The 16th International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) Olympiad for the Blind and Visually Impaired takes place in Rhodes, Greece, from October 16-27, 2021, as part of the 2021 Rhodes Chess Festival. After five rounds, team Russia is leading the field with 10 match points, followed by Poland and India with 8 match points each. On Friday, October 22, a free excursion to the Old City of Rhodes for all participants was organized, followed by a quadrennial IBCA Congress.
IBCA is the supreme body responsible for chess for the blind and visually impaired. The IBCA is part of the International Blind Sports Federation and an Affiliated Member of FIDE. Founded in 1958, the IBCA has grown to more than fifty countries on four continents. Its two major competitions are the Blind Chess Olympiad and the Blind World Chess Championship.
Despite the difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 IBCA Congress was well-attended and featured delegates from 28 countries. In his report, the IBCA President Dr. Charudatta Jadhav (India) highlighted the following achievements during the past four years:
Dr Jadhav thanked the FIDE President, Mr Arkady Dvorkovich, for his attention to the needs of disabled players and many new initiatives, such as the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad for the Disabled and the 2020 FIDE Olympiad for the Disabled.
The Congress adopted a new Constitution that improves its governance, making the organization more democratic and transparent.
The Congress elected the new IBCA governing bodies for 2021-2025. Following the lead of other international sports organizations, including FIDE, for the first time in its history, the IBCA expanded the representation of women in its highest body, the Presidential Board, to 40% and now includes representatives from the three continents. The following candidates were elected:
President: Dr. Charudatta Jadhav (India)
Presidential Board members:
First Vice-President: Mr Nikolaos Kalesis (Greece)
Second Vice-President: Ms Diana Tsypina (Canada)
Secretary: Mr Olivier Deville (France)
Treasurer: Ms Natasha Dalle (Belgium)
Executive Board members: Mr Sasa Bozic (Serbia), Mr Fernando Daza (Colombia), Mr Sergio Harnandan (Netherlands).
The Congress approved the official IBCA event calendar for 2022-2025. The 17th IBCA Olympiad for the Blind and Visually Impaired will take place in Serbia in 2025.
Photo: IBCA Facebook page