Soundarya Pradhan is a nineteen year old 100% visually challenged chess player from Odisha. With a current rating of over 1800, he is one of India's top most blind chess player. He won the National Championship for the Blind at a young age of 12 and ever since then he hasn't stopped achieving more and more in the game. This year he is the only member of the Indian team at the World Blind Team Championship who is completely visually challenged. He will also be competing at the World Junior Chess Championship for the Blind in August,2018.
Although Soundarya has got no professional trainer, he has reached an amazing level, which many can't boast of. He trains just like a sighted player would, the only difference being the accessibility for some software, which he manages to get otherwise. He trains for hours on end and has competed at some of the biggest chess events for the blind. These include- winning a bronze at the Asian championship for the blind in 2017 and at the National Premier for the Blind in 2018- amongst others.
This young man has not only some remarkable chess achievements to his name but also outside of it. He has received the honor of addressing parliamentarians in a special event organised by UNICEF on the occasion of World Children's Day in November,2017. He dreams of becoming a physics professor and a world chess champion. He has reached a step closer to accomplishing the first feat by gaining admission into the National Institute of Technology(NIT) in Jamshedpur.
From what started as a game when he was just four has now become more than a passion. Soundarya has defied all odds and has accomplished great success in his life. Project Checkmate would like to wish him all the luck for his continued improvement in the near future.
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