14th World Championship for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Official website – http://chess-results.com/tnr422502.aspx?lan=0&turdet=YES

The 14th World Chess Championship for Blind and Visually Impaired players ended in an exciting finish as follows —
IM Predrag Nikac of Macedonia held the draw against GM Marcin Tazbir and so became the 14th World Champion, with an admirable 7.5/9. Alexey Smirnov of Russia moved up to 7/9 to take the Silver medal, and GM Marcin Tazbir held on for the Bronze Medal with the same score, and was joined on 7 points by fellow Polish player and former World Silver Medallist IM Piotr Dukaczewski.
WIM Lubov Zsiltzova-Lisenko of the Ukraine scored 5/9, finishing 29th overall.

The UK representatives – Chris Ross and Bill Armstrong – both closed with draws to finish respectively on 4.5 and 3.5/9 (in 44th and 66th positions).

Chris’ 8th round opponent, Kumar Patra of India, continued his amazing run with a draw against another IM, Oliver Mueller of Germany, and so finished with an astonishing RP of over 500+ points above his entry grade!! 

Closing Report – Owen Phillips 14th April 2019

The World Title, as we approach Round 9, will go to the top seed, GM Marcel Tazbir of Poland (2541) who is on 6.5 pts, or to IM Predrag Nikac of Macedonia (2297), who is on 7/8!
Chasing the Silver and Bronze medals, and all on 6 points are – On Board 2, Alexey Smirnov vs Vladimir Kolipakov, and on Board 3 IM Piotr Dukaczewski and IM Jacek Stackancyk.
When you have a bad event, everything seems to conspire against you, and that happened to Chris Ross yesterday as he faced off and lost to the super improver of the event, Kumar Patra of India, who now, after 8 rounds, is playing some 400 points above his existing FIDE rating! So Chris has 4/8 and meanwhile Bill remains on 3/8. 
In the final round Chris will play White against Anton Lindenmair of Germany, and Bill will play White against Gregor Cizman of Slovenia.  
No doubt, whatever their final scores, Bill and Chris will have enjoyed the competitive and friendly aspects of this super event as well as Italian hospitality, and will cap that off with an enjoyable closing ceremony and Gala Dinner!  
Here’s to all the competitors having an enjoyable last day in Cagliari , and to an enjoyable and safe trip home

— Owen Phillips, 14th April 2019

Chris Ross hasn’t really hit top form as yet and sits on 3/6, but Bill Armstrong is doing quite well, and is also on 3/6; in the last round he beat a Polish player graded 180 points higher than him! In Round 7, Chris will be White on Board 19 against another German player, Juergen Pohlors (1923), whilst on Board 25, Bill has White against the Lithuanian player Gintaras Grybas (2006).

Five players share the lead with 5/6 – Alexey Smirnov (RUS), IM Piotr Dukaczewski (POL), FM Stanislav Babarykin (RUS), IM Predrag Nikac (MNE), and GM Marcin Tazbir (POL). The event looks likely to have a very close finish with 3 rounds to play! Hopefully Chris’s form will pick up and he can chase them home! Bill, so far with a +9 RP, has every chance of posting a very good performance and even possibly a PB?!

— Owen Phillips, 11th April 2019

CM Chris Ross has 2.5/4 and in Round 5 with White will play Stefan Janjic of Serbia on Board 11. Meanwhile, on Board 35, Bill Armstrong will play Black against Daut Tishukiv of Kosovo. 

On Board 1 Alexey Smirnov (RUS 4/4) plays against FM Stanislav Babarykin (RUS 3.5/4), whilst on Board 2 FM Sergei Wassin (UKR 3.5/4) plays Pavle Dimic (Serbia 3.5/4). For the ECF, GM Marcin Tazbir (POL 3/4) plays black against IM Jacek Stockanczk (3/4) on Board 4.   

If Chris can win tomorrow, he can still hunt down a medal by the end of Round 9, whilst Bill Armstrong would appear to have a decent chance of moving up to 2/5

— Owen Phillips

Enjoy footage of Round 1 on YouTube here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmAkrme-qQI&t=33s

The long time BCA No 1 Chris Ross is ranked 12th out of the 86 players and Bill Armstrong (the current BCA Champion) is ranked 62nd.

In Round 1, Chris won with White against Branko of Croatia (ranked 55th), whilst Bill lost to IM Jacek Stachanczyk of Bulgaria, seeded 19. In round two Chris will have Black against the 33rd Seed, Vela Ignacio from Spain, whilst Bill – also Black –  will play the 83rd seed, Pezzalato from Italy.

Hopefully doubly good news to follow tomorrow!

Further details – http://www.braillechess.org.uk/

— Owen Phillips

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