The Vision Enhancement Clinic (VEC) of Sankara Nethralaya and Lions Club of Central Madras organised the 2nd State Level Chess Tournament with technical support from the Tamil Nadu Braille Chess Association (TNBCA) for the visually impaired at Sankara Nethralaya, Nungambakkam, Chennai on 6thAugust 2022, from 8.30am onwards. The State level Chess Tournament for the visually impaired commemorated the 44thChess Olympiad and the 52nd Charter Nite Celebrations of Lions Club of Central Madras. Around 50 participants took part from all over Tamil Nadu. It is notable that in the women’s category there were about nine participants at the state-level.
Lion Mohammed Naveen, District Governor DIST.324M inaugurated the camp by lighting the Kuthuvillakku and playing the first move with young chess player Mohammed Jamir. Lion Thirumurugan S. President of the Club, Lion.S.Balasundaram, Chairman Charter Nite Committee and many members of the Club, and Dr Rashima, HOD – VEC started the event.
Mr Vignesh General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Braille Chess Association (TNBC) provided the technical support along with his team members. He is an international FIDE rated chess player, Arbiter, and Chess coach. He has arbitrated Chess tournaments at the international levels.
The chess tournament had four rounds under three categories such as under 17 years – Student, Women’s and Open. The atmosphere at the venue tournament was enthusiastic and many participants had travelled overnight to Chennai just for this tournament from the remote districts of Tamil Nadu. The event was sponsored by Mr.Dilip, and Mrs.Viji Dilip family.
The one-day tournament ended with the Prize Distribution Ceremony, held at 4:30 p.m. at Sankara Nethralaya. The occasion was graced by the chief guest Dr.J. Radhakrishnan, IAS, Principal Secretary for Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Department and the guest of honor Mr.B.Vijayakumar (visually impaired), Advocate. Dignitaries Dr Girish Shiva Rao (President – Sankara Nethralaya), Mr Dilip, Lion Mr Thirumurugan, Lion Balasundaram, Lion Rangarajan K, Lion.Dr.N.Muthukumaran and a large number of lions graced the occasion.
Ms Dhanalakshmi (VEC) welcomed the gathering, Lion Thirumurugan President gave the opening speech thanking Sankara Nethralaya and TNBCA for their generous support. Dr Rashima gave a brief about the event and shared the glimpses of the event to the audience.
Dr. Radhakrishnan was appreciative of this tournament and the participants. Also he said, that the participants may not have Vision in their Eyes, but, definitely they have Vision in their Hearts. Hence they prove their Mettle while they read or play. The Principal Secretary also congratulated the Organizers for holding the event at the same time as the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022. He also noted that Braille Chess needs to be promoted more.
Mr Vijayakumar, Advocate spoke on the history of the Chess Tournaments and expressed a desire for Chess Tournaments to be conducted between Persons with Good Vision and the Visually Impaired.
One of the international rated player Mr Jayaprakash R shared his views about the event. He said that the event was very well conducted professionally and wished this could happen periodically for encouraging the young chess players.
Dr. J Radhakrishnan awarded the cash prizes and certificates to the winners and participation Certificates to all. Many of the participants were FIDE rated international chess players, and it was a great experience to watch these players in action. Cash prizes were given to first 10 out of 30 players in the open category , first 6 out of 15 players in the under 17 category and first 5 out of 9 players in the women’s category.
Sankara Nethralaya thanks Lion’s Club of Central Madras for making this event a grand success and Lion R.Viswanathan and Lion.S. Balasundaram for coordinating this tournament at such short notice. Dr. Rashima A., HOD, Vision Enhancement Clinic and the professionals of the VEC team were pivotal to the success of the tournament.