Raphael J. Zimmer wins World Junior Championship for Disabled Print
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 07:31

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Raphael Johannes Zimmer (Germany) Wins the 1st FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled

Press Release
By Beatriz Marinello
Photos Copyright: Dora Martinez

FLORIDA (USA) - Raphael Johannes Zimmer from Germany wins the 1st FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled with a perfect score of 7/7 points.

FIDEWJCCfDGroupPhoto Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
(Back; l-r) William J. Broich, Chief Arbiter; Steve Lampkins, Arbiter; Martha Underwood, Deputy Chief Arbiter; Phiona Mutesi; Griffin McConnell; GM Thomas Luther; Raphael Johannes Zimmer; Natasha Morales; Jesus Adrian Barrios Chamorro. (Front; l-r) Wasswa Sharif Mbaziira; Dorian-Dumitru Draghici; Paul Tortajada and Samarth Jagadish Rao.

FIDEWJCCfDRaphael and Wasswa Round 7Photo Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
Raphael Johannes Zimmer (Germany) and Wasswa Sharif Mbaziira (Uganda).

FIDEWJCCfDThomas Luther and Raphael 2 Photo Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
GM Thomas Luther and the Champion Raphael Johannes Zimmer (Germany).

The Top Blind Player in the 1st FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled was Natasha Morales (Puerto Rico) and the Top Physically Disabled Player was Samarth Jagadish Rao (India).

FIDEWJCCfD Samartha Father and Pilimon Photo Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
(l-r) Samarth Jagadish Rao (India); Jagadish Rao (India); Zbigniew Pilimon.

FIDEWJCCfD Paris and Natasha Photo Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
WIM Natasha Morales (Puerto Rico) and FIDE Social Action Commission Councillor, Paris Klerides (Cyprus).

FIDEWJCCfDJesus Father and Phiona Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
(l-r) Hector Aristides Barrios Jara; Jesus Adrian Barrios Chamorro (Paraguay) and Phiona Mutesi.

In the first edition of this World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled; eight (8) players from seven (7) countries participated in a 7 round robin tournament. Side events included an International Open Tournament, which was held in the same playing hall to promote inclusion and a master training chess camp.

IO Beatriz Marinello and Griffin Photo Copyright Dora L Martinez
IO Beatriz Marinello interviews Griffin McConnell (USA).

FIDEWJCCfDBeatriz Dorian and Phiona Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
IO Beatriz Marinello, Dorian-Dumitru Draghici (Belgium) and Phiona Mutesi.

FIDEWJCCfD Paris Interviews Paul Copyright Dora Leticia Martinez
Paris Klerides, FIDE Social Action Commission Councillor interviews Paul Tortajada (USA).

This historic event gave the organizers and the families an opportunity to learn how to even the playing field for players with disabilities. Players from Belgium, Germany, India, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uganda and the USA participated in the event.

Congratulations to all of the players!

The Second Edition of this tournament will take place in the United States in 2018.

Here are the Final Standings:

Final Standings Total Points
Raphael Johannes Zimmer 7.0
Samarth Jagadish Rao 6.0
Griffin McConnell 4.5
Natasha Morales 4.0
Jesus Adrian Barrios Chamorro 3.5
Wasswa Sharif Mbaziira 2.0
Paul Tortajada 1.0
Dorian-Dumitru Draghici 0.0


The 1st World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled: Rounds 2 & 3

By Thomas Luther
Photo Copyright: Dora Leticia Martinez

FLORIDA (USA) - Round 3 of the FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled took place on June 24th, 2017. It featured a pairing between the two players, Griffin (USA) and Raphael (Germany). After a long fight of four (4) hours of play, Raphael was victorious.

The longest game of Round 3
The longest game of Round 3

A nice game was played between Dorian and Paul where the young American won his first game.

Paul USA and Dorian Belgium
Paul (USA) and Dorian (Belgium) shake hands after the game.

Samarth India and Natasha Puerto Rico after their 3rd Round
Samarth (India) and Natasha (Puerto Rico) after their 3rd Round.

In an interesting game between Samarth (India) and Natasha (Puerto Rico), the young player from India won.

After three (3) rounds, Raphael leads with 3 points.

Standings R3

In the afternoon, all players and friends attended a Q & A with Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi which was followed by a screening of the Disney movie, Queen of Katwe.

Robert Katende meets Raphael
Robert Katende meets Raphael at the Q & A prior to the Queen of Katwe screening.

Beatriz Marinello Phiona Mutesi and Robert Katende
Beatriz Marinello, Phiona Mutesi, and Robert Katende at the Q & A and Queen of Katwe screening.

The remarkable story of Phiona shows the importance of how chess is not just a game but a transformative tool that can give opportunities to young people and teach life skills.

Round 4 of the 7 rounds will be played on June 25th at 5pm. Stay tuned for more coverage!

Official tournament website

Round 1: The World Junior Chess Championship for Disabled has begun

Group photo
Opening Ceremony, Group Photo

By Thomas Luther and Dora Martinez

FLORIDA (USA) - Round 1 of the FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled occurred on June 23rd, 2017 at the Park Inn by Radisson in Kissimmee, Florida. The opening ceremony began with an introduction of all the players representing seven countries. After an inspirational rendition of the United States National Anthem, FIDE Vice President Beatriz Marinello gave a welcoming speech emphasizing the importance of portraying chess as an all-inclusive sport and as one in which all players can compete on equal terms given the right accommodations.

In the first round, we witnessed an exciting game between Raphael Zimmer from Germany and Samarth Jagadish Rao from India. Raphael ultimately triumphed after a grueling three hours.

Raphael Johannes Zimmer
Raphael Johannes Zimmer (Germany)

The FIDE Chess for the Disabled Commission has recently created this tournament to support all children with any disability in one competitive event in order to bring awareness to the abilities of all.

The longterm goal will be the inclusion of disabled players in other open events in all levels of competition.

Wasswa Sharif Mbaziira
Wasswa Sharif Mbaziira (Uganda)

Natasha Morales
Natasha Morales (Puerto Rico)

Griffin McConnell
Griffin McConnell (USA)

Jesus Adrian Barrios Chamorro
Jesus Adrian Barrios Chamorro (Paraguay)

This event does not aim to segregate players with disabilities; its aim is to build bridges that will even the playing field.

Each child and young person participating in this event is an inspiration to the rest of us. We will be sharing their stories and families’ testimonies online.

The closing ceremony, awarding the title of the World Junior Chess Champion for the Disabled as well as announcing the medalists will take place June 28th, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

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