Visually impaired chess player Mohammed Salih aims to deliver best shot at 2020 Paralympics – Reuters Sports News

Express press service

KOZHIKODE: The first thing you notice about Mohammed Salih PK, a visually impaired chess player, is his passion for board games and his determination to excel in indoor sports.

The 34-year-old resident, from Thamarassery, is quite a popular figure in the sporting fraternity and among chess enthusiasts in the state, especially after winning a silver medal in the rapid chess event by 2018 Asian Para Games team.

Salih is now aiming to give his best shot at the Summer Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020. In an interview with Express, Salih spoke about his journey and future plans.

“I was introduced to chess when I was around 11 years old. At the time, I only played the game with my classmates. I received no formal training in the game,” he said. -he declares.

The self-taught chess player developed a deep interest in the game and managed to compete in state-level chess tournaments.

It was during his high school years that Salih began to take him more seriously. “I tried playing chess with people who weren’t visually impaired and it allowed me to challenge myself more,” he said.

Salih has won prizes at the University of Calicut Intercollegiate Championships and led the Kerala Blind Chess Team in the National Chess Championship in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Salih, who is currently pursuing his LLB at Government Law College Kozhikode, has participated in chess tournaments held in Kashmir, Punjab, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Goa.

The entry into the Asian Games came shortly after his participation in the 2017 National Chess Championship held in Haryana.

“Winning a medal in the international tournament was quite an exhilarating experience and gave me the confidence to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics.”

“Players from other countries receive government-funded training for several months. I hope we will also have similar coaching here at least for a month, before the event,” he said.

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