Affiliated Duo Join Forces on the Chessboard 

CINCINNATI (February 26, 2019) – Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CABVI) Contract Closeout Specialist, Jessica Lauser, and local student, Joseph Winkler (son of CABVI Optometrist Todd Winkler), recently played in the 27th Annual Kings Island Open, one of the largest chess tournaments held in Ohio each year. The pair teamed up, with good results, in this year’s event, which hosted over 250 competitors from 22 U.S. states and abroad.

Although each game, called a round, is played individually, male and female participants often pair up, forming mixed doubles “teams”, prior to the start of eligible tournaments. This is done in a bid to win additional prize money. Lauser met the Winklers, earlier this year, while competing against the younger, in the Cincinnati Open, another annual event. Interestingly enough, Jessica’s severe visual impairment, and Dr. Winkler’s work in optometry, helped create a ready-made connection between the two players. When both later entered Kings Island, it made sense for them to naturally team- up in competition for a mixed doubles prize.

As the games progressed, it was an exciting event, to say the least. Earlier skirmishes led to often-tense positions—and doubts about winning a prize, altogether—but both competitors proved up to the task. Joseph handily crushed his last-round opponent, in the Under 1500 section, while Jessica ground out a win, in Under 1700, but only after a grueling four hours of continuous play. Likewise, she took a considerable risk by declining a draw offer, in the process.

More often than not, the last round of a tournament is, generally, what makes (or breaks) a player’s performance, and with it, the chances of finishing well enough to win a prize. This was not a problem for our duo, however, as the two both managed to win their last-round games, thereby clinching clear third place in mixed doubles. Lauser went on to tie for second place, with several Experts, who played a side event, at speed, called Blitz. All told, we can expect more successful events for these two in the future, which, happily, looks very bright, as they continue to make CABVI proud.

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Since 1911, CABVI provides counseling, vision rehabilitation, and employment services to help more than 5,700 people annually of all ages adapt to severe vision loss in the Greater Cincinnati region. This includes early childhood, low vision, daily living, access technology and safe travel training. CABVI provides employment in our Industries Program and sells office products through www.VieAbility.org .CABVI also operates a Base Supply Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and provides employment in Contract Management Services. CABVI’s mission is “Empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with opportunities to seek independence.” For more information, please call (513) 221-8558 or visit www.cincyblind.org.

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