Blind chess player Alex Momot from New South Wales gets set to make a move during the tournament at Maryborough State High School. The 75-year-old won an impressive four of his eight games.
Blind chess player Alex Momot from New South Wales gets set to make a move during the tournament at Maryborough State High School. The 75-year-old won an impressive four of his eight games. Nat Bromhead

Alex doesn't need to see to win

PLAYING chess is hard at the best of times.

Well, imagine being blind and playing it.

Alex Momot does and he’s very good at it.

You only have to ask all those players he beat during a chess tournament in Maryborough.

The 75-year-old Momot has been blind since he was 18 months old, a result of scarlet fever while he was growing up in China, but that hasn’t prevented him from being competitive in chess.

Of the eight games he played in Maryborough, he won four.

He also had a couple of draws.

Momot eventually finished the tournament 10th out of the 18 who contested it.

The New South Welshman said he had enjoyed the day.

“I did reasonably well,” Momot, who is visiting family and friends in the region so was able to take advantage of being able to play in Maryborough, laughed.

“I won a few and lost a few but you have days like that.”

But how does Momot manage it?

“Well, my pieces are adapted so I can feel them,” Momot, who started played chess 50 years ago, said.

“You also have to have a good memory and think about where’s what.”

If you need to know how good he is, tournament director Allan Menham will tell you

“He’s fantastic,” he said.



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