Igor Yarmonov is the IPCA World Champion 2019

by Satanick Mukhuty
7/12/2019 – The 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 was held in Slovakia. Even though chess is primarily a mental game, it demands from its players great physical stamina. To keep finding good moves on the chessboard even after hours of strenuous battle is not for the faint-hearted. Every participant of this event showed great tenacity sitting at the board and fighting it out for three or four hours at stretch, despite their serious physical limitations.

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19th World Champs for Physically Disabled

The 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 took place from June 28th to July 6th, in Ruzomberok, Slovakia. It was a nine-round Swiss event with players receiving 90 minutes for the entire game plus 30 seconds per move from move one. The tournament was organized by the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) which is the international federation uniting all physically disabled players who have a congenital or an acquired reduced efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and therefore difficulty walking.

No adversity is too great for these brave chess players who win hearts with their love for the sixty-four squares | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Founded in 1992, the IPCA is affiliated with FIDE on equal terms with the national chess federations and its primary goal is to organize chess tournaments for physically disabled 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 players in the FIDE World Chess Olympiads. The IPCA teams of men and women have taken part in the FIDE Chess Olympiads since 2002.

Svetlana Gerasimova (RUS) is the current and the fifth president of the IPCA | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Yarmonov is the champion once again!

Igor Yarmonov, an International Master from Ukraine, has been the IPCA World Champion among people with limited physical mobility four times — 2002, 2013, 2016, 2018. Rated 2389 and a member of the Olympic team of IPCA for 16 years, he was the clear favourite of this year's edition of the event as well. After scoring 7.0/9 along with Andrei Gurbanov and Mikha Nikolay he was declared champion based on a better tie-break.

IM Igor Yarmonov (UKR, 2389) is an FM in chess composition | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Igor's grit and spirit to fight it out till the very end is evident from the following game against Valenta Vit which went for a staggering 118 moves and was the longest game of the event.


2nd: IM Andrei Gurbanov (ISR, 2300) 7.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

3rd: FM Nikolay Mukha (UKR, 2159) 7.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Due to a lower tie-break score, Nikolay Mukha had to settle for 3rd position. His win against much higher-rated Andrei Obodchuk and Andrei Gurbanov in the fifth and sixth rounds of the event are notable.


Click or tap the second game in the game list to switch

4th: FM Valenta Vit (CZE, 2147) — 6.5/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

5th: IM Milan Babula (CZE, 2220) 6.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

69-year-old Babula subjected Igor Yarmonov to his only defeat in round 6:


6th: FM Lukasz Nowak (POL, 2267) — 6.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

At 21 years old, Polish FM Lukasz Nowak suffers from muscular dystrophy. He made his last round comeback against Andrey Tersinsev. This victory is a testimony to this young lad's indomitable will, after losing to Yarmonov in the previous round.


7th: Former IPCA World Champion Shashikant Kutwal 6.0/9 | Photo: Chessfest 2019

Jennitha becomes IPCA World Women's Champion for the sixth time

Jennitha Anto, Svetlana Gerasimova (below right) and Marina Kaydanovich were the top three women finishers. Jennitha, from India scored 5.0/9 to become the highest scoring female player in the tournament. Thus, she clinched the IPCA Women's World title for a record sixth time.

Jennitha Anto K (gold), Svetlana Gerasimova (silver), and Marina Kaydanovich (bronze) | Photo: Chessfest 2019

With this victory, Jennitha has surpassed Vishy Anand in the maximum number of World titles won by an Indian | Photo: Chessfest 2019


Jennitha and Angappan Sri welcomed in India after their exploits in Slovakia

Final Standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Yarmonov Igor 7,0 48,5
2 Gurbanov Andrei 7,0 47,0
3 Mukha Nikolay 7,0 46,5
4 Valenta Vit 6,5 48,0
5 Babula Milan 6,0 47,0
6 Nowak Lukasz 6,0 45,5
7 Shashikant Kutwal 6,0 44,0
8 Kovacevic Krsto 6,0 41,0
9 Palin Denis 5,5 45,0
10 Tebenkov Vladislav 5,5 45,0
11 Obodchuk Andrei 5,5 43,5
12 Lipilin Ilia 5,5 43,0
13 Juvan Jaka 5,5 40,0
14 Gedgafov Chamal 5,0 44,0
15 Tersinsev Andrey 5,0 42,0
16 Jurkiewicz Krzysztof 5,0 42,0
17 Glazar Domagoj 5,0 40,5
18 Sovetov Oleksandr 5,0 40,0
19 Jennitha Anto K. 5,0 39,0
20 Alekseev Mikhail 4,5 44,0

Complete standings 


Satanick Mukhuty has a background in Mathematics. He is an avid enthusiast of composition chess and is sincerely committed to promoting it around the world. He works for ChessBase India.


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