Sai Krishna best in chess for visually impaired
Sixteen-year-old Sai Krishna with a score of 6/6 won the chess tournament for the blind organised by SDAT-TNSCA in celebrations of the World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.
Chess for the blind is very popular in the state, thanks to the effort of TNSCA. Specialised braille-aided chess boards were used for the tournament which was a grand success with the 76 participants. The tournament was played in a six-round Swiss format.
Sai, who takes part in regular tournaments, was thrilled to win the event. “I am happy and delighted to win the tournament. It is even more special because the tournament was conducted in the honour of Anand’s match,” said Sai.
Sai, who studies in XIth standard at the St Louis School for the Blind, attributed his win to practice and encouragement from his school. “Participating in tournaments (open, age group) on a regular basis has helped me sharpen my skills. I have won state meets in U-16 and U-14 categories. This has helped me win today,” said Sai.
Was the 76-player draw tough? “I had a good start, but towards the end I had to work hard as I faced stiff opposition from K Muthuraman. But my experience came in handy in the end,” said Sai.
Sai loves chess and has been playing from the age of five. He has won several tournaments from a tender age and has taken part in National Open events and tasted success. He attributes his improvement to his coach RB Ramesh.
“My growth as a chess player is thanks to my coach Ramesh. I practise regularly at Chess Gurukul and have been improving with every passing year. My aim is to be the first blind IM from Chennai,” said Sai.
WGM Aarthi Ramesh, who coaches at Chess Gurukul, has a word of praise for Sai. “He is very talented and a good chess player. Despite his condition he is able to take part in regular tournaments. He is able to grasp and understand moves,” she said.
Sai takes pride in being part of the Indian team that took part in the Blind Olympiad. “It was great to play the tournament. Individually I came sixth and as a team India came eighth,” said Sai.