In early 1980’s, some organizations started to be established in Mumbai and other places in India that caters to sports among the blind community. These organizations mostly concentrated on chess and cricket. However, no systematic efforts were made to amalgamate these efforts with global movement in this field. These efforts only shaped up in middle of 1990’s.
It was mainly through the efforts of some adventurous blind people that these efforts started bearing fruit. An offshoot of these efforts was the setting up of All India Chess Federation for the Blind.
The All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) was established in 1997 and has been working for the promotion of chess in India for the blind. International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) which is responsible for the development & organizing chess activities amongst the visually impaired all over the world, granted affiliation in 1998. 18 state bodies are affiliated & more than 2800 active chess players have been registered with AICFB. We have organized 41 Zonal levels chess tournaments, 29 National level tournaments & sent 16 times Indian Chess Teams to participate in the World Chess Championship.
Ever since the formation of the AICFB & its Affiliation to the IBCA, & AICF (recognized by Govt. of India) blind chess players in our country have made tremendous progress. The following are the major achievements of last 12 years of AICFB.
- Organized the National Chess Championship for the Blind 1998, the tournament was the biggest chess tournament for the blind in India.
- International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) granted affiliation in 1998.
- In past 13 years, conducted 12 National championships, 17 National open, 41 zonal championships and more than 60 state and district level tournaments across India.
- Send 16 Indian teams for world chess championships in just 13 years with three major meddle winning performances, i.e. Mr. Charudatta and Mr Shirish won second and third place respectively in Irish Open International chess tournament in 1998, the first meddle winning performance by Indian blind players; Mr. madan won bronze meddle on second in chess Olympiad 2000 in Poland, first meddle in Olympiad; Mr. Uduppa won gold meddle on forth board in chess Olympiad 2008, first gold meddle by a blind chess player.
- Initiated and successfully conducted 11 annual selection cycles to select the Indian teams for world chess championships which consist zonal, National B and National A championships.
- Conducted first ever-Asian Chess Championship for the Blind in Mumbai in Dec.2003. This was the first International Chess tournament for the blind in the history of India.
- Released Braille chess book on ‘Opening Royal Lopez’ compiled by Mr. Charudatta Jadhav Gen. Sec. On 15th Dec.2003.
- Received 9th NSCB National Sports Award 2003-2004 as the most outstanding Institute Promoting Sports for the Blind in India.
- Gen. Secretary Mr. Charudatta Jadhav appointed on the four-member Executive Board of the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), the apex World body in 200 and renominated in 2004.
- Mr. Charudatta Jadhav is appointed First Vice President of IBCA; he is first and only Asian to get this honor.
- Produce 11 chess books in DAISY format in year 2008-9.
- Organised 11th Individual World Chess Championship for the blind at Goa in 2006, India became the first Asian country to hold official world chess championship for the blind.
- Initiated unique and ambitious programs like “Talent development program”, “Chess in Schools for the blind” and “Talent hunt”, which yielded good results and now India has 29 FIDE rated players.
- Organized 14th IBCA Chess Olympiad in India, Chennai in 2012, Mr. Kishan Gangolli on 2nd table won bronze medal and India take position on 5th Place.
- In World Junior Chess Championship held in Serbia, August 2013, India created history in blind chess. Mr. Darpan Inani won bronze medal.
We are happy to share with you, in last 12 years, we have successful in spreading the game in every corner of India, Created federal structure for better management, introduced annual selection cycle, regular participation in World Chess championships with several medal winning performances, organised several domestic tournaments (National A, National B, National Open, Zonal , state championships, National Team championships, Junior national championships) along with official international championships ( 11th Individual World Chess Championship 2006 and Asian chess Championship 2003), provide infrastructure to the chess players for improve their game (chess software with speech, Braille and audio books, coaching camps, participation in the tournaments with sighted players)and provided leadership with sound contribution at world level through International Braille Chess Association (IBCA).
Journey of last 13 years gives us satisfaction and pride but all this would have been not possible without the support of our state units, AICFB’s office bearers, corporate sector, Government of India and well-wishers. We are grateful to all of those who directly or indirectly had given continuous support to AICFB and all its activities.
We believe that we have so much to be proud of, but we know that so much more needs to be done. Our vision is to bring India in top of world map in next five years. We have set goals and created a long term plan to achieve our goals. We know its tough challenge but with a clear direction and focused approach, we are ready to take on the next challenge.
Goals set for journey ahead
- Improve the over all standard of blind chess in India
- Penetrate the interior part of our country, Focus is children below 16 years bullet Provide specialized chess equipments to all the players, academies, NGOs and schools
- Individual base coaching program for top 33 players (25 seniors and 8 under 16 years)
- Provide accessible chess material to all the players (Braille and audio)
- Develop online library for chess books
- Preparation of Chess Olympiad 2012
- Promote chess as a learning tool across India
In last 13 years, AICFB has carried out all its activities without the appropriate infrastructure, mainly without the administrative staff and small place from where AICFB can operate and execute all the programs and activities effectively. In spite of these constrains and challenges AICFB is able to achieve all the set goals and we are proud on our achievements. We are confident that we will surely achieve goals set for journey ahead with implementing following programs,
- Classroom base chess coaching program for all levels of players
- Computer lab with chess playing and coaching facilities
- Chess in schools for the blind
- Talent development program
- Library of chess books in audio, Braille and DAISY format
- Production of DAISY chess books and periodicals
- R&D center to provide new technological solutions to the chess players to prepare for bigger tournaments
For looking AICFB New Organization profile Click here
I appeal all the players, state units, sponsors, central and state governments, media and all the well wishers to come forward and join our hands to bring India on top of world map.