Did you see this big draughts board with big pieces. Looks fun, huh? Well, it is as much fun to play on this board as it is to play on a normal draughts board, or play on your iPad or internet. The reason, though, that Ema Radonova is using this bigger board has to do with her disability to see well.
Ema can see, but only on short distances and it requires a lot of concentration. But concentration is what you need the most when you play a game. So you don’t want to have to need too much concentration to see. This is why Ema is playing on a board that is bigger, with bigger pieces that are very easy to see. Second to that, if you look close to the board, you see that the black squares are a tiny bit higher then the white ones. Why is that? We asked Tomas, Ema’s father. This is for those who are completely blind. Meaning that if you cannot even see pieces ánd squares, it still is possible to play draughts! Tomas points at the pieces and showed that the red pieces have a different shape. White is round, red – eh, black – has a sharper point on top.
In this tournament all opponents of Ema can choose. They can play Ema on this board if they want. But if they prefer to play on the ‘normal’ board, that is okay too. In that case, there will be this guided board next to Ema and the referee is playing all the moves, so Ema can easily see what is happening on the board.
Ema comes from Czech and goes to a special school. On this school there are more children with this handicap. It is there that she learned to play draughts. Her first game was only three months ago and she quickly qualified for this championship. Her she already scored six points! Her coach must be good too! Well, yes, that is correct. Her coach is also her school teacher: Petra Duskova. And you know what? Petra is also playing on this championship at the category Youth Girls (G26).