International Braille Chess Association

                  History of the Organization

         Compiled and Equiped with Combinding Texts by

                      Hans-Gerd Schaefer

                  Translated by Julie Leonard


                        C H A P T E R   I


People have a fundamental need to measure their skills and
knowledge against those of others - to compare themselves. 
Surely it can only be the evolution of mankind as a living
organism that has brought about such behaviour.  The pre-human
evolutionary stage in particular has not only favoured but
positively promoted this conduct both in the daily struggle for
survival and in the process of natural selection that governs
the reproduction of the species.  Man, the "thinking animal",
proved to be such a superior life form that its reproduction
greatly exceeded all natural bounds.  Consequently, mankind's
need to assert itself against other species was lost and the
battle for survival could then only be waged against man's
equals i.e. members of the same species.  Increasingly, it was
no longer other species but fellow men, who began to set the
limits for mankind that influenced the personal development of
humans as well as their daily hunt for food.  For in order to
survive as a species, mankind was forced to find rules and
standards of behaviour for living together, which were tailored
to the population density that had been reached at the time.  In
some parts of the world it must be many thousand or perhaps even
several hundred thousand years ago when it became impossible for
every "pack of humans", or extended family group to claim their
own territory.  Initially, these communities sprang up because
of the requirement to hunt as a group and the equally communal
need to protect the vulnerable women and children during rest
periods.  Communal living substantially improved the conditions
for reproduction and the resulting increase in numbers generated
a momentum, which led to the hunt for meat being replaced with
the domestication of animals and the gathering of fruits and
grains being superseded by agriculture.  The growing population
density necessitated an extension of the rules and standards of
behaviour for living together and as a result hamlets, villages,
towns and national communities were formed.  On the one hand, as
the communities grew they became interspersed with specialised
manual expertise and other skills, but on the other hand, each
individual retained the instincts that had made mankind such a
successful species.  The inclination or even struggle to be the
best is present in man, every man, from birth.  He wants to be
superior to others of his species, even if it is only in certain
ways.  Solely in this respect, social equality actually
preserves some of mankind's unpleasant characteristics.  Man,
due to his very nature, is always fighting for individuality. 
It is for this reason that games are known in all cultures. 
Games keep man's competitive spirit constrained within civilised
boundaries and virtually ritualise it.  Furthermore, there are
suitable types of these ritualised competitions for practically
all age groups from infants upwards.  Also, the rules
universally change according to age and increasing intellectual
abilities as well as the degree of physical development.  Each
individual has the opportunity to discover and develop his own
abilities in order to make his mark.  

Nowadays this fundamental human need is met by organised sports,
in which the spectator serves a peculiar twofold purpose. 
Firstly, he fulfils the active sportsman's need to be recognised
and wondered at on account of what he can do.  Secondly, by
adopting the identity of the community (village, town, nation or
whatever), he satisfies the inherently human needs and instincts
that he was born with.
For nearly three thousand million years there has been life on
our planet.  The forms it has taken have become more and more
involved and complex.  Over the course of time, one or other
life form has developed to perfection each one of the skills
supported by the various environments.  Every ecological niche
has been filled.  Man developed only his intellect.  In every
other discipline - running, jumping, climbing or swimming -
everyone can name dozens of species, or even "specialists",
whose level of skill demonstrates that the abilities and chances
given to man are so hopelessly inferior that no sportsman would
ever even think of wanting to compete with them.  Who would race
against a cheetah?  Who, in all seriousness, could compare his
swimming abilities to those of a dolphin?  Who believes he can
climb through the jungle like a gibbon?  In proportion to the
size of his body, the take-off power of a human competitive
sportsman is practically non-existent when you consider the same
ratio in a flea.  And which boxer, wrestler or all-in wrestler,
however well trained, could take on an orang-utan?  We are
superior to all other creations of nature merely on account of
our intellectual abilities.  For every non-intellectual type of
sport there can only be one single justification: In corpore
sano mens sana.  (A healthy mind in a healthy body.) 


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