July marks the time of this year's World Blind Team Chess Championship in Bulgaria. The Indian team will be headed by captain Kishan Gangolli, the country's highest rated visually challenged player. He will be accompanied by Aryan Joshi, Ashwin Makwana, Soundarya Pradhan, and Subhendu Patra on the other four boards.(the fifth being the reserve board)
This time around these five players have been selected through the National Blind A held earlier this year. IM Sagar Shah, co-founder and CEO of the media news company Chessbase India, has been the trainer of the team. He had held a week long training camp for the team members in Mumbai, just before they left for the championship. This intensive camp was preceded by a number of other training sessions conducted by the international master.
The Indian team looks in great form before the tournament and these participants have also gained some valuable exposure to strong Grandmaster tournaments prior to this event. In May,2018, they also got the opportunity to take part in the Kolkata GM Open and some of them even competed at the Bhubaneswar and Mumbai Mayors Cup tournaments. With such an intensive playing and practice schedule, it goes without saying that the team has a solid chance to perform well in the World Teams this year. Project Checkmate wishes them the best and hope that they come back with the gold!