IBCA World Teams Round 1: Aryan's lightning win not enough to overcome Ukraine
The 8th IBCA World Team Championships 2018 kicked off on Saturday, 21st of July. The Indian team is one of the lower seeds at the event, but are filled with great aspirations. In the first round India faced the favourites of the tournament Ukraine. The lads gave a very tough fight including Aryan Joshi's scintillating 21-move win over his much fancied opponent. Kishan was also better in his game, but lost the thread in the early middlegame. Indians lost to Ukraine 3-1, but have already showed some promise. In this article we not only acquaint you with the ambience of the event, but also take you through the journey of travelling from Mumbai to Sofia.
Getting there - From Mumbai to Sofia
By Sagar Shah
It was quite a new experience for me to travel with six players who were visually challenged. Sports Authority of India did support the team with ten lakh rupees but having two International events World Team Championship and World Juniors (as well as Women's World Championship) meant that AICFB was short on funds. Of course, getting a regular sponsor for blind chess is never easy and hence the next logical step is how exactly should one cut the costs. This time it meant that the team was reduced to just seven people. Five players, one coach and Charudatta Jadhav, who is not just the AICFB President but also the president for IBCA (World blind body like FIDE).
I was gearing up towards a lot of running around work related to check in, security check, immigration etc., when I realized that my task was going to be much easier. The authorities at the Mumbai airport were extremely helpful and gave us a VIP treatment in every process and dropping us to our gate in a small electric car! Perhaps this was the smoothest process of reaching my gate ever in all these years of travelling!
There are things that you learn on every trip that you go to. But when you travel with the visually challenged, an entirely new world opens up in front of you. Take for example the above picture. It seems as if Charudatta Jadhav (on the left) is sleeping. However, Charudatta is in fact watching a movie. Being 100% blind, it doesn't matter if he has his eyes open or closed. He might as well keep it closed and focus entirely on the words and dialogues! Often I see Charudatta and Soundarya (they both are 100% visually impaired) working on their laptops with their screens turned off! For a person like me it was something unfathomable. How were they able to work with the same or perhaps even more control and clarity than the sighted people? That's because they have accepted the missing part in their life and decided to make use of their remaining faculties in the best possible way.
The opening ceremony:
The format of the tournament:
The tournament is divided in two groups. 8 teams in group A and 8 teams in group B. Top two teams in each section after playing seven rounds of Round Robin will move to the semi-finals. India is the last seed in group B and has strong teams like Ukraine, Poland and Spain in their group. As for Group A we have the top seeds Russia, followed by Serbia and Germany. Here's a breakdown of the teams along with their average ratings and composition.
|1. MACEDONIA (RtgAvg:1980 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 1) Captain: Nedev, Trajko|
|2. GREAT BRITAIN (RtgAvg:1957 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 1) Captain: Armstrong, W|
|1||CM||Ross Chris N||2214||ENG||410411||0,5||1,0|
|2||Hilton Stephen H||1874||SCO||415030||0,5||1,0|
|3||Benson Paul J||1928||ENG||406678||0,0||1,0|
|4||Armstrong William G||1812||ENG||413712||0,0||1,0|
|3. BULGARIA - 2 (RtgAvg:1217 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0,5) Captain: Patev, Petko|
|2||Atanassov Venko G.||0||BUL||2938928||0,0||1,0|
|4||Ganev Boyan P.||0||BUL||2938910||0,5||1,0|
|4. TURKEY (RtgAvg:1735 / TB1: 2 / TB2: 4) Captain: Yilmaz, Fatma|
|5. VENEZUELA (RtgAvg:2029 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|1||Abiad Parra Victor||1945||VEN||3909468||0,0||1,0|
|2||Rivas Cabrera Edgar||2041||VEN||3906329||0,0||1,0|
|3||Otero Munelo Harlen Jose||2124||VEN||3902005||0,0||1,0|
|4||Munoz Gonzalez Aaron Adonai||1687||VEN||3909557||0,0||1,0|
|5||IM||Gamboa Gonzalez Anibal||2005||VEN||3900185||0,0||0,0|
|6. RUSSIA (RtgAvg:2359 / TB1: 2 / TB2: 3,5) Captain: Meshkov, Yuri|
|3||IM||Meshkov Yuri A.||2322||RUS||4107101||0,0||0,0|
|7. SERBIA (RtgAvg:2202 / TB1: 2 / TB2: 3) Captain: Ivanovic, Nikola|
|8. GERMANY (RtgAvg:2156 / TB1: 2 / TB2: 3) Captain: Bode, Wilfried|
|1. INDIA (RtgAvg:1712, Captain: Sagar Shah / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|2||Soundarya Kumar Pradhan||1808||IND||25051822||0||0|
|3||Aryan B Joshi||1623||IND||35055933||0||0|
|5||Makwana Ashvin K||1749||IND||5081912||0||0|
|2. ROMANIA (RtgAvg:2001, Captain: Pribeani Dacian / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|3. SPAIN (RtgAvg:2150, Captain: Kogan, Artur / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|1||Palacios Perez Manuel||2196||ESP||2205505||0||0|
|2||Clemente Llamero Roberto||2140||ESP||2257696||0||0|
|3||Fernandez Manrique Agustin||2160||ESP||2231000||0||0|
|4||Aguilar Sevilla Diego||2102||ESP||2217945||0||0|
|4. POLAND (RtgAvg:2309, Captain: Tazbir, M / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|5. BULGARIA - I (RtgAvg:1965, Captain: Razim, Nizam / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|4||Stoyanov Stojan Slavov||1946||FID||2910918||0||0|
|6. ITALY (RtgAvg:1818, Captain: Gori, Andrea / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|7. SLOVENIA (RtgAvg:1972, Captain: Kasmac, Blaz / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
|8. UKRAINE (RtgAvg:2276, Captain: Zsiltzova, L / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0)|
Round 1: India loses to Ukraine 3-1
by Prachurya Kumar Pradhan
|Bo.||1||INDIA||Rtg||-||8||UKRAINE||Rtg||1 : 3|
|2386||0 - 1|
|2292||0 - 1|
|2121||1 - 0|
|2102||0 - 1|
In the VIII IBCA world Team Championship for The Blind and Visually Impaired being played in Sofia, Bulgaria, spirited India found the mighty Ukraine too hot to handle and went down 3-1 in the inaugural round. However, the young sensation of India Aryan, provided the only silver lining registering a sensational victory against his opponent who had 500 ELO points more than the Indian youngster. Aryan playing on board 3 with white pieces chose the Tarrasch Variation against the French Defence of Kolpakov (2121). Aryan boldly played 13. Nf5 sacrificing a pawn to complicate the position. He went on with a series of sacrifices to drag the black king out of hiding and with mate in sight his opponent resigned on the 21st move.
On the top board, Kishan Gangolli was pitted against IM Oleg Tuka. Kishan from Karnataka played the opening brilliantly forcing his opponent to weaken his king’s position and also give up the bishop pair. Round about early middlegame it seemed as if Kishan would bring the second point home as he was completely better. But the Ukrainian IM rated 2386, was not going to give up easily. He fought tooth and nail and Kishan wasn't able to adjust to this new situation.
On board 3, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan with black pieces played the Bogo Indian Defence and was soon put on the backfoot after he made an elementary opening error. Once the opening mistake was made Sergey Grigorchuk gave his opponent absolutely no chances and finished off the game with some accurate endgame moves.
Ashvin Makwana has been given the duty of holding fort on board four. He wasn't able to get in the groove in the first round and made a miscalculation that cost him a piece.
About the author:
Prachurya Kumar Pradhan, the author of this article, is 100% visually challenged. He is the brother of Soundarya Pradhan and himself an accomplished player. Prachurya finished sixth in the National A blind championships 2018 and has a FIDE rating of 1656. He is currently pursuing Chartered Accountancy and has already cleared one group in IPCC. He will be covering the journey of the Indian visually challenged team in Bulgaria from Odisha.