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  IV

                        Historical Information

Many changes, both in the broad course of history, and in the
fate of a single individual, are often not the result of
detailed planning and precise calculations but rather the
product of fortunate or unfortunate coincidences and favourable
or unfavourable circumstances.  So it was that Reginald Walter
Bonham (1906-1984), who was himself blind and was not only a
very strong chess player but also an enthusiastic one, as well
as an excellent organiser, was teaching maths at the school for
the blind in Worcester from 1929.  At the same time Hermann
Uekermann (1916-1977), a German who was equally enthusiastic
about chess and who earned his living as a telephonist was
residing in Herford, Westphalia.  This chance combination of
circumstances and people was an unquestionable stroke of luck
for the expansion of international blind chess.  In 1958 the two
men joined forces for the greater good of chess for the blind on
an international level and became the main initiators in the
founding of the "Internationalen Blindenschachbundes"
(International Blind Chess Association), which later adopted the
English title of  "International Braille Chess Association"
(I.B.C.A.).  Quite naturally, Reginald Walter Bonham also became
the first president of the association and remained unchallenged
in that post for fourteen years until 1972.  After that he
retired but immediately and gladly accepted the honorary
presidency, which was offered to him by the I.B.C.A. in 1972. 
He died in 1984 at the age of seventy-eight, respected as both
a teacher and a chess player.  

The constitution that the I.B.C.A. adopted at the founding
congress in 1958 in Rheinbreitbach (West Germany) defined the
aim of the organisation, as is usual in this type of
constitution.  The main task was to provide for and cultivate
the "Game of Kings" amongst the blind and partially sighted at
an international level.  The first set of tournament rules,
including the appendix "Playing on Two Boards", was not passed
until in 1972 at the 5th Congress in Pula (Yugoslavia).  But
even today the FIDE Rules still take priority, as is established
in the I.B.C.A. tournament rules.  


On the initiative of the "Deutschen Blindenschachbundes - DBSB"
(German Blind Chess Association) and under the leadership of its
President, Hermann Uekermann (1916-1977), the first
international blind chess congress was held in a holiday home
for the blind, Burg Steineck, (Rheinbreitbach) from the 12th to
the 16th of April 1958.  There were representatives from seven
countries, namely, Denmark, East Germany, France, Great Britain,
Austria, Sweden and the host nation, West Germany.  Amongst
other things, it can be gathered from the report of this first
international blind chess congress that, alongside the approval
of the statutes and the rules for correspondence chess, there
was already a detailed discussion on the membership of national
blind chess associations, rather than of individual players from
the member organisations.  The production of an international
publication for the association was already called for;
unfortunately, for financial as well as technical reasons, the
I.B.C.A. Information Circulars appeared only sporadically over
the years.  

Over and above that, personal acquaintances between players
resulted in close contacts being formed, which were, not least,
extremely useful for the further development of the I.B.C.A..

The role of the committee, which had already been laid down in
1955 when one of the first face to face meetings had taken
place, was now confirmed.  In place of Mr Grusch (Austria), who
resigned, fellow chess player Uekermann became vice-president
and senior civil servant Anton Hartig (Austria), a new member of
the committee, was appointed deputy director of correspondence

Until 1961, with the exception of the meeting in Rheinbreitbach
in 1958, which had naturally included a tournament, the chess
activities of the I.B.C.A. were exclusively restricted to the
organisation of international correspondence chess events and
the associated maintaining of contacts with chess friends from
the individual countries and national chess organisations.   


Once again it was the DBSB that, on the 10th anniversary of its
existence, issued an invitation for both the 2nd I.B.C.A.
Congress and the 1st Blind Chess Olympiad, which would run
alongside it.  These were held at the holiday home for the
blind, which existed at that time in Meschede, Westphalia, from
the 26th of March to the 2nd of April 1961.  Representatives
from seven countries accepted this invitation.  The conferences,
which were always preceded by smaller discussions, were very
extensive and productive.  It was agreed that an annual
Information Circular should be printed and the Director of
Correspondence Chess, Heinz Reschwamm, was appointed editor.

In addition, a resolution to strive for a close collaboration
with FIDE was drafted.  This task was assigned to the President,
R. W. Bonham.  All committee members were re-elected to their
posts.  In a further resolution it was decided that the
constitution and the rules for correspondence chess should be

All delegates unanimously agreed to the suggestion from Knud
Klausen (Denmark), that an I.B.C.A. Congress and a blind chess
Olympiad should be held every four years, coinciding whenever
possible with an Olympic year.

The question of standardising the chess equipment used at
international tournaments was already being addressed at that
time.  Although several attempts have been made since then by
both the third I.B.C.A. President, Dr. Aren Bestman
(Netherlands), and the fifth and present President Delfin Burdio
Gracia (Spain) respectively, a definitive solution remains
elusive, which indicates just how difficult this is to

The problems associated with playing on two boards first became
evident at the 1st Blind Chess Olympiad.  However, today it can
be said that the resolutions passed by FIDE and many national
chess organisations for the sighted, together with tangible good
will and co-operation on all sides, have produced a satisfactory

Not entirely unexpectedly, the Yugoslavian team took the gold
medal at the 1st Blind Chess Olympiad, ahead of the West Germany
(First Team) who were awarded the silver medal and the Austrian
team who earned the bronze.   Equal on points with the Austrian
team, but with a worse tie-break, the team from East Germany
occupied the somewhat unrewarding fourth place ahead of Great
Britain, West Germany (Second Team), Denmark and Switzerland.  

At this event the Braille Chess Association of Great Britain
made an essential contribution to the further development of
chess equipment for the blind and partially sighted when they
introduced a chess clock with a flag.  This confirms the value
of international co-operation most effectively.  In the end,
techniques were developed in this area, that could also be put
to use in devising other equipment for the blind and partially

Mr Linecke, the delegate from East Germany, delivered an
invitation for the 3rd I.B.C.A. Congress and the 2nd Blind Chess
Olympiad in his country in 1964, for which he was heartily
thanked by all the other delegates.  


The 3rd I.B.C.A. Congress and the 2nd Blind Chess Olympiad took
place from the 24th of March to the 3rd of April 1964 in
Kühlungsborn on the Baltic coast of East Germany.  This time
there were eleven delegates from eleven countries taking part in
the congress, while teams from nine countries competed in the
2nd Blind Chess Olympiad. 

The fundamental points dealt with at the congress were once
again connected with the standardisation of playing equipment. 
Agreement was at least reached on the standard markings for
chess equipment: the black squares should be raised and the
black pieces should be marked with a point. 

On the recommendation of the World Council for the Welfare of
the Blind, the definition of blindness, an important criterion
for the I.B.C.A., was set at ten percent of normal vision.  

Furthermore, the Congress now confirmed that the name for the
international blind chess organisation, which had not yet been
decided, would be the English version, "International Braille
Chess Association" (I.B.C.A.).  Mr Quirmbach, the General
Secretary of the German Association of Sport for the Disabled
(DVfV), to which all sports organisations in East Germany, the
host nation, belonged, attended the Congress in an advisory
capacity.  He suggested that some thought should be given to
holding a women's individual championship at some point in the
future.  It was not until many years later that the I.B.C.A.
took up this initiative and put it into effect.  

The subscriptions, that up until then had been based on the
English Pound, were now partially switched over to the Swiss
Franc, which was a significantly more stable currency at the

Furthermore, the representatives of the host nation, East
Germany, announced that as well as being prepared to produce a
tournament bulletin for the 2nd Blind Chess Olympiad they were
also willing to donate to the I.B.C.A. a flag of its own,
designed according to the blueprint submitted by the President,
R. W. Bonham.

The 2nd Blind Chess Olympiad was also won by the team from
Yugoslavia, ahead of Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia,
Great Britain and Sweden. 

The German Blind Chess Association, which was not represented in
Kühlungsborn, sent their best wishes to all participants
together with an invitation for the 1st I.B.C.A. Individual
Championship in West Germany in 1966.  This marked the beginning
of a second regularly held event (in addition to the Blind Chess
Olympiad), which could soon claim a tradition of its own.  


To mark their 15th anniversary, the DBSB (German Blind Chess
Association) held the first individual championship, or perhaps
more accurately, the first European Championship, for at that
time the I.B.C.A. only had European member organisations under
its administration.  

The committee meetings that took place alongside the
championship established, amongst other things, the names that
should be used for the rows A to H on the chess board when
announcing moves in I.B.C.A. tournaments (Anna, Bella, Caesar -
now Caspar -, David, Eva, Felix, Gustav and Hector).

Also, the Secretary and Treasurer, Hans Cohn, put forward the
possibility that the 4th I.B.C.A. Congress and the 3rd Blind
Chess Olympiad might take place in Great Britain to mark the
centenary of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). 

Hans H. Cohn had taken over from Victor Nelson as secretary at
the start of 1965 and then as treasurer in 1966 following
Victor's all too early death.  In Victor Nelson, the I.B.C.A.
had lost one of its most important supporters and most
industrious workers.  At the end of 1964, Victor Nelson, a
founder member of the I.B.C.A. had been obliged to give up the
role of secretary for health reasons and on the 4th of January
1966 he died unexpectedly as a result of a heart attack.  In the
I.B.C.A. we will always honour his memory!  

In various roles, Hans H. Cohn had been on the committee from
the very start and his dedication to the sport of chess
continued.  His life and the work he has done for chess, both
within the I.B.C.A. and outside of it, is worthy of a book of
its own.  Following the death of Dr. Aren Bestman in 1989 he
took over as president of the I.B.C.A. until 1992.

The holiday home for the blind in Timmendorfer Strand on West
Germany's Baltic coast provided the venue for the 1st I.B.C.A.
Individual Championship.  Twenty-two players from seventeen
countries competed in this event from the 3rd to the 11th of
April 1966.  Milenko Cabarkapa became the first European
Champion, level on points with fellow Yugoslav, Djukanovic, on
7.5 from 9 rounds.  Zeitler (West Germany) was third with 6.5

Following him were Erös (Hungary) 6, Kristensen (Denmark) 5.5,
Craciun (Romania), Bonham (Great Britain) and Pokorny
(Czechoslovakia), all on 5 points.  Joint ninth to sixteenth on
4.5 points were Mickeleit (East Germany), Krajewski (Poland),
Winkelmann (Switzerland), Pasteiner (Austria), Bestman
(Holland), Horrocks (Great Britain), Blom (Sweden) and Keating
(Ireland).  In addition to these, fellow chess enthusiasts from
Finland, France and Spain also took part.  


As previously indicated, it was on the initiative of the British
Braille Chess Association, chiefly the then Secretary, Hans
Cohn, and thanks to the generous financial support of the Royal
National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), that the 3rd Blind
Chess Olympiad, in conjunction with the 4th I.B.C.A. Congress,
was able to take place from the 29th of March to the 10th of
April 1968 in Weymouth on the south coast of Great Britain.

The main subjects dealt with in Weymouth at the 4th Congress
were: to convert I.B.C.A. membership from individual membership
of blind and partially sighted chess players to the membership
of national blind chess organisations i.e. corporate membership.

Each national blind chess association would send only one
delegate to future congresses; this regulation remained in force
until the 10th Congress in 1992.  According to the constitution,
individual membership, giving the right to contribute to
discussions but no voting rights, would only be available to
patrons of the association or to individuals whose country has
no national chess organisation.  Additionally, the Congress may
award honorary membership.

It was in this context that a new regulation regarding
subscriptions was passed, whereby national blind chess
associations with up to fifty members would pay an annual
subscription of 50 Swiss Francs to the I.B.C.A., one with fifty
to a hundred members would pay 100 Swiss Francs and one with
more than one hundred members would pay 150 Swiss Francs.  This
subscription structure remained in force until 1996.  
At the election of the committee and its simultaneous expansion
to a total of nine members, Mr Reginald Walter Bonham (Great
Britain) was appointed as president, Herman Uekermann (West
Germany) as vice-president, Hans Cohn (Great Britain) as
secretary and treasurer, Anton Hartig (Austria) was now to be
the press officer and Heinz Reschwamm (West Germany) was the
director of correspondence chess tournaments.  Chess colleagues
Denes (Hungary), Kristensen (Denmark), Lap (Holland) and Sakic
(Yugoslavia) were elected as committee members without offices. 

Furthermore, it was decided that a secretariat comprising of
Bonham, Uekermann and Cohn should be formed, which, when urgent
matters arose, would be able to act without consulting the whole
committee in order to keep the I.B.C.A. running smoothly.  

The question of the arrangements for future I.B.C.A. tournaments
was settled by chess colleagues Lap (Holland), who gave the
commitment that the 2nd Individual Championship would be held in
the Netherlands in 1970 and Sakic (Yugoslavia), who undertook
that the team championship (Blind Chess Olympiad) would take
place in his homeland in 1972.  

With a record entry of twenty teams from nineteen countries this
tournament certainly ranks as a "Major Event".  It gave the
I.B.C.A. the chance to display its truly international identity:
non-European teams from the U.S.A and Israel took part in the
I.B.C.A. Team Championship for the first time.  Another first
for the organisation was the participation of the world's number
one chess nation, the USSR.  This provided the defending
Yugoslavian team with strong competition and at the end of the
tournament the team from the USSR emerged as the winner with a
clear lead.  

The Yugoslavian team took second place and behind them came the
Romanian team, ahead of East Germany, Czechoslovakia (a unified
state that existed at the time, and which was comprised of the
Czech and Slovak Republics), Austria, West Germany, Spain,
Ireland, Great Britain etc. 


Blind and partially sighted chess players from nineteen
countries competed in the 2nd Individual Championship from the
28th of April to the 13th of May 1970 in Ermelo (Netherlands). 
This event was also the first World Championship for the blind
and partially sighted because non-European members, the U.S.A.
and Israel, had joined the association since the 1st Individual
Championship had been held.  The customary committee meetings
took place in parallel with the 2nd Individual Championship of
1970, and along with other things, a revision of the rules for
over the board play, with the assistance of the 2nd Individual
Championship tournament director, Mr H. De Graaf (Holland), an
expert in this field, was at the centre of the discussion. 

The 2nd Individual Championship displayed a significantly higher
standard of play.  Milenko Cabarkapa (Yugoslavia), who had
become the first Individual Blind Chess Champion four years
earlier, had automatically qualified for this tournament, and
this time he earned the title of the first World Blind Chess
Champion with 8.5 points from 11 rounds.  In second place was
his countryman Dragun with 8 points, ahead of Novak
(Czechoslovakia) on 7.5, Kristensen (Denmark) in fourth place on
7 points. Fellow chess players P. Erös (Hungary), W.
Tiefenbacher (Austria), D. Bibas (Israel), P. Sand (West
Germany) and S. Mitev (Bulgaria) were in joint fifth to ninth
place with 6.5 points, whilst Sandrin (U.S.A.) and Traczyk
(Poland) were tenth and eleventh respectively and Bestman
(Holland) was twelfth on 5.5 etc.  It only remains to mention
that at the opening ceremony of the 2nd I.B.C.A. Individual
Championship, the 1st World Championship for the Blind, the
drawing of lots, amongst other things, was carried out by the
former World Champion Dr. Max Euwe (Netherlands). 

The 5th I.B.C.A. Congress (11th of April 1972), once again in
conjunction with the 4th Blind Chess Olympiad, was held from the
6th to the 18th of April in Medulin near Pula (Yugoslavia).

The most notable event was the election of a new committee from
which Reginald Walter Bonham (Great Britain), having served as
president from the very start of the I.B.C.A., now retired on
account of his age.  However, he accepted the life long honorary
presidency, which was offered to him by the I.B.C.A. Congress. 

Other noteworthy points were that the positions of secretary and
treasurer were finally separated and a FIDE liaison officer was
incorporated into the committee. 

Furthermore, the position of press officer was dropped owing to
the discontinuation of the Information Circular, a decision that
is difficult to understand and had consequences, which seriously
endangered the cohesion of the I.B.C.A.. 

At this point it is necessary to add an observation made later
by the 3rd President of the I.B.C.A.: in 1982 the member nations
of the I.B.C.A. numbered thirty-four.  The I.B.C.A. maintained
close contact with the world chess association FIDE and
finalised an arrangement with it in 1972.  The I.B.C.A. and FIDE
granted one another mutual permission to contribute to
discussions at each other's general assemblies as well as the
right to propose motions.  The World Blind Chess Champion was to
be awarded the title of "International Master" (according to the
FIDE Congress in Malta in December 1980 [author's note]), and
this was first bestowed on Sergei Krylov (Russia - at that time
still the USSR).  This award facilitated the integration of
blind chess players by giving organisers an additional incentive
to invite them to international tournaments. 

The election of a new committee brought the following results:
President Hermann Uekermann                                 
(West Germany)
1st Vice-President Milotin Sakic                              
2nd Vice-President Nikolai Rudensky                            
Secretary Hans Cohn                                        
(Great Britain)
Treasurer Max Winkelmann                                     
Director of Correspondence Chess Tournaments Heinz Reschwamm
(West Germany)
Assistant Director of Correspondence Chess McDonald            
FIDE Liaison Officer Dr. Aren Bestman                          
Committee member without office Jokic                         

Extensive consideration was also given to the proposed
amendments and supplements to the I.B.C.A. statutes.  Amongst
other things it was established that in future each delegate
could only collect two votes and that a maximum of two committee
members could be put forward by any one country.

In addition new versions of the Tournament Rules for over the
board and correspondence chess were agreed, and as a result the
correspondence chess program was significantly enhanced by the
inclusion of the Correspondence Chess Olympiad.     

McDonald (U.S.A.) declared that he was willing to organise the
1st Blind Correspondence Chess Olympiad.  

As proposed by the USSR, the Secretariat, the I.B.C.A.'s
executive body within the committee, was extended to a total of
four members by the inclusion of the Director of Correspondence
Chess Tournaments, H. Reschwamm.

The Congress also decided that in future, chess colleagues who
had rendered outstanding services to the development of the
I.B.C.A., and therefore to chess for the blind as a whole,
should be awarded a Badge of Honour and that this award was
first to be bestowed on Heinz Reschwamm (West Germany).

Twenty-two national member organisations took part in the 4th
Blind Chess Olympiad - once again a new record.  The 4th Blind
Chess Olympiad, under the patronage of President Marschall Tito,
was the first one to be run according to the system that is
usually employed by FIDE:

Four preliminary groups - divided according to the results of
the 3rd Blind Chess Olympiad in Weymouth, 1968 - compete for a
place in the final group. 

From the four preliminary groups, the teams from the USSR,
Spain, Yugoslavia, Great Britain, Romania, Hungary, the U.S.A.
and East Germany qualified for Final Group A.

At the end the two teams in front with a clear lead were the
USSR with 21 points and Yugoslavia with 20.5 points.  Once
again, as in 1968, Romania finished third on 15.5, ahead of East
Germany on 14.5, then Spain, Great Britain, the U.S.A. and

In Group B Austria won through against Poland, while in Group C
the Swiss had a surprise victory against the Danes. 


Earlier, Israel had made an offer to host the 3rd Individual
Championship in 1974, but was obliged to withdraw it on account
of the war which broke out in October 1974, the so-called Yom
Kippur War.

So it was once again the "Deutsche Blindenschachbund" - DBSB
(German Blind Chess Association), that stood in and held this
tournament, albeit a little late, from the 17th of February to
the 2nd of March in Bad Berleburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

Twenty-four chess players from twenty-one countries took part. 
The tournament was under the patronage of the royal house of

As is always the case at such events, committee meetings were
also held to deal with the concerns that were current at the
time.  On this occasion Hans Cohn (Great Britain), secretary of
the I.B.C.A., and Max Winkelmann (Switzerland), treasurer of the
I.B.C.A., were awarded the I.B.C.A. Badge of Honour in
recognition of their services to international chess for the

For the first time in such a competition, chess players from
Italy, New Zealand and the USSR were represented.  

Nikolai Rudensky (USSR) became the new World Blind Chess
Champion with 9 points from 11, ahead of Dr. Florian
(Czechoslovakia), who had been hampered by a bad cold in the
last third of the tournament.  Nevertheless he managed to finish
in second place, level with the defending ex-champion Milenko
Cabarkapa (Yugoslavia), on 8.5 points.

After a clear gap, Zeitler (West Germany) and Mehidic
(Yugoslavia) came 4th and 5th respectively with 7 points apiece.

Wünsche (East Germany) occupied the sixth place with 6.5 points,
then Milotzki (West Germany), Manette (U.S.A.), Burdio (Spain),
Walisiak (Poland) and Free (New Zealand) finished joint seventh
to eleventh on 6 points each.


Just one year later, after other countries had notified the
I.B.C.A. that they would be unable to hold the 5th Blind Chess
Olympiad and the 6th I.B.C.A. Congress, Finland hosted these
events from the 7th to the 21st of August 1976, which was a
truly magnificent achievement.

Delegates from twenty-one countries took part in the Congress. 
The most important agenda item was first of all, as always, the
election of the committee, which was presided over by FIDE
representative and fellow chess enthusiast, Helme.

Committee officers Uekermann (president), Sakic (1st
vice-president), Rudensky (2nd vice-president), Cohn
(secretary), Winkelmann (treasurer), Reschwamm (director of
correspondence chess) and Bestman (FIDE official) were
re-elected.  Newly elected committee members were Swein Tore
Fesche (Norway) and Juan Fiter Rocamora (Spain).

At the request of several national representatives the duration
of future I.B.C.A. correspondence chess tournaments was extended
from 1.5 to 2 years.

The matter of standardising chess equipment was once again on
the agenda and this time it was settled once and for all in
favour of the suggestions that had been put forward some time

The Belgian representation generously declared that they were
prepared to take on the organisation of the 4th Individual
Championship, in conjunction with a possible Extraordinary
Congress, in 1978.  Also, the Netherlands was willing to make
preparations for holding the 6th Blind Chess Olympiad in their
country in 1980.  
At the 5th Blind Chess Olympiad, in which twenty-one national
teams competed, there was almost a dead heat for first place
between the teams from the USSR and Yugoslavia.  Both had
accumulated the same number of board points (34.5), so it was
only the match points (USSR 10.5, Yugoslavia 9.5) that decided
it in favour of the USSR, who took the highly sought-after gold
medal for the third time.  On this occasion the team from East
Germany earned the bronze medal with 27.5 points, just ahead of
Romania on 27.  The tournament was under the direction of the
Chief Arbiter, Vashesaar (USSR), who also works in this capacity
for the "Fédération Internationale des checs" (FIDE) and the
"International Correspondence Chess Federation" (ICCF). 

The team from West Germany, which finished fifth, as well as the
team from Czechoslovakia, which finished in seventh place behind
the U.S.A. had substantially improved their performances.  In
eighth place was Great Britain, just ahead of Hungary, while the
Spanish team had slipped back from 5th to 10th.  The
organisation of the event, which had principally been handled by
International Master B"k (President of the Organisation and
Tournament Director) together with fellow chess enthusiast Keijo
Miettinen, was second to none. 


Both the 3rd Individual Championship (9th to 23rd of September
1978) and the first Extraordinary I.B.C.A. Congress (15th
September) took place in the old and historically very
interesting town of Bruges (Belgium).  One of the main reasons
for holding the congress was the sudden death of the 2nd
I.B.C.A. President, Hermann Uekermann (West Germany) on the 27th
of October 1977.  Chess enthusiast Uekermann, a co-founder of
the I.B.C.A., had served as vice-president from 1958 to 1972 and
as president since 1972.  He had been president of the German
Blind Chess Association until 1976 and was a leading figure who
was responsible for running the following I.B.C.A. events; the
Inaugural Congress of 1958 in Rheinbreitbach, the 2nd Congress
alongside the 1st Blind Chess Olympiad of 1961 in Meschede, as
well as the 1st Individual I.B.C.A. Championship of 1966 in
Timmendorfer Strand and the 3rd Individual Championship of 1975
in Bad Berleburg.  We will always remember him with gratitude.

The most important item on the agenda was the election of a new
president, as had been called for by most of the delegates.  On
the suggestion of several delegates, committee member Dr. Aren
Bestman (Netherlands) was elected to this office.  Additionally,
this had the big advantage that, as I.B.C.A. president, he would
now be able to carry out the preparations for the 6th Blind
Chess Olympiad that had been planned to take place under the
best possible conditions in Holland in 1980.

Other items, for example the draft for a new set of tournament
rules, a new version of the rules for playing on two boards,
amendments to the statutes etc., were revised once again and
then presented in a resolution to the Congress of 1980.

In addition, on the request of several national representatives,
it was agreed that a half-yearly Information Circular would once
again be produced. 

With twenty-six players from twenty-five countries competing in
the Individual Championship, the I.B.C.A. could claim a new
record number of participants.  For the first time there was a
player from Indonesia and one from Portugal.  At the finish,
there was a new World Blind Chess Champion, Sergei Krylov
(USSR), who ended the tournament unbeaten on 10 points - he had
only drawn against the players who finished second and third. 
In second place was the defending champion Rudensky (USSR) with
9 points, ahead of Baretic (Yugoslavia) on 8.5.  Klaus-Peter
Wünsche (East Germany), in fourth place with 7 points and Hans
Zeitler (West Germany) on 6 points had changed places, while
Delfin Burdio Gracia (Spain) had moved up from ninth to fifth. 
Considering the strength of the tournament, Dr. Florian
(Czechoslovakia), the former silver medallist, who at the age of
almost seventy was the most senior competitor in the event,
could rightly be content with finishing in ninth place behind
Atanasov (Bulgaria) and Dr. W. Tiefenbacher (Austria).  Also, T.
S. Fesche (Norway), who had been bottom in the 3rd Individual
Championship due to illness, now finished tenth, thereby proving
his true playing strength.  

At the closing ceremony, Roger Dhaenekint (Belgium), the
tournament director, was awarded the I.B.C.A. Badge of Honour,
to the enthusiastic approval of the players.


The 6th Blind Chess Olympiad (13th to 25th of August, 1980) and
the 7th I.B.C.A. Congress (17th of August), were held along with
several committee meetings in the conference centre at
Noordwijkerhout, near the old and respected university town of
Leiden.  The whole of this major event was under the patronage
of Her Royal Highness, Princess Margariet of the Netherlands,
who even insisted on being present in person at the opening

The General Secretary of FIDE, Mrs. Bakker, together with many
representatives of the Netherlands offered words of welcome to
the participants.  

The playing of the Chess Olympiad anthem was particularly
impressive.  Never before had an I.B.C.A. event been prepared
with such thoroughness and generosity.

For the first time, the only way to work through the extensive
Congress Agenda was to run meetings in parallel.  But only a few
points have been selected for inclusion here.

Once again the definition of blindness was up for discussion,
because in previous tournaments as well as at the present one,
many participants continued to suspect that some of their fellow
chess players might have too much sight.  It was decided to keep
the previously established limit of 10 percent of normal vision
or a narrowing of the field of vision by twenty degrees, which
was a new condition. 

Every participant in I.B.C.A. tournaments was obliged to present
to the organiser a certificate either issued by an eye
specialist or validated by the appropriate national organisation
for the blind, to indicate how much sight the player has. 
However, totally blind players only need to provide this proof
on the first occasion when they enter an I.B.C.A. tournament.

Additionally, the statutes were extended to the effect that, in
future, sighted supporters could join the I.B.C.A. and a maximum
of two sighted people could be elected to the committee. 

Furthermore it was decided that from 1981 an international chess
calendar would be produced in which all of the larger
international events that had been planned would be recorded. 
Unfortunately this calendar still left a lot to be desired
because many countries either failed altogether to notify the
I.B.C.A. president of the dates of their events or missed the
The British Braille Chess Association announced that they were
willing to hold the 5th Individual Championship in 1982 on the
occasion of their Golden Jubilee but at that point in time no
organiser had been found for the 7th Blind Chess Olympiad and
the associated 8th I.B.C.A. Congress. 

In recognition of his great achievements at sighted
international chess tournaments, chess enthusiast Baretic
(Yugoslavia) was presented with the I.B.C.A. Badge of Honour.

Teams from a record number of twenty-three countries, including
the first ever Italian team, took part in the 6th Blind Chess
Olympiad in the Netherlands.  On this occasion it was run on
roughly the same system as in 1972. 

The teams from the USSR, Yugoslavia and East Germany reaffirmed
their positions in the 1976 event by once again taking Gold,
Silver and Bronze respectively, while the team from West Germany
finished in fourth place ahead of the U.S.A., Hungary, Poland
and Czechoslovakia.  The highest placed teams in Final Group B
were Bulgaria then Austria and in Final Group C Ireland finished
top just ahead of Norway.

The highlight of the 14 days of play, battle and work was the
closing ceremony and prize-giving, which was carried out by
Ex-World Champion Dr. Max Euwe (Netherlands), with a lot of
participation from everyone present. 


The 5th Individual Championship was held in Hastings, Great
Britain from the 3rd to the 17th of April 1982.  To mark the
50th Anniversary of the oldest national blind chess
organisation, the British Braille Chess Association's committee
had set themselves the goal of holding the 5th Individual
Championship, together with a number of smaller tournaments, in
their jubilee year.  On the occasion of the centenary of the
famous Hastings Chess Club, which was due to be celebrated in
the same year, this lovely town on the south coast of England
promptly offered itself as a venue.  Twenty-seven players from
twenty-four countries fought for glory and their tournament
places over eleven rounds under the experienced control of three
International F.I.D.E. Arbiters; Chief Arbiter and International
Master Mr. Harry Golombek (Great Britain), his assistant Mrs.
Grzeskowiak (West Germany) and Tournament Director Mr. Gerry
Walsh (Great Britain).  For the first time there was a
representative from the South American continent, namely Chile,
amongst the competitors.

That fact that the final positions from second down were only
decided in the last round shows just how hard-fought the event
had been.  The defending Champion, Sergei Krylov (USSR), played
supremely well and followed his success in Brugge by becoming
World Blind Chess Champion for the second time with 9.5 points
from 11 rounds.  In doing so, he also qualified for the title of
International Master, which the FIDE Congress in Malta had
bestowed on World Blind Chess Champions.  

Narrowly ahead of Wünsche (East Germany), who finished in third
place with 7.5 points, Rudensky (USSR) on 8 points managed to
retain the second place that had been his at the 4th Individual
Championship.  On 7 points, fellow chess enthusiast Zier (West
Germany) earned a respectable fourth place, just ahead of chess
master Djukanovic (Yugoslavia).

Chess master Baretic, who had been somewhat unlucky in his
games, was certainly not altogether pleased with finishing in
sixth place on 6.5 points, whereas prior to the event Sandrin
(U.S.A.) would hardly have expected to come seventh.  Eighth to
tenth were Atanasov (Bulgaria), ahead of the youngest competitor
in the tournament, Enjuto (Spain) and Benson (Great Britain).


Unfortunately the U.S.A. was unable to keep its promise of
holding the 7th Blind Chess Olympiad in conjunction with the 8th
I.B.C.A. Congress in 1984.  In 1985, Spain stepped in as a

The 8th I.B.C.A. Congress that was held as part of this event on
the 11th of May 1985 in Benidorm (Spain) partially re-elected
the committee that had been chosen in Holland.  However, two
important posts were filled by new incumbents, Roger Cosandey
(Switzerland) as treasurer and Jan Berglund (Sweden) as
secretary.  During detailed discussions, the Congress mainly
occupied itself with the relationship between the I.B.C.A. and
the "International Blind Sports Association" (IBSA), the
umbrella organisation of all sports for the blind and partially
sighted, but was unable to reach a definitive decision.  The
committee was merely asked to continue talks with the IBSA.

The Tournament Schedule was expanded in two important areas: an
I.B.C.A. Women's World Championship and Junior World
Championship were to be included in the framework.

The 7th Blind Chess Olympiad brought no great surprises.  Teams
from twenty blind chess associations competed in the event,
which was held from the 5th to the 19th of May 1985 and was won
by the USSR.  Here are the results of the competition: 

Position  Country                            Points
1.   .... USSR ............................. 24.0
2.   .... Yugoslavia ....................... 20.5
3.   .... Poland ........................... 15.5
4.   .... West Germany ..................... 12.5
5.   .... East Germany ..................... 12.5
6.   .... Great Britain .................... 11.5
7.   .... Finland ..........................  8.0
8.   .... Israel ...........................  7.5

Some figures are included here to give an idea of the size of
such an event: To start with there was a total of 98 players in
Benidorm - a truly major event.  In addition there were all the
guides, the tournament control team and, not least, those taking
part in the I.B.C.A. Congress, as well as people on the
committee, by no means all of whom were playing in the event,
and who therefore increased the number of people who needed to
be present.  


On behalf of the I.B.C.A., the "Deutsche Blindenschachbund" DBSB
(German Blind Chess Association) held the first Women's World
Chess Championship for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Bad
Liebenzell (West Germany) from the 13th to the 23rd of September
1986.  Twenty ladies took part.  The event was clearly dominated
by Poland.  Teresa Debowska became the first World Women's
Champion of the "International Braille Chess Association" with
6.5 points from 7 rounds, followed by Krystyna Perszewska (both
from Poland).  Annamarie Maeckelbergh (Belgium) finished in
third place with 4.5 points.  The highest placed representative
of the host nation, Hannelore Kübel, was fourth, also on 4.5


Also in 1986 the World Men's Championship was held in Moscow
(USSR) from the 6th to the 20th of October.  Twenty-three
nations competed in this eleven round Swiss event.  The
following people were established as the top players in the

1.   Vladimir Berlinski ..... (USSR) ........... 8.5
2.   Piotr Dukaczewski ...... (Poland) ......... 8.5
3.   Olaf Dobierzin ......... (East Germany) ... 8.0
4.   J"rgen Magnusson ....... (Sweden) ......... 7.5


The 9th Congress was held on the 23rd of May 1988 in conjunction
with the 8th Blind Chess Olympiad, which took place in
Zalaegerszeg (Hungary).  Twenty-five national blind chess
organisations were represented.  It began with the remembrance
of one of the pioneers of the I.B.C.A. and one of its most
industrious workers, the Director of Correspondence Chess, Heinz
Reschwamm, who had held this post since the foundation of the
I.B.C.A. in 1958 right up until his death in January 1987 i.e.
for nearly twenty-nine years. 

The Congress in Zalaegerszeg (Hungary) resolved that the
F.I.D.E. regulations regarding playing times should be adopted
by the I.B.C.A. - six hour playing sessions with two time
controls (40 moves in two hours, then an additional hour for a
further 20 moves).  Only after six hours have elapsed and 60
moves have been played may the game be adjourned.

Once again the Congress looked into the problem of defining
blindness, but without reaching a decision. 

The top eight countries at the 8th Blind Chess Olympiad at
Zalaegerszeg (Hungary), 17th to 30th of April, were as follows:

Position  Country                            Points
1.   .... USSR ............................. 39.0
2.   .... Yugoslavia ....................... 35.0
3.   .... Hungary .......................... 30.5
4.   .... Poland ........................... 28.5
5.   .... Austria .......................... 25.5
6.   .... West Germany ..................... 24.0
7.   .... East Germany ..................... 24.0
8.   .... Great Britain .................... 24.0


Twenty-two players from eleven countries took part in the 2nd
Women's Individual Championship for the Blind and Partially
Sighted, a ten round Swiss tournament that was held in Klimczoke
Bjelskobiala (Poland) from the 1st to the 15th of October, 1989.

Within the framework of this event, the I.B.C.A. Committee met
on the 13th and 14th of October.  Firstly, they commemorated the
death of Dr. Aren Bestman, third president of the I.B.C.A..  The
committee agreed to entrust Hans H. Cohn with handling the
current affairs until the Extraordinary Congress, which was
scheduled to take place in conjunction with the 7th Individual
Championship in Wunsiedel (West Germany) in 1990.  

Spain offered to host not only the 9th Blind Chess Olympiad but
also the 3rd Women's World Championship for the Blind and
Partially Sighted.  Furthermore Delfin Burdio Gracia (Spain),
committee member and future 5th President of the I.B.C.A.,
proposed to the meeting that the I.B.C.A. should establish a new
tradition by introducing the "World Cup Tournament".  Each of
the twelve highest placed member organisations at the last Blind
Chess Olympiad would be invited to send a four-man team with up
to two reserve players to the new event.  The format of the
tournament had already been considered: an eleven round

The committee deplored the fact that there were not enough
tournament controllers available, who were sufficiently familiar
with the concept of playing on two boards, as stipulated for
I.B.C.A. tournaments.  It is necessary for the president, a
vice-president or other committee member to be on the organising
committee of all events at which blind and partially sighted
players take part, or at the very least, to be present at the
more important meetings of these bodies.

In connection with the problem of those players who still have
a sufficiently large degree of sight, there were also
discussions as to whether the use of boards other than the
Braille ones specifically designed for blind people should be
prohibited at official I.B.C.A. events. 

2nd Women's World Championship for the Blind and Partially
Position  Name                      Country       Points
1.   .... Lubow Zsiltzova ......... Ukraine  .... 10.0
2.   .... Teresa Debowska ......... Poland ......  7.5
3.   .... Hannelore Kübel ......... Germany .....  7.5
4.   .... Annamarie Maeckelbergh .. Belgium ...... 6.5


The 7th I.B.C.A. Individual Championship was held in Wunsiedel
(West Germany) from the 7th to the 21st of April 1990. 
Twenty-four member organisations participated in the 2nd
Extraordinary I.B.C.A. Congress, which took place within the
framework of this event.  Following the death of the 3rd
I.B.C.A. President, Dr. Aren Bestman, in 1989, the hitherto 1st
Vice-President, Hans H. Cohn, who had already been performing
the role of president on a temporary basis, was elected by the
Congress to be the new president.  Furthermore, it was necessary
to elect replacements for the retiring committee members, the
Secretary, J. Berglund (Sweden) and the Finance Officer, O.
Runtemund (West Germany).  Delfin Burdio Gracia (Spain) was
elected as 1st vice-president and Piotr Strijniev (USSR) as the
2nd vice-president.  Hans-Gerd Schäfer (West Germany) was
elected to the office of secretary.  The F.I.D.E.
representative, Frantizek Blatny, reported that, in Novi Sad,
F.I.D.E. had rejected the idea of an I.B.C.A. team competing in
the Chess Olympiad. 

To strengthen the relationship with FIDE, the newly elected 1st
Vice-President, Delfin Burdio Gracia, was designated as an
additional liaison officer, a move that was to prove very
beneficial for the organisation.  The 1st vice-president offered
to work on the arrangements for the 9th Olympiad for the
Partially Sighted and Blind in Spain.  In addition, he offered
to bring another I.B.C.A. tournament into being later that year
(1990): The World Cup, to which, according to its definition,
the top twelve teams from the last Blind Chess Olympiad would be

Thirty players from twenty-three national blind chess
organisations took part in the 7th I.B.C.A. Individual
Championship, the World Championship of the Blind and Partially
Sighted.  As expected, Soviet players dominated the competition.

At the end of the eleven round Swiss event, the first eight
places were as follows: 

1  Khamdamov,S..... USR  8.0 .... 5  Dukaczewski,P... POL  7.5
2  Berlinski,V..... USR  7.5 .... 6  Smirnov,S....... USR  7.0
3  Avram,S......... YUG  7.5 .... 7  Lilley,G........ ENG  6.5
4  Magnusson,J..... SWE  7.5 .... 8  Platt,I......... ISR  6.5


The I.B.C.A.'s strongest team tournament, the World Cup, was
held for the first time in the old Spanish royal town of Segovia
in the first half of December 1990.  Eleven teams of four
players each, plus reserves, made the journey to this
all-play-all event.  The experienced FIDE and I.B.C.A. Arbiter,
Roger Dhaenekint (Belgium) controlled the tournament.  Some good
chess was on display here and the media took a keen interest in
it.  Here are the results of the first I.B.C.A. World Cup.  The
figure shown after the abbreviation of the country is the total
number of board points.

1.   USSR .... 32.5           7.   HUN ..... 19.0
2.   JUG ..... 27.0           8.   ESP ..... 17.0
3.   POL ..... 26.0           9.   FIN ..... 12.5
4.   GER ..... 24.0           10.  IRE ..... 10.5
5.   ENG ..... 23.5           11.  ISR .....  6.5
6.   CSR ..... 21.5


The 9th Blind Chess Olympiad took place in Ca'n Picaforte on
Majorca (Spain).  It attracted a record entry of thirty-three

The tenth I.B.C.A. Congress, which was held on the 19th of April
alongside this event, firstly honoured the memory of the
deceased former President, Dr. Aren Bestman, as this was the
first Ordinary Congress since his death in 1989.  The president
acknowledged his contributions.  Afterwards, in his capacity as
chairman of the committee for chess notation, Hans H. Cohn
reported on the drafting of a chess notation for the blind,
which can represent all the information from Chess Informator in
a Braille format. 

The following were newly elected to the committee: President:
Delfin Burdio Gracia (Spain), 1st Vice-President: Ludwig
Beutelhoff (Germany), Treasurer: Bernhard Sueess (Switzerland),
FIDE Representative: Frantizek Blatny (Czechoslovakia), Director
of Correspondence Chess: Jan J. Honing (Netherlands), Committee
Members without offices: Lubow Zsiltzowa (Ukraine) and Saulo
Torres Renifo (Columbia). 

The medals for the 16th Individual Correspondence Chess
Championship for the Blind and Partially Sighted were presented
to the delegates of the appropriate national organisations. 
They had been won by:

Gold   Klaus-Peter Wünsche ....... GER
Silver Friedrich Baumgartner ..... AUT
Bronze Erhard Hoffmann ........... GER

The top fourteen teams in the 9th Chess Olympiad for the Blind
and Partially Sighted, an eleven round Swiss in which
thirty-three national member organisations took part, were as

1.   RUS  ...  34.5           8.   ENG  ...  24.0
2.   JUG  ...  31.5           9.   CSR  ...  23.5
3    UKR  ...  31.0           10.  ISR  ...  23.5
4    POL  ...  29.5           11.  BUL  ...  23.0
5    GER  ...  29.0           12.  SUI  ...  22.5
6.   ESP  ...  24.0           13.  ITA  ...  22.5
7.   CRO  ...  24.0           14.  ROM  ...  22.5           


The 3rd Women's World Championship for the Blind and Partially
Sighted took place from the 18th to the 26th of September 1993,
in the small Spanish town of La Roda (Province Albacete),
approximately 200 Km south of Madrid. FIDE and I.B.C.A. Arbiter,
Frantizek Blatny (Czech Republic) controlled this eight round
Swiss event, in which eighteen competitors from eleven countries
took part.  From the start it was never in doubt that Lubow
Zsiltzova (Ukraine) would successfully defend her title.  It was
indeed a clear runaway victory, although Olga Bondar (also
Ukraine) came away with 7 points from the eight rounds as well.
The four highest placed ladies were:

Position  Name                Country        Points  Tie-Break
1.   .... L. Zsiltzova ...... Ukraine ...... 7.0 ....... 32
2.   .... O. Bondar ......... Ukraine ...... 7.0 ....... 31
3.   .... T. Debowska ......  Poland ....... 5.5 ....... 26
4.   .... C. Salas .......... Spain ........ 5.5 ....... 24


The 2nd I.B.C.A. World Cup Tournament was allocated to Poland. 
It was held during the first half of May 1994 in a holiday home
for the blind in Ustron on the Vistula.  A completely delightful
surprise was in store for the sixty players who made the journey
there by plane and train on the 30th of April.  Everything had
been arranged in the best way possible: the production of the
bulletin, the playing facilities, the accommodation and catering
as well as cultural encounters with the country and its people. 

It should be recorded here that in the committee meetings, which
took place during this event, the I.B.C.A. president made a
report on his participation in the 63rd FIDE Congress of autumn
1993 in Curitiba (Brazil).  On this occasion the I.B.C.A. not
only became entitled to a seat and a vote at the FIDE Congress,
but was also given the right to send both a men's and a women's
team to the 31st FIDE Chess Olympiad in October 1994.  

A technical note regarding the following table: At the previous
(9th) Olympiad in Ca'n Picaforte, which by definition was judged
to be the qualifying event for the World Cup, the Czech and
Slovak Republics had earned their place jointly whilst playing
together as Czechoslovakia.  Despite the two states having
separated politically in the meantime, they nevertheless
competed in the World Cup as a single team.  For this reason
their team is still represented with the abbreviation CSR in the
table below.  Here are the results:

1    RUS  ...  35.5                7.   ISR  ...  22.0
2.   UKR  ...  32.5                8.   ROM  ...  19.0
3.   ESP  ...  27.0                9.   BUL  ...  16.0
4.   CRO  ...  27.0                10.  ENG  ...  16.0
5.   GER  ...  26.0                11.  ITA  ...  11.0
6.   POL  ...  22.0                12.  CSR  ...  10.0


It was not until January 1995 that the 8th I.B.C.A. Individual
Championship, with a record entry of thirty-six players from
thirty-one countries, was held in Torrevieja, near Alicante
(Spain) on the coast of the Mediterranean.  An Extraordinary
I.B.C.A. Congress took place alongside it.  New committee
members were needed because the treasurer and the director of
correspondence chess were obliged to give up their posts on
account of health reasons and overwork respectively. 

The president stated that there was now hardly a single member
organisation that was in a position to hold such a huge event
and consequently the I.B.C.A. must tackle the problem itself. 
Therefore there needs to be an individual solution for every
single I.B.C.A. tournament, as for the current event, which was
arranged with the help of the Spanish Organisation for the
Blind, O.N.C.E..  He also reported on his participation in the
63rd FIDE Congress in Curitiba (Brazil) in October 1993, where
the I.B.C.A., as the only international organisation, had become
entitled to a seat and a vote at the FIDE Congress, the same
status as each of the national representatives.  

This resolution, which the I.B.C.A. had long been striving for,
came into effect in 1994.  A women's and a men's team took part
in the FIDE Chess Olympiad in Moscow from the 1st to the 16th of
December 1994.  The women's team consists of three players and
a reserve.  The men's team consists of four players and up to
two reserves.  

It is important to mention that, at the Extraordinary Congress
Torrevieja (Spain), the I.B.C.A completed work on the rules,
including its own set of regulations in respect of titles. 
These had been drafted along the lines of the FIDE model by FIDE
and I.B.C.A. Arbiter, Frantizek Blatny, and the I.B.C.A. 1st
Vice-President, Ludwig Beutelhoff. 

In the I.B.C.A., the radical political changes that began at the
end of the 1980's manifested themselves most noticeably in the
emergence of a number of new member organisations.  The name of
Russia reappeared and other new member organisations came
forward from Latvia, Croatia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan.  

After that the President of the "International Blind Sports
Association" (IBSA), Enrique Sanz Jimenez (Spain), made a speech
to the delegates.  He promised unified action and a united
organisation of all blind and partially sighted people. 
Admittedly, the Congress was unable to reach a final decision to
affiliate the I.B.C.A. to the IBSA on account of the frequent
obstacles presented by state regulations in many Western
European democracies.  Even the relevant rules of the IBSA only
allowed for national representations.  However, since this time
the two organisations have worked so closely together that the
International Braille Chess Association is a de facto member of
the IBSA.

The new member organisations were well represented in the
results of the Individual World Championship for the Blind and
Partially Sighted.  The new champion came from Asia
(Kazakhstan).  The top twenty places were as follows: 

1.  Jounoussow (KAZ)  7.0     11. Zsilzowa (UKR) .. 4.5
2.  Berlinski (RUS) . 6.5     12. Rehorek (CZE) ... 4.5
3.  Suder (POL) ..... 6.0     13. Torres (COL) .... 4.5
4.  Krylov (RUS) .... 5.5     14. Alon (ISR) ...... 4.5
5.  Wassin (UKR) .... 5.5     15. Rev (HUN) ....... 4.5
6.  Durban (ESP) .... 5.5     16. Benson (ENG) .... 4.0
7.  Sakic (CRO) ..... 5.5     17. Peltonen (FIN) .. 4.0
8.  Irimia (ROM) .... 5.0     18. Palacios (ESP) .. 4.0
9.  Markov (JUG) .... 5.0     19. Raigna (EST) .... 4.0
10. Cabarkapa (JUG) . 5.0     20. Doyle (IRE) ..... 4.0     


In the first half of July 1995, following an idea from the
I.B.C.A. President, Delfin Burdio Gracia, the first I.B.C.A Open
Championship was held in Benasque, Huesca, in the Spanish
Pyrenees.  A player from each of the European member
organisations was invited and a place was available to every
member of these member organisations.  Seventy-five players from
Europe and Israel took part.  The reigning I.B.C.A. Individual
Champion from Kazakhstan finished in fifth place. 

1.  Krylov (RUS) .... 7.5     7.  Durban (ESP) .... 6.5
2.  Zsiltzowa (UKR) . 7.0     8.  Wassin (UKR) .... 6.0
3.  Berlinski (RUS) . 7.0     9.  Pohlers (GER) ... 6.0
4.  Zoltek (POL) .... 7.0     10. Gorbea (ESP) .... 6.0
5.  Jounoussow (KAZ)  6.5     11. Muri (SLO) ...... 6.0
6.  Strijniev (RUS) . 6.5     12. Bibas (ISR) ..... 6.0     


For the first time a major I.B.C.A. event, the 10th Blind Chess
Olympiad, was not to be held in Europe - nor even in the
Northern Hemisphere.  The planned venue was in Brazil.  A Latin
American country had been chosen for two important reasons:
firstly so that the I.B.C.A. could justify its claim of being a
world-wide organisation, and secondly so that the Latin American
blind chess organisations had the chance to participate in the
event in large numbers.  In respect of the second aim, the 10th
Blind Chess Olympiad was not very fruitful as only five Latin
American teams entered.  Nevertheless, the event, which had been
heavily burdened with all manner of imponderables from the
outset, can be described as a success and it was run in a
thoroughly satisfactory way.  

The 11th I.B.C.A. Congress took place on the 9th of July;
twenty-nine national blind chess organisations were represented.

The president summarised that over the last four years that he
had been in office he had at least partly managed to realise his
aims of increasing the membership and improving co-operation
with other organisations for the blind as well as with FIDE. 
The number of member organisations had been increased. 
Relations with the IBSA had been considerably improved.  The
63rd FIDE Congress in Curitiba (Brazil) in 1993, had granted the
I.B.C.A. rights equal to those of a national representative i.e.
a seat and vote at FIDE Congresses, and had accepted a Women's
and a Men's team to participate in the FIDE Olympiad.  

The I.B.C.A. Congress elected the Spaniard, Jesus Montoro
Martinez to the office of treasurer.  Unfortunately, the post of
director of correspondence chess could not be filled.  The three
committee members without office are:
Dr. José Miguel Cabanellas Moreno (Argentina), Edgar Rico
Hernandez (Columbia) and Sergei Krylov (Russia).

In principle, the Congress agreed with the president's
suggestion to hold a European Team Championship. 

A special honour was bestowed on Milenko Cabarkapa who, from
1961 onwards had actively taken part in all ten of the I.B.C.A.

Thirty teams took part in the 10th Blind Chess Olympiad in
Laguna (Brazil) in the State of Santa Catarina from the 1st to
the 10th of June 1996.  The host nation entered two teams.  The
Olympiad took the form of a nine round Swiss and was controlled
by FIDE and I.B.C.A. Arbiter, Frantizek Blatny (Czech Republic),
assisted by Mrs Palas Veloso and Alexandru Segal (both Brazil). 
The top fourteen places were as follows: 

1.  Russia ...... 28.0     8.  Hungary ......... 19.5
2.  Ukraine ..... 24.5     9.  Great Britain ... 19.5
3.  Belarus ..... 22.5     10. Estonia ......... 19.5
4.  Poland ...... 22.5     11. Macedonia ....... 19.5
5.  Yugoslavia .. 21.0     12. Bulgaria ........ 19.5
6.  Spain ....... 20.5     13. Austria ......... 19.0
7.  Germany ..... 20.0     14. Croatia ......... 19.0     
Here is a summary of the players who achieved the best results
on each board: 

     Board 1:                      Board 3:
I.   Krylov (RUS) 8,0         I.   Kaap (EST) 7,5           
II.  Gonzalez (ARG) 7,0       II.  Gerold (AUT) 7,0
III. Wassin (UKR) 6,5         III. Rossikhin (BLA) 6,0      
     Board 2:                      Board 4:
I.   Berlinski (RUS) 6,5      I.   Tatarczak (POL) 7,5      
II.  Katchanov (BLA) 6,5      II.  Tchaitchis (BLA) 7,0     
III. Benson (ENG) 6,5         III. Covas (POR) 6,0          
I.   Jatshyschin (UKR) 5,5
II.  Mikhalev (RUS) 4,5
III. Manacias (GRE) 4,5


The 4th Women's World Championship for the Blind and Partially
Sighted was held in Guadamar near Alicante (Spain) from the 15th
to the 23rd of November 1997.  It took the form of an eight
round Swiss.  For the third time Ljubow Sziltzowa (Ukraine) won
the title very convincingly.  Here are the results:

     Name                     Country   Points    Tie-break
1.   Ljubow Sziltzowa ....... UKR  .... 7.5
2.   Teresa Debowska ........ POL ..... 6.0 ..... 22.5 - 27.5
3.   Annamarie Maeckelbergh . BEL ..... 6.0 ..... 22.5 - 27.5
4.   Irena Skerute .......... LTU ..... 4.5 ..... 21.5


The Spanish town of Logroo, situated half way along the river
Ebro, with roughly 130,000 inhabitants played host to the 3rd
I.B.C.A. World Cup from the 17th to the 27th of February 1998. 
Unfortunately, three of the teams who had qualified for this
event by finishing among the top twelve at the last Olympiad
(Brazil, 1996) were unable to take part for various reasons. 
Therefore there were only nine teams who presented themselves to
compete in this event.  Even the reserve teams who had finished
13th, 14th and 15th in the 10th Blind Chess Olympiad (i.e.
Austria, Croatia and Sweden respectively) were unable to step
in.  Here are the final positions:

1.   Russia .... 23.0           6.   Yugoslavia .. 14.5
2.   Ukraine ... 19.5           7.   Belarus ..... 13.0
3.   Poland .... 19.0 [11.0]    8.   Hungary ..... 11.5
4.   Spain ..... 19.0 [09.0]    9.   Macedonia ...  9.0 
5.   Germany ... 15.5

The individual board medals were won by (the number in square
brackets indicates how many games the individual had played):

Board 1:                           Board 3:
1 Dukaczewski (POL) 7.0 [8]        1. Martinez (ESP) . 5.0 [7]
2. Krylov (RUS) ... 5.5 [8]        2. Avram (YUG) .... 5.0 [8]
3. Wassin (UKR) ... 5.5 [8]        3. Kroeger (GER) .. 5.0 [8]
Board 2:                           Board 4:
1. Zoltek (POL) ... 5.5 [7]        1. Mikhalev (RUS) . 6.0 [7]
2. Berlinski (RUS)  4.5 [7]        2. Yatsyshyn (UKR)  6.0 [8]
3. Zsiltzova (UKR)  4.5 [8]        3. Mora (ESP) ..... 4.5 [7]

The Extraordinary Congress, which was held on the 40th
Anniversary of the I.B.C.A. as part of the 9th World
Championship for the Blind and Partially Sighted, took place
over two days from the 10th to the 11th of July 1998 in Brno
(Czech Republic).  The usual reports on the various activities
of the committee members were received.  At this point it should
be mentioned that the president announced the introduction of a
championship for the American continent.  He also reported the
intention to set up similar events in Africa and Asia, provided
that enough members could be found there.  Four Indian players
were taking part in the event.  The I.B.C.A. president said that
initial contacts with other countries had been made.  

At the end of his report, the 2nd Vice-President, Tadeus
Milewski (POL), invited the member organisations to the 2nd
European Championship in Krynica (POL) in 1999.

The FIDE Representative, Frantizek Blatny, proposed that the
Congress should appoint twenty-four I.B.C.A. Arbiters. 
Frantizek Blatny gave assurances that only arbiters who had
often controlled tournaments for the blind and partially sighted
and who were familiar with play on two boards were included in
this number.  His suggestion was unanimously approved.
The President presented the medals for the 17th World
Correspondence Chess Championship for the Blind and Partially
Sighted.  They were awarded to:

     Gold:     Herbert Z"chling ....... (AUT)
     Silver:   Klaus-Peter Wünsche .... (GER)
     Bronze:   Hans H. Cohn ........... (ENG)

The 9th I.B.C.A. Individual World Championship for the Blind and
Partially Sighted was organised by the Czech association and
took place in the town of Brno (Czech Republic).  In order to
arrange the tournament and the associated Congress, "40 Years of
the International Braille Chess Association", in the most
representative way possible, the committee decided that on this
one occasion up to four players from each member organisation
would be allowed to enter the 9th Individual World Championship.

Eighty-six players from thirty-two member organisations took
part.  Our two chess friends from Yugoslavia, Milenko Cabarkapa,
who had won the first and second championships (Timmendorfer
Strand [GER], 1966 and Ermelo [HOL], 1970) and Predrag
Milicevic, were regrettably obliged to withdraw after the second
round because of an accident involving their guide.  Mouret
Zunusov (2425) from Kazakhstan (FIDE ID: 2010801), who had been
the reigning world champion for four years, was unable to defend
his title.  He finished the tournament in twelfth place with 6
points.  Sergei Smirnov from Russia finished in first place in
the 9th World Championship and in doing so became the new World
Champion of the Blind and Partially Sighted with 7.5 points from
the nine rounds.  

                           Table of Results:
1.   Sergei Smirnov ... (RUS) ....... 7.5
2.   Sergei Wassin .... (UKR) ....... 7.0 . 36.0 . 48.5 . 38.0
3.   Vladimir Berlinski (RUS) ....... 7.0 . 35.0 . 52.0 . 40.0
4.   Juan Durban ...... (ESP) ....... 7.0 . 33.5 . 44.0 . 35.5
5.   Jan Tatarczak .... (POL) ....... 7.0 . 32.0 . 48.0 . 38.0

                     The following players all had 6 points:
6.   K. Bjering (DEN)          11. V. Tchaitchits (BLR)
7.   S. Krylov (RUS)           12. M. Zunusov (KAZ)
8.   I. Rossikhin (BLR)        13. J. Martinez (ESP)
9.   P. Dukaczewski (POL)      14. B. Rosican (LTU)
10.  T. Zoltek (POL)           15. V. Smoliakov (RUS)


The International Braille Chess Association is associated with
FIDE according to an agreement in 1973.  Since the 31st FIDE
Chess Olympiad in Moscow 1994 an I.B.C.A. team has played in
both the Men's and the Women's events.  The I.B.C.A. is the only
non-national organisation to whom FIDE has granted this right. 
What about the results?  Naturally they will follow shortly and
they illustrate that blind and partially sighted chess players
are capable of the same level of achievement that is sustained
there.  But it is much more important, to quote loosely from
Pierre De Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement,
that the blind and partially sighted have the chance to
participate, as well as to show that they have developed
techniques, which allow them to compete against sighted chess
players.  They should have the opportunity to demonstrate that
they also can experience the joy of the "Game of Kings".

                      31st FIDE Olympiad

The I.B.C.A. Women's team comprised of the I.B.C.A. Women's
Champion, Lubow Zsiltzowa [10.5 points from 13 games] (Ukraine),
Olga Bondar [4 out of 11] (Ukraine), Teresa Debowska [4 out of
12] (Poland) and Concepcion Salas [1.5 out of 8] (Spain).

With a performance of 10.5 points from 13 games, the Ukrainian
lady, Lubow Zsiltzowa, beat the best known female players in the
world by winning the Gold Medal for the best results on board


                    The World Women's Champion

This section is dedicated to the Ukrainian lady, Lubow
Wassiljewna Sziltzowa, multiple winner of the I.B.C.A. World
Women's Championship for the Blind and Partially Sighted.  The
fourth child in the family of the teacher, Lyssenko, she was
born on the 20th of October 1956 in the village of Beresnjaki in
the Cherkassy area of the Smela district.  All members of the
family played chess and Luba, as she is known throughout the
I.B.C.A. where she is valued as a person as much as she is
feared as an opponent, naturally accrued her combinative powers.

From virtually her first year in school onwards, her talent was
discovered and was steadfastly encouraged by Roman Viktorowitsch
Bojarintzew, who was the leader of the chess circle from the
House of Pioneers and an excellent teacher.  However,
Bojarintzew always adhered to the principle that "sport should
never disrupt a normal education".  He also placed great
emphasis on the necessity of fairness in chess.  

Luba felt that her pursuit of chess and the skills she acquired
from it were of benefit to her in daily school lessons.  Whilst
still a young girl she greatly enjoyed travelling, which, as a
strong player she was able to do in order to get to the various
tournaments and matches.  In 1969, as a girl still in her sixth
year at school, she attained the title of Smela Women's Champion
- a great achievement.  

She won many a tournament.  What was her style of play?  She
preferred to be on the attack.  Bojarintzew was a dedicated
supporter of e4 openings.  In her early years Luba played the
King's Gambit; probably because the first chess theory book that
was available to her had been written by Emanuel Schiffers in
1896 and the King's Gambit was very highly thought of at that


Members of the Men's team were: Sergei Krylov [8.5 points from
13 games] (Russia), Piotr Dukaczewski [6.5 from 13] (Poland),
Durban [2 from 9] (Spain), Sergei Wassin [6 from 11] (Ukraine),
N. Rudensky [3.5 from 9] (Russia), D. Burdio [0 from 1] (Spain).

                         Final Results:        

With 20 points from a possible 42 the women's team came 54th out
of 81 teams.  

The men's team finished 80th out of 124 with 26.5 points from a
possible 56. 


                      32nd FIDE Olympiad

Two I.B.C.A. teams (a women's and a men's) took part in the 32nd
FIDE Olympiad.  The women's team achieved 58th place out of 74
teams and the men's team finished 71st out of 113.  Playing for
the I.B.C.A. were:

Women: Teresa Debowska [8.5 from 14] (Poland), Concepcion Salas
[5.5 from 13] (Spain), Jozefa Spychala [4.5 from 12] (Poland),
Angela Karnisian [0.5 from 3] (Captain - Armenia).  A total of
19 points.  Coach: Richard Bernard (Poland).

Men: Sergei Krylov [7 from 13] (Russia), Vladimir Berlinski [9
from 14] (Russia), Piotr Dukaczewski [4 from 10] (Poland),
Dieter Bischoff [4.5 from 10] (Germany), Julio Mora [1.5 from 6]
(Spain), Delfin Burdio Gracia [0.5 from 3] (Spain). A total of
26.5 points.  Coach: Victoriano Gallego (Spain).



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