Sohibjamol Rakamova with some fellow friends

Sohibjamol Rakamova, Madina Konunova – Vilka Chess Club

Date grant awarded: April 12, 2019

The term “Vilka”, derived from Russian language, is a strong move in chess where a knight, which is considered to be weaker piece than the king, queen, and rook, makes a big change in the game with a single move. The knight occupies the king, queen, and rook simultaneously and ultimately changes the course of the game. In this case, the knight is akin to a person with disabilities who shows his/her ability and makes an impressive change in the society. Vilka Chess Club was founded on the firm belief in the potential of children who are perceived as disabled by the larger society and use chess as a tool to unleash their potential.

Chess is an amazingly inclusive game that has room to accommodate people of different dispositions and abilities in its folds because of all the different styles, formats in its play as well as innovations in game boards. Unfortunately, very few chess clubs capitalize this amazing inclusiveness of chess. Vilka Chess Club is a venture that engages and taps the inclusive nature of the game to involve children with multiple conditions that challenges them intellectually and physically.