Saturday, October 07, 2006

Visually impaired chess player gets support for the World Championship!

VISUALLY-impaired Greenock chess wizard Stephen Hilton will represent Inverclyde when he jets off to India for the World Championships tomorrow. The 44-year-old Morton fan, who damaged his sight during an accident as a child, will battle it out at the world event against around 150 other blind or visually-impaired chess players from approximately 40 countries. The event will be held in Goa, India, and will run from Sunday to 19 October over nine rounds.

He said: "A world Championship is the pinnacle for anyone in any sport and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. "I have prepared for the event with the help of International master Richard Palliser and International Master of Correspondence Chess Kenny Harman. These players have helped me in my opening preparation for this event.

They have also helped me to become more methodical in my approach to the game. "I could not have had the help of Richard Palliser without the support of Chess Scotland, as they funded this part of my preparation. "I have also had vital support of my chess club Inverclyde Central and they have been very supportive of my efforts in braille chess in the past. "However, I would never have been able to get to this event without sponsorship. "

I want to thank my main sponsor for financing the trip, Chess Scotland for financing the training with Richard Palliser, Craig Wright and the Scottish Cricket Union for supplying the Saltire clothing for my use on chess trips and Douglas Rae and Greenock Morton Football Club for donating football tops for my use during the tournament. "These are the best symbols of Inverclyde that we have and I will wear them with pride, as I will with the Saltire clothing too. "Finally, I would also like to thank the Provost, Ciano Rebecchi, for helping me to find a laptop to use and also for his encouragement to me in my endeavours."


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