By Seol Ha-eun – Hangzhou News Agency = Just like the Asian Games, the Para Asian Games have a sport where athletes compete with their minds, not their bodies. It is chess, a mind sport.
Chess was first recognized as an official sport at the 2018 ParaAsian Games in Indonesia and retained its status at the Hangzhou 2022 ParaAsian Games.
South Korea has its own Para chess players. Kim Min-ho (23, Korea Chess Federation) is the country’s first Para chess player.
South Korea didn’t send a chess player to the 2018 Indonesia Games, but this time around, Kim is on the roster.
A chess enthusiast since elementary school, Kim has played for a para-athletic organization and recently earned the Taeguk mark at the request of the Korean Paralympic Committee.
Kim Min-ho’s path to Hangzhou took many twists and turns.
For Kim, competing in the Para Asian Games was a big challenge.
He has congenital muscle degeneration, which means he has low stamina and a weak immune system.
As a result, he was unable to compete in international competitions that require a grueling schedule.
But Kim Min-ho didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Gathering his courage, Kim boarded a flight to Hangzhou with the help of his mother, Gong Gong-soon, 55.
Ms. Bang acted as his support person and traveled with him to the competition.
“Going to Hangzhou was a risky undertaking for us,” says Ms. Bang. “At first, I wanted to talk him out of it, but he said, ‘I want to do it,'” she says.
Minho made his international debut in the men’s standard PI (retarded) chess event at the Hangzhou Para-Asian Games on March 23 at the 9th floor of the Qiyuan Chess Hall in Hangzhou, China. He played two games, winning one and losing one.
He won the first game but lost the second to Perdaus Maksum (IJN), the silver medalist at the 2018 Indonesia Games.
Kim Min-ho played a second day at the same venue on the 24th. He played one match in the morning and one in the afternoon, again going 1-1.
With two wins and two losses in two days, Kim earned two points.
Playing two games a day is a daunting schedule for Kim, but he still has a long way to go.
He has three more Standard matches to play, followed by Rapid (seven total).
Standard is a long-breathing game with 15 seconds of extra time for each move in the one-hour time limit, while Rapid is a 20-minute, 10-second shorthanded game. He will have to play two to four games a day until the 28th.
Despite the difficulty of winning or losing, Kim’s face is bright.
On the 24th, he said, “Playing against players I’ve never met before, I can’t predict them at all, but it’s fun to figure it out.”
After winning the third game in 55 minutes, he said, “The customized strategy I had prepared by looking at my opponent’s movements worked,” explaining that he won by pushing his opponent to the side.
Kim is pushing himself to the limit.
“I’m physically tired, but I’m holding on with my mental strength,” he said.
He plans to keep pushing himself.
“Starting with this tournament, I would like to continue to play internationally if conditions permit,” he told Ms. Bang, who replied, “Yes, let’s do it.” 파워볼분석