International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) was formed in 1948 on the initiative of a blind chess-player from England, R. W. Bonham. The Association was established by representatives from 9 western European countries. The Association has existed for many years now. It has grown to such an extent that today it is a world organization, including over 50 member countries from all continents. Today, Delfin Burdio Gracia from Spain is the president of the Association.
The main purpose of the Association is to make chess more popular among the blind and to organize international chess competitions. The most important events (which are organized regularly) are:
ˇ chess olympiads
- they are organized every four years; this year there will be the 11th one
ˇ team world cup
- also organized every four years; 12 best teams from the olympiad preceding the cup take part in it; up to now, it has been organized three times:
Ø 1990 - Segovia, Spain
Ø 1994 - Ustronie Górskie, Poland
Ø 1998 - Logrono, Spain
Apart from that, every four years Individual World Championships, Individual World Championships for Women, and World Championships for under-21's are organized.
In 1964 FIDE (an international chess organization) officially stated that IBCA is one of the organizations cooperating with FIDE. In 1994 IBCA has become the legal member of FIDE. The international team consisting of blind players was allowed to take part in chess olympiads for the sighted people, organized according to national rules.
FIDE organizes olympiads every two years. Teams from IBCA have already taken part in them three times (Moscow 1994, Yerevan 1996, and Elista 1998). Each time there were also representatives from Poland. This year, international IBCA teams (consisting of men and women) will participate in FIDE olympiad for the 4th time; it will be organized in Istanbul.
Presently IBCA has been recognized as a part of IBSA (International Blind Sportsmen Association).