Coimbatore, Oct. 24 (ANI): The first All India Open Chess Tournament for the visually impaired kicked off in Coimbatore on Saturday.
Over 200 players from 21 states are participating in the five-day national chess tournament for blind.
The tournament will have nine rounds and will be played under the Swiss league system and under FIDE (an international chess organisation).
Vaishali Salavkar, a gold medallist in international chess Olympiad, Greece, is also participating in the tournament.
"I am very happy today to have participated in this national chess tournament being held in Coimbatore. Before this, I had participated in state level chess competition and also national level chess tournament and won many prizes. I represented India at the international level in Spain and Barcelona and in 2004, I represented India in Athens," said Salavkar.
Another participant Srikrishna Udupa, India's first gold medallist in international chess said that the competition would help him to perform better in the 2012 Chess Olympiad.
"I want to achieve better in the 2012 Chess Olympiad and also Chess World Championship to be conducted in Europe in 2010. So I need to practice, to have a practice and to see the tournament and to play with our fellow chess players, I am here," said Srikrishna Udupa, a participant.
Charudatta Jadhav, general secretary of All India Chess Federation for the Blind, lamented the federal government's apathy towards chess for blind.
"The game of chess has to be recognised by the government of India and the simple facility what certain players get, as a sportsmen for example, employment facility for playing this game, the awards and the recognition," said Jadhav.
The winners of the tournament will have the opportunity to participate in the 2012 International Olympiad to be held in India. (ANI)