World class act

A HUNTINGDON languages teacher is officially one of the top blind chess players in the world after finishing 13th in the Blind World Chess Championships. Chris Ross, who teaches at St Peter s School, competed in the two week competition at the beginning o

A HUNTINGDON languages teacher is officially one of the top blind chess players in the world after finishing 13th in the Blind World Chess Championships.

Chris Ross, who teaches at St Peter's School, competed in the two week competition at the beginning of the month in Goa, India.

Now in his late 20s, Chris has been playing chess since he was eight years old and has competed in tournaments since the age of 15.

He also plays in the Hunts and District Chess League once a week and had been hoping for a top 10 finish in the championships.


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Instead, he received a score of 5.5 out of a possible 9, which placed him joint 13th out of 76 competitors, and just two points behind the eventual champion Berlinsky of Russia.

"I played well and even beat some former world champions including Magusson from Sweden, but I would have liked to have been placed in the top 10," he told The Hunts Post. "My opponents were very strong and they played more tactics. I'm not big on tactics, instead I'm a strong positional player, so I prefer slow methodological moves rather than fast exciting ones."

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Chris also offered his thanks to all the people who supported his championship bid.

"I couldn't have done it without the support I received from St Peter's School and the Huntingdon Freemen's Charity, Huntingdon Society for the Blind, Huntingdon Foundation, and Hunts and Grafham Water Lions Club."

When he isn't competing in competitions, Chris, who has lived in Huntingdon for four years, runs an after-school chess club, but it's not as popular as he would like it to be.

"It's such a shame more kids don't play chess in the UK, as in other countries it is more popular, especially in Russia. Unfortunately, I think chess has a bad reputation in Britain and is seen as a bit of a nerdy game, but it's not, it is good fun as well as being challenging."

INFORMATION: Visit www.braillechess.org.uk for more information.

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