How Visually Impaired Play Chess

The Chess Board of 64 squares has the following modifications:
  • All the Black squares are raised about 3-4 mm above the white squares. By feeling the squares, the player is able to determine whether the square is a black or a white one.
  • Each of the squares on the Board has a hole in the centre so that the pieces can be fixed in these holes.
  • Each of the pieces has a downward projection (nail) at the base, which fits into the hole in the squares on the Board, thereby fixing the piece securely on the board.
  • All the Black pieces have a pin fixed on their heads helping the player distinguish between a white and a black piece.

The players therefore, by feeling the raised or the lowered squares can figure out whether the piece is on a black or a white square. By feeling the shape of the piece, they can determine whether the piece is a Pawn, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Queen or King. The touch of the pin on the pieces helps the player from distinguishing a white piece from a black one. The player is therefore able to have a clear picture in his mind of the position on the Board. He is now ready to take on any opponent, sighted or otherwise.

After making every move, the visually impaired person is required to announce the move aloud, so that his opponent comes to know of the move. Instead of writing the moves on a Score Sheet, the visually impaired player writes the moves in Braille or records the moves on a tape recorder.