|Participants at 2019 World Junior Chess Championship|
for Players with Disabilities in New Jersey.
The cancellation of chess tournaments around the globe due to COVID-19 also forced the postponement of the first Chess Paralympiad scheduled for late July in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. In its place, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) introduced a new Online Cup for Players with Disabilities.
Unfortunately, a small Online Cup can in no way replace the larger Paralympiad. Instead of teams of four players plus an alternate from each invited nation, only 38 individuals will battle for five rounds of rapid chess at PlayChess.com on Thursday morning, May 21st. The first round begins at 6:00 AM Pacific time.
I felt honored to be able to accept the invitation to represent the United States!
The registration list shows that I start near the middle of the pack. The field of 38 includes one GM, six IMs and a total of twelve players rated above 2200 FIDE. Nine women were invited. Most participants hail from Europe or Asia, with just three from Africa and four from the Americas.
- Europe (22): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany (2), Hungary, Israel (2), Moldova, Poland (2), Romania, Russia (6), Turkey, Ukraine
- Asia (9): China (2), India (2), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Vietnam
- Africa (3): Kenya, Uganda, Zambia
- Americas (4): Canada, Puerto Rico, United States, Venezuela
Wish me luck, as I will certainly need it against this competitive field. Since there are only five rounds, even the pairings may boil down to luck.