Visually Impaired Player Achieves Grandmaster Title

A degenerative condition has taken away most of his eyesight, but that didn’t stop IM Daniel Pulvett from scoring his third GM norm at the Valencia Open on Sunday. With an Elo rating already over 2500, gaining his GM title should be only a technical matter.

The 31-year-old Pulvett of Spain (born in Venezuela) finished in a tie for second place in Valencia, scoring 7/9 with a sufficient performance rating. For a grandmaster norm, a player needs to perform on a level over 2600 and several opponents must be representing federations other than their own. Usually, three norms in nine-round tournaments are needed, and a 2500+ rating needs to be achieved, but Pulvett is already on 2523.

His results in Valencia included a draw with GMs Jose Gascon and Vitaly Sivuk, while he beat GM Azer Mirzoev. With a win in the final round vs. IM Radoslaw Barski, he clinched his third norm:

You can find the games of the Valencia Open here.

In April of this year, Pulvett had scored his second norm at the Brena Baja Magica closed GM norm tournament in La Palma, Spain. His first norm came at the 2013 Sitges Open.

“I’ve been working hard for a long time to achieve this,” Pulvett told “Because of the problems with my eyes, this is a huge achievement. I’ve had a lot of support from my friends and family.”

In addition to GM Marcin Tazbir (Poland), Pulvett will be only the second visually impaired player to achieve the grandmaster title.

GM Thomas Luther, chairman of the FIDE Commission for the Disabled, commented: “This is very special. There are only few players with disabilities to become GM. Generally, I believe chess is equal to everyone. However, access to education, tournaments, finances, et cetera are many times not equal.”



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top