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At halfway India is placed fourth in IBCA Olympiad 2017

by Sagar Shah - 24/06/2017

The Indian team at the IBCA Olympiad for the blind and visually impaired began as the 19th seed. But the team has performed admirably and is currently in the fourth position after five rounds. Soundarya Kumar Pradhan and Kishan Gangolli have been the backbone of the team scoring crucial wins to help India win against Montenegro and Azerbaijan in rounds four and five. Report containing pictures from Macedonia, and game analysis.

National Sports Federation of the Blind of Macedonia (NSFSM) and the National Union of the Blind of Macedonia (NSSRM) are organizing the 15th IBCA Chess Olympiad for blind and visually impaired people from 18th to the 27th of June in Ohrid.


There are in all 27 teams at the event and India began as the 19th seed. Indian team is represented by the first five finishers at the National Premier Championship. In the first round itself India created an upset by beating sixth seeded Germans 2.5-1.5. In round two Kosovo was comprehensively beaten 4-0. You can check our round one + two report on the newspage over here.

Round three:

India was up against the top seeds Russia in round three. That's the top board clash between Shirish Patil and Alexey Smirnov.
The Russians were much superior to our players and won the match with a score of 4-0.

Round four:

After losing to Russia, India faced a stiff challenge in the form of Montenegro. On the top board Shirish Patil lost to IM Nikac Predrag, but just like we did against the Germans, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan and Kishan Gangolli won their games. Ashvin drew and ensured that we won with a score of 2.5-1.5.


Soundarya's fine win in the King's Indian:

[Event "15th IBCA Chess Olympiad for Blind and V"]
[Site "Ohrid"]
[Date "2017.06.22"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Soundarya, Kumar Pradhan"]
[Black "Ivanovic, Milan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E94"]
[WhiteElo "1741"]
[BlackElo "1986"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2017.06.19"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "MKD"]
[WhiteTeam "INDIA"]
[BlackTeam "MONTENEGRO"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[BlackTeamCountry "MNE"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e4 Nbd7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O e5 8. a3 {
Not particularly a great move. There is no need to move a pawn on the
queenside right now.} (8. d5 {is more logical.}) 8... c5 9. dxc5 dxc5 10. Qc2
Re8 11. Rd1 a6 12. Be3 b6 13. b4 {Now the move a3 comes in useful!} Qc7 14. Nd5
Nxd5 15. cxd5 Qd6 16. bxc5 Nxc5 17. Rdc1 Bf8 18. Nd2 $1 {A strong move. The
knight will come to c4 and create havoc.} Qd8 19. Nb3 (19. Nc4 $16) 19... Nxb3
20. Qxb3 b5 21. a4 $1 {Breaking the queenside structure and leaving Black with
a weakness.} Bd7 22. axb5 axb5 23. Rxa8 Qxa8 24. Rc7 Rd8 $6 (24... Qd8 $16) 25.
Bg5 $1 Bg4 26. Bxg4 {A fine game by Soundarya.} 1-0

Kishan's French victory: 

[Event "15th IBCA Chess Olympiad for Blind and V"]
[Site "Ohrid"]
[Date "2017.06.22"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Andjic, Borislav"]
[Black "Kishan, Gangolli"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C01"]
[WhiteElo "2122"]
[BlackElo "1964"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "46"]
[EventDate "2017.06.19"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "MKD"]
[WhiteTeam "MONTENEGRO"]
[BlackTeam "INDIA"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "MNE"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. d4 Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd6 6. O-O Nge7 7. h3 O-O 8.
c3 Bf5 9. Nh4 Be6 10. Bd3 Ng6 11. Nxg6 fxg6 $1 {A good move by Kishan. Usually
we are asked to not capture away from the centre. But in this case the f-file
is opened up and the rook is activated. Hence it makes sense to play this move.
} 12. f4 Qd7 13. Na3 a6 14. Bd2 Rf6 15. Rf3 Raf8 16. Qf1 g5 $1 17. f5 Bxf5 18.
Bxf5 Rxf5 19. Rxf5 Rxf5 20. Qd3 Qf7 21. Rf1 $2 Rxf1+ 22. Qxf1 Bh2+ $1 {And
that wins the queen!} 23. Kxh2 Qxf1 {A great game by Kishan. Absolutely no
mistakes!} 0-1

Round five: 

In the fifth round India was seeded higher than their opponents Azerbaijan. Shirish Patil was given rest and Soundarya took the top board. Surprisingly he lost to Shahpalangov. But rest of the Indians took care that all the points were scored and we won 3-1.

Aryan Joshi before the start of his game against Azerbaijani player Habibulla Aghalarov
The Indian team in action

Rank after Round 5

Rk. SNo FED   Team Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 4     POLAND POL 5 5 0 0 10 70,0 15,0
2 1     RUSSIA RUS 5 4 0 1 8 85,5 16,5
3 2     UKRAINE UKR 5 4 0 1 8 79,0 15,5
4 19     INDIA IND 5 4 0 1 8 47,5 12,0
5 6     GERMANY GER 5 3 1 1 7 47,5 12,5
6 18     ITALY ITA 5 3 1 1 7 39,5 11,0
7 3     SERBIA SRB 5 3 0 2 6 59,0 13,0
8 7     MONTENEGRO MNE 5 3 0 2 6 42,0 10,5
9 8     VENEZUELA VEN 5 3 0 2 6 27,5 9,0
10 11     SLOVENIA SLO 5 2 1 2 5 44,5 10,0

India is on the fourth spot currently. After the rest day we will be playing against Ukraine in round six. Check the complete standings here

24th of June is a rest day. The round begins at 3.00 p.m. local time in Macedonia, that is 6.30 p.m. in India. Through great difficulties and challenges they have made their way to the 15th IBCA Olympiad. Let's cheer for our boys out there. With our encouragement we, at ChessBase India, are sure that they will come back with a medal! 

Previous reports on blind events on ChessBase India:

Manipal 01+02: National B for blind gets underway

Manipal 03+04: Top seeds have smooth sailing

Manipal 05-08: Kishan and Soundarya lead National B

Manipal 09: Soundarya wins National B title

Blind Chess in India

Kishan Gangolli scores a hat trick, wins National A

IBCA Asian visually challenged: Kishan Gangolli leads 

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