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The IX IBCA World Championship in Ohrid, North Macedonia 

The IX IBCA World Championship in Ohrid, North Macedonia 

The IX IBCA World Championship in Ohrid, North Macedonia . IBCA, the International Braille Chess Association, has conducted its IX World Team Championship. It was with the finalist teams of the IBCA Olympiad 2021. 

The tournament, arranged specially for the Visually and Impaired and Blind. It began on 27 June 2022 and concluded on 8 July 2022. The sixteen participating teams played in the:

  • Round-robin 
  • Double knockout format

 It was done to decide the semi-final and final teams. The sportspeople in this event got equipped with:

  • Braille chess boards
  • Voice recording systems
  • Talking clocks. 

Organizers and Venue

Who were the organizing bodies of this championship? 

  • The National Sports Federation of the Blind, North Macedonia, 
  • Chess Federation of North Macedonia. 

The chief organizer of the latter was Gjorgji Minovski (MKD). The pandemic led to cancellation and postponement of many sports events worldwide.  It also included chess. Therefore, the recent world team championship was a source of motivation for the fraternity. The venue of this tournament was Metropol Luxury Resort Ohrid. It is a much looked-forward place for sportspeople from Europe. 

The Opening Ceremony of the Event 

The opening ceremony of the subject championship occurred on 28 June 2022. Several significant personalities grace the event with their presence. These included:

  • Mr. Naum Jamandiev, Mayor, Ohrid municipality
  •  Dr. Charudatta Jadhav, President, IBCA
  •  Mr. Zarko Selkovski, President, Braille Chess Association, North Macedonia
  •  Mr. Blagoj Mishevski, President, National Sports Federation of the Blind, North Macedonia.

The event began with the national anthem. It got portrayed in an emotional live presentation. It was done by renowned native singers. After this, Mr. Jamandiev offered his heartiest welcome to all the participants. He also mentioned in his speech that Ohrid was one of the few names in UNESCO’s listing. It is to be both a Natural and a Cultural World Heritage Site. 

All chief guests motivated the players through their statements. They highlighted the determination and prospect of Braille players. It was a great source of encouragement for the players. It is worth mentioning here that players from Ukraine also joined this event. They participated amidst the current national crisis. Mr. Jadhav specially cited their participation. He talked about the support. They received it from the entire fraternity’s fundraising. 

IBCA is the apex organization in chess. It is formed for the visually impaired and blind. It has made a praiseworthy arrangement in conducting the entire event. It is a result of coordination and cooperation of organizing authorities. The lockdown restrictions are being lenient worldwide. We hope to witness more such events in the coming days.

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