order to broadcast the games live.

Some players use an individual board, make a move on it and call out, while some players use just one chess board like we do in sighted chess. Those who are partially sighted and don't need to constantly touch the pieces to know where they are, use only one board like you can see on the extreme right in the above picture (in the game between Subhendu and Kishan). While those who are completely blind need their individual chess set and call out their moves.

That's Yudhajeet De from West Bengal feeling his way through the position. Yudhajeet his 100% blind and hence needs to feel the pieces. He cannot maintain a scoresheet and hence has a recorder by his side to note down the moves. This will come in handy in case of any dispute.

Look at the black pieces carefully. You will see a small pointed dot at the top of it. The white pieces don't have it. It is for the players to differentiate between white and black pieces.

These are the new chess sets introduced by AICFB recently. They invested tangible amounts in procuring the dye and now can produce such boards at a very reasonable cost.

4-time National blind champion Kishan Gangolli is looking for his fifth straight title at the event

Kishan Gangolli is one of the best blind chess players that our country has produced. He has four national titles in his kitty, is the current Asian champion and also the individual gold and bronze medal winner at the Olympiad. He won his first round pretty quickly against Subhendu Kumar Patra.

Krishna Udupa (right) is a very famous trainer in Shimoga, Karnataka. He played in the sighted section for many years, until his vision became so blurre that he could no longer compete. He took on Soundarya Pradhan in the first round.

Soundarya Pradhan is just 18 years old, but has already been a part of the Indian team many times. He is surely one of the best players we have right now in blind chess. However, he is currently torn between academics and chess. He is trying to prepare for his 12th grade examination, and somehow this showed in his play. He had excellent compensation for a pawn, but played not in the best manner and lost.

All that White has to do is develop. With moves like Re1, Bf4 etc. he has superb compensation for a pawn. But Soundarya took on c6 and this was the real mistake as it allowed Nxc6 after which Black was doing fine.

West Bengal youngster Yudhajeet De had a very lucky day at the office against Shirish Patil. He was lost in the middlegame, but fought back and in the endgame where he was a pawn down in a rook endgame, his opponent blundered big time!

Win for White was already gone when he pushed his pawn from b6-b7. But now he made the ultimate blunder with Rd8 and resigned after a move. You see what's coming, right?

For Shirish Patil, who had played a good game of chess, this was a rude awakening

Prachurya Pradhan (right) won his game against Milind Samant

The opening went fine for Milind Samant. However, at a critical moment when he had to break the position he went for a bad plan and Prachurya was all over him. In a completely winning position Soundarya allowed Milind a perpetual, but the player from Pune missed it and it was the youngster who bagged the full point.

Aryan Joshi (right) is someone to watch out for in this tournament. He beat Swapnil Shah in round one.

Trained by Raghunandan Gokhale, and backed by IIFLW, 16-year-old Aryan Joshi is the second seed of the tournament. He played a very interesting battle against Swapnil Shah in the first round. In a Colle Zukertort opening, it seemed as if Black had no real issues. But as the moves were made, it became clear that White (Aryan) had a strong attack and that Black had to play accurately to fend it off. Swapnil couldn't defend in the best manner and lost his queen towards the end.

Marimuthu (right) from Coimbatore set a sly trap out of the opening against Gaurav Gadodia and took home the full point.

White has just played Qd2, what would you play as Black?

If you too played like Marimuthu with ...Nxd4 then you have the right idea, but the wrong execution because ...Nxd4 is met with Qxd4! Hence, it is important to start with Nxe4 when the key point of the entire combination is that Nxc6 is met with ...Qxc3!

The game between Deeptyajeet (left) and Ashwin Makvana (right) was a draw

Results of round 1:

111604Patra Subhendu Kumar0 - 1Kishan Gangolli199614
221698Patil Shirish0 - 1Yudhajeet De167813
331753Soundarya Kumar Pradhan0 - 1Krishna Udupa171112
441749Gaurav Gadodia0 - 1Marimuthu K161311
551813Aryan B Joshi1 - 0Swapanil Shah167810
661744Makwana Ashvin K½ - ½Deeptyajeet De16079
771611Prachurya Kumar Pradhan1 - 0Samant Milind16728

Ranking crosstable after Round 1

Rk.NameRtgFED1234567891011121314Pts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
1Marimuthu K1613IND*11,00,00,001,0
Krishna Udupa1711IND*11,00,00,001,0
Yudhajeet De1678IND*11,00,00,001,0
Kishan Gangolli1996IND*11,00,00,001,0
5Aryan B Joshi1813IND*11,00,00,001,0
Prachurya Kumar Pradhan1611IND*11,00,00,001,0
7Makwana Ashvin K1744IND*½0,50,50,250,0
Deeptyajeet De1607IND½*0,50,50,250,0
9Patra Subhendu Kumar1604IND0*0,00,00,000,0
Patil Shirish1698IND0*0,00,00,000,0
Soundarya Kumar Pradhan1753IND0*0,00,00,000,0
Gaurav Gadodia1749IND0*0,00,00,000,0
Samant Milind1672IND0*0,00,00,000,0
Swapnil Shah1678IND0*0,00,00,000,0

Contribution from the chess community:

There were no backers or sponsors for the Blind National Premier 2018. We called upon the chess community to contribute towards the cost of the event. The total amount that was required was Rs. 5,12,000. And we are proud to say that in two days, chess players from all over India have contributed Rs. 2,93,153.

No. Amount Name
1 5000 Sachin Samant
2 2000 Rochelle D'souza
3 11000 Madhusudan Iyer
4 1000 Atul Dahale
5 10000 Ritu Mohit Bhandari
6 25000 Sainath Ramanathan
7 2000 Priti Mahendru
8 1000 Mamta wadhwa
9 5000 Shailesh Gadre
10 5000 Avathanshu Bhat
11 500 Rekha  Raghavan
12 1000 Vikas Sharma
13 10800 Rekha Pinkesh Nahar
14 1000 Aditya Mukund Kulkarni
15 2100 V j gupta
16 500 Nishchint Sharma
17 1500 Jeet shah
18 5000 Swapnil Kothari
19 11000 Sanjoy Shome
20 1000 Sudhahar
21 1000 Giriappa T Amin
22 2000 Vanita Noronha
23 500 Rajesh gupta
24 1000 Tamojit Chakraborty
25 200 Devansh Singh
26 5000 Shubham Sanjiv Kumthekar
27 100 Harshal Pramod Patil
28 10000 Sushir Lohia
29 2000 PAVAN BNB
30 2000 Nitish Mittal
31 5000 Sudip Singh
32 2000 S C AGARWAL
33 1000 Deepak chavan
34 1500 sanjeev Tambe
35 2000 Laishram Imocha
36 1000 Niranjan Prasad
37 2000 Niranjan Prasad
38 500 Eshan Tilwani
39 10000 Vedaprakash PC
40 5000 Vivek Gupta
41 2000 Prathamesh Mokal
42 1000 Chaitanya Kulkarni
43 251 Aditya Vimal
44 1000 Mitul KH
45 1000 Aruna Shiv shankar Singare
46 2000 Sneha Ghatpande
47 2500 Abdesh Jha
48 10000 Anand Kashelkar
49 27000 Mullick Somnath Charitable trust
50 1001 Ramkrishna Kashelkar
51 2000 Aravind
52 2000 PR Krishna
53 1000 Aniruddha Deshpande
54 3000 Sundararajan Kidambi
55 2500 Rahul Anil Bhagwat
56 5000 Himanshu Kumar
57 500 Rohan Bharat Joshi
58 500 Yoges kumbhar and Deepak vaychal
59 5000 Romit
60 700 Vishal Sodani
61 2000 sankaran ponnada krishnaswamy
62 1000 Durgaprasad Mahapatra
63 1500 Priyanka Ved
64 1001 CMA (Dr.) Ashish Thatte
66 500 VIMAL RAJ M
67 1000 Pankaj arora
68 2000 Vikrant Malvankar
69 1000 Satyajit Basak
70 2000 Sureshkumar .T.J
71 30000 Karthik Rangarajan
72 10000 Jayaram Swaminathan
73 1000 Bina Manoj Sanghvi
74 10000 Amruta and Sagar
  293153 TOTAL

We are closer to the goal now, but still some distance to travel. Rs. 5,12,000 looks like a realistic possibility. If you feel like it, please contribute towards this noble cause.


You can also contribute directly to the bank of AICFB. Here are the bank details:

All India Chess Federation For The Blind

Indian Bank

SB a/c: 415222082


Address:  Ground floor, United India Building, Sir P. M. Road, Fort Branch, Mumbai – 400001.


If you do make a direct payment to the above-mentioned bank please send a mail to with a copy (cc) to chessbaseindia@gmail.comwith the amount of contribution, your name, address and Permanent Account Number (PAN). These details are mandatory for tax purpose.

Radio chess:

Radio Chess is an initiative by the AICFB for its players. To keep them abreast with the latest chess news, interviews and updates. However, I think this app is useful for any chess player. Try to download it from the Google playstore and we are sure you will find this to be a valuable resource.

This app is available in Google Play Store. Radio Chess is a brainchild of Dr. Charudatta Jadhav. 

Visit the tournament hall, today!

4th February 2018 is a double round day at the National Premier blind. The first round begins at 9 a.m. and the next one at 2.30 p.m. It will go on until 6.30 p.m. If you are in Mumbai, try and visit the event. You will get a feel for how these players play, the challenges they face and how much concentration it takes to play a game when you cannot see the pieces. Here's address on the google maps:

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