Marcin Tazbir wins FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities

by Ulrike Vogel
5/28/2020 – The 1st FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities was played on May 21, on Playchess. About 40 players took part and after five rounds Swiss Elo-favourite Marcin Tazbir was first. Sander Severino finished second. | Photo: FIDE

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The 1st FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities

The 1st FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities was successful in engaging players of all abilities and from all continents to share their passion for chess in these extraordinary times.

With all international chess tournaments either on hold or postponed for the foreseeable future the FIDE Commission for the Disabled (DIS) organised the first of several tournaments online to enable players to continue playing in international tournament.

Therefore, the 1st FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities was put together by the DIS Commission and the date for the 21st May 2020 was set. The game day started with a technical meeting as well as a live welcome message from FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich during the opening ceremony. The first round started at 3pm CEST with the remaining rounds starting each at the full hour. Participating were 38 players from 27 countries – all continents were represented! There was a great mix of players, both male and female, as well as all different abilities. A prize fund of a total of €2 200, kindly sponsored by FIDE, was available for the top players as well as three randomly picked places for the FIDE Checkmate Coronavirus Initiative, which went to Kutwal Shashikant, Viktor Panush and Aaron Bandawere.

After 5 rounds Swiss GM Marcin Tazbir from Poland took first place, FM Sander Severino of the Philippines came second and IM Yuri Meshkov came third – and all top three players only had 0.5 points between them!

IM Yuri Meshkov | Photo: Ulrike Vogel

Both top players were the favourites going into the tournament but had to certainly prove themselves on their path to victory. Best female player was WIM Natasha Morales of Puerto Rico, followed by Handenur Sahin of Turkey and WCM Annegret Mucha of Germany who all finished on 3 points.

Some of these names will be familiar to those following the previous DIS tournaments: GM Marcin Tazbir from Poland is the reigning World Champion for Chess Players with Disabilities. WIM Natasha Morales from Puerto Rico and Ilia Lipilin of Russia have both previously played in the World Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled.

Ilia Lipilin | Photo: Ulrike Vogel

Natasha has not only been part of the Puerto Rican Olympiad Team multiple times but she also placed second at the 1st Junior World Championship in 2017. Ilia participated and won both the 2nd and 3rd Junior Chess Championship for the Disabled, as well as playing in the 2017 World Chess Championship for the Disabled. There were also numerous other players who have taken part in previous tournaments as well as some players playing their first official DIS tournament.

It was great to see such a positive response and an interview with GM Marcin Tazbir directly after his win confirmed that he enjoyed being part of this first online tournament and that the format should be extended and include even more players. The profile of chess players with disabilities has certainly been raised over the past few years with not only World Championships, including those for Juniors and Teams, as well as National Championships being held in federations across the world. Even in these challenging times it shows that chess can truly be played by everyone everywhere and the DIS commission will continue working hard to provide further opportunities like these.

To allow even more players to participate in events like these there will also be an Online Junior DIS Tournament within the next couple of weeks, as well as the Paralympiad which is planned for July.

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Final standings


Marcin Tazbir





Sander Severino





Yuri Meshkov





Denis Palin





Gabor Acs





Mihail-Dacian Pribeanu





Dmitrij Scerbin





Vit Valenta





Andrei Gurbanov





Ilia Lipilin





Report at the FIDE website...


Ulrike Vogel is an avid traveller who has been volunteering at various chess events in various countries since 2008 and is supporting the DIS commission with Social Media. A bit of a novice at chess but keen to keep on spreading the word about chess is really for everyone of all abilities.


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Gerald C Gerald C 5/29/2020 08:11
I do share Frits and Katzen appreciations. No explanations on the nature of disabilities.
Katzentatzentanz Katzentatzentanz 5/28/2020 11:59
yeah was wondering the same. what kind of disability has Marcin Tazbir for example. It's ok to write about it, there's no shame in reporting about that. I mean, we are in 21st century.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 5/28/2020 10:10
I'm left a bit puzzled by this report. Which disabilities are you talking about? I am also a player with 'different abilities', like any other chess player. I mean, I'm able to play chess – many other people aren't. Is there some specific reason to hold tournaments for people with disabilities? If these are physical, like being in a wheelchair, then online chess doesn't need to be against other disabled players, I would say. If you're blind, you may be even more at a disadvantage online, because of the wheelchair guys.
With paralympic sport, there is a classification according to the severity of the handicap. Is there anything like that in chess tournaments for the disabled?
It may be something like a chess tournament just for journalists, or members of parliament, or filatelists – no idea and I wouldn't mind. I'm not criticizing the event: I just would like to see a bit more explanation.