Chess mastered by children with disabilities

Chess plays an important life in any person’s life. It helps you to visualize, strategize, and plan. It develops logical and critical thinking skills, improving focus and concentration. The students learning under Checkmate have been able to think dynamically and dream big.

Chess can be learned through the computer, using books, watching interviews, and attending coaching programs. To learn it’s easy, but to master, it’s the greatest challenge of all. It just needs some courage and inspiration to start learning and then I don’t think that you can stop playing.


The Devanshi Rathi Foundation, a registered non-profit aims to empower through education, sport, health, and sustainability. It was launched in June 2018 and to mark its launch it has begun two more projects in addition to its flagship project Checkmate. Checkmate works to develop young individuals through chess a sport that unites all. The two other projects launched are educational counseling for high school and college students and the DRF Scholarships for four meritorious students and two runners’ up. The Scholarships will be given twice in a year to the winners and numerous opportunities will be presented to the awardees throughout the course of a year. They will be mentored and trained to become brighter and sharper individuals in the future. Thus, the program wishes to bridge the gaps between the nondisabled and the disabled- leaving no stone unturned in the process.

Here is a short description of the winners and runner’s up as found on the official website of the foundation-

Adarsh Chaurasiya–
Adarsh is a grade 10 student. He has been playing sports ever since he was admitted into the National Association of the Blind, New Delhi. He has participated and organized a number of chess tournaments and events in NAB. He has also played in several chess tournaments outside like the ChessMine Open, North Zone Championship for the Blind, etc. He has also won a number of cash prizes for his performances and holds an international FIDE Classical rating. Apart from chess, he has been a regular marathon runner, having participated in the sport for the past 7-8 years and winning top 50 positions in three races. He has also competed in blind cricket tournaments. Maintaining his academic schedule along with his sporting interests, Adarsh has participated in numerous Olympiads and reading and writing competitions organized by his school.

Ayush Prakash Jaiswal–
Ayush is a grade 10 student from the Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. He holds an international Classical and Rapid FIDE Rating in chess and has competed in various chess tournaments throughout the country including the ChessMine Open, the Delhi International Grandmasters Tournament, etc. He has also won Olympiads and has taken part in cricket tournaments. He has also tried his hand at Debates, Declamations, essay writing, speech and drama, and social service campaigns including Drug awareness and LGBT rights.

Abhishek Rai–
Abhishek is a grade 10 student. He has an avid interest in sports and has played chess, football, and cricket. He has participated in a number of chess events including the North Zone Chess Championship for the Blind, National Schools for the Blind, and the ChessMine Open. He has also won the first position in the Salwan Marathon. He has also tried his hand at singing and is a part of his school choir.

Khushi Bisht–
Khushi is a grade 8 student at the Tagore International School, New Delhi. She has been active in public speaking and poetry in her school. She is also a mentor to her younger mates at the National Association of the Blind, New Delhi. She has recently begun her journey in sports and is interested in chess and cricket. She won the junior most player award in the North Zone Chess Championship for the Blind in 2017, Katha Award for writing in 2017, and excellence awards in academics and computers from her school.

Runner’s Up-
Deepika Chaudhri–
Deepika is a grade 10 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Delhi. She is interested in singing, debates and declamations, and sports. She participated in the Pinkathon race, where she won the first position and received a gold medal and a trophy. She has also received a cash prize for her performance in a chess tournament organized by the National Association of the Blind in 2017 and was selected to play in the National B in Kolkata. At the National B, she was the junior most player and received a special prize for that. She also has interests in cricket and poetry. She wishes to become an IAS officer.

2. Julie-
Julie is a grade 9 student. She won the first position in a singing competition organized by YMCA and has won awards for writing in Braille. She desires to be more active through her sports and aims to become a teacher when she grows up.

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