Blind chess player, Darpani Inani is an exceptional opponent. Inani is the highest rated blind chess player in India and has represented his country four times at the World Blind Chess Championship.
Darpani talks about his journey:
“I started playing chess at the age of 13 and, since then, there has been no looking back. I was inclined towards the game mainly because it gave me an opportunity to play against sighted person”
There is no doubt that he loves chess and is always ready for a game. His goal is to become the first blind Indian to win the “international Master.
Diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a severe skin reaction at the age of three:
“I was born with many issues. The skin disorder erupted after a pedietrician gave me an injection for fever and conjunctivitis. I developed an allergy to something in the shot. Within a span of a week, I lost my eyesight completely”
His family tried it all. But nothing worked. All they could do was accept it. Darpan did well at school with high grades. He was distressed abpout not being able to play outdoor games like his friends though.
When he visisted a welfare, his father saw a chess board and decided to teach Darpan. His father helped him with the rules and tactics. After a few months, he enrolled into a local chess tournament where he met Zahir Bhatkal, who recognized the young blind mans talent. He encouraged him to play professionally.
The young chess player enrolled in an International Chess master based in Mumbai for more training.
What is the difference between blind chess and sighted chess?
The only difference is that the chessboard and pieces are designed differently.
Darpan uses wooden or acrylic chessboard with holes in the middle of each square and nails fixed to each pawn. He gets to feel where each piece is.
“chess is a game that requires vision and not visibility. There is a thin line of difference between the two”