Odisha blind chess genius designs software to make chess-playing easy for visually impaired | Bhubaneswar News – Times of India

BHUBANESWAR: Soundarya Pradhan, 22, the blind chess genius from Nuapada district has developed a website that is friendly and accessible for blind chess players.
He started working on the software application since 2019 to add to his own convenience while playing chess. The website accessiblechess.herokuapp.com is friendlier for blind chess players than the existing ones, which they use to learn and play chess. “When I felt that I should take the software application to the masses, I officially launched the website in 2022. Almost all the top blind players of India are now using my website. In fact, my website helps the blind players play with ease,” he told TOI.
Soundarya is 100 per cent blind from birth. He started playing chess when he was 10 years old. He has done graduation in computing graduate from NIT Jamshedpur. Pradhan is currently working as a manager at HSBC bank, Gurgaon.
His website now supports popular chess applications like Chessbase India, Fritz, and Winboard.
Pradhan claimed his website can interpret diagrams, which other screen reading software such as JAWS and NVDA can’t. For designing this website, he has been nominated to receive a universal design award to be conferred by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a private organisation that partners with the Centre to formulate policies on disability issues, will confer the award on September 28.
Pradhan has to his credit several international accolades in blind chess contest platforms.
He won a gold medal in the ninth International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) contest and world team chess champion for the blind held in Ohrid, Macedonia from July 28 to August 7 this year. He also won a silver medal in men’s rapid team chess in the third Asian Para Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Pradhan is now considered India’s top three blind chess player.

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