Jennitha Anto from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu shattered long-held records when she claimed the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) World Individual Chess Championships for the sixth time.
Being tied to a wheelchair from the age of three, Jennitha had obstacles one too many to overcome after being victimized by polio. However, the feisty lady remained unfazed by her physical difficulties and rather, boasts of razor-sharp mental abilities which have been testified yet again with this enormous win. By bagging the title, Jennitha created history and overtook chess legend Viswanathan Anand’s record of 5 World Chess Championship titles.
Nurturing dreams of being a Grand Master of chess, Jennitha is remarkably close to seizing her dream now. Anto, was on a roll from 2013 to 2017 when she won this prestigious title five times in a row. At the 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 she secured 5.0/9 points to become the highest scoring female player in the event and thus clinched the title for a record sixth time.
The city of Ruzomberok in Slovakia played host to the 19th edition of the IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 that took place from 28th June to 6th July. It was a nine rounds swiss event following time control of 90 minutes for the entire game with 30 seconds increment from move one. The tournament was organized by the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) which is the international federation uniting all physically disabled chess players who have got a congenital or an acquired reduced efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and who have got difficulties in walking.
Founded in 1992, the IPCA is affiliated to the FIDE on equal rights with the National Chess Federations and its primary goal is to organize chess tournaments for physically disabled chess players (men, women and youth) around the world who are IPCA members. In the last 26 years since its creation, the federation has organized many high-ranking events like the IPCA World Chess Olympiads, the IPCA Europe Individual Chess Championships and the IPCA World Individual Chess Championships. In addition, it has also facilitated the participation of disabled chess players in the FIDE World Chess Olympiads. The IPCA teams of men and women have taken part in the FIDE Chess Olympiads since 2002.
It’s a moment of immense pride for the country as Jennitha has won this tournament and surpassed Anand’s record by doing so! Anto proved that physical disability cannot be a reason to stagnate oneself and there is always hope and numerous chances for excellence. Jennitha made sure she took those moments and shone in them and scaled new heights of glory for Indian chess. Previously, Anto had won four medals- one gold, two silvers and one bronze in the 2018 Asian Para-games. She is without a doubt, a true inspiration in the field of Indian chess currently-a steady emblem of grit and passion.