“Basically there is no other sport except for chess wherein visually impaired can compete on an equal footing with the sighted,” Darpan says. “Other games like cricket, soccer, etc. are played by the ones without sight as well, but they are always visually impaired vs. visually impaired games. We cannot play football or similar sports with the sighted players in its originality. Chess is the only sport which allows me to compete at par with the sighted.”
This documentary also shows the significance of ‘touch’ – it says that the modern materialistic society has forgotten its value. Dutch GM Jan Donner once said that, “in the split second you touch the piece, you’ll see more than you saw in the past 30 minutes you spent studying the position.” The unsighted chess players rely on their ‘touch’ to feel their way forward.
Alternatively, as his mentor Charudatta Jadhav always says: “Four moves in and we are all blind”. He is right, isn’t he? Four moves into a position, a sighted is on par with the non-sighted.
These young men clearly know the role chess has played in their lives. Darpan says, “Chess has helped me a lot as it is a very practical game. It is about life – and in life, just as in chess, it boils down to how you strategize and what do you envision for yourself in times to come. Therefore, I think chess has contributed a lot to my decision-making abilities. Besides, it has taught me to stay calm in the most panicky of situations and think in a clear way. In addition, chess has given me a lot of exposure to the world, which I guess would not have been possible, had it been alone for studies, and if chess weren't there in my life”.
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