Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

Picture of a tournament in full swing
Players prepare for play to begin

Chess is a game anyone can play, including those with a vision impairment. The word "Braille" is in our name because it was a major part of our activities when we were founded in the 1930s. Although some of our members use it as a medium, it is certainly not a requirement. We currently support over 150 visually impaired players and learners, and have over 70 members without a visual impairment who assist us in a variety of ways.

Guy Whitehouse holding ECF award for contribution to accessible chess 2021
BCA wins ECF award for contribution to accessible chess

Quick links

Getting started? Learn how easy it is for visually impaired people to play chess.

Improve your play! We have accessible learning materials and offer members a variety of coaching options.

Need a tactile chess set? These are made to our specification and we check every set for usability.

Looking for a talking chessclock? We sell the DGT Echo and KAISSA clocks.

Our over-the-board events are run in guidedog friendly hotels.

We run three month email events and 21 month correspondence events for those who prefer a more relaxed rate of play.

Our remote tournaments on voice platforms are an ideal way for members to play games in real time from home.

Going high tech? Learn more about accessible chess software and websites.

Peter Gibbs wins 2021 best game prize

Every year we nominate a member to choose their favourite game from the last year. Whether it’s a brilliant tactic, masterful strategy, or an outstanding performance from a developing player.


I also have to agree that the BCA has been extremely welcoming to me personally and I continue to have the opportunity to learn, develop my thought processes, and to meet new folks and to socialize. A bit of everything for me and I shall always be grateful for all of my experiences. I would like to express my deep gratitude to X for having been my committed chess coach and mentor over the past two years. I will also share that my experiences with the BCA have encouraged me to embark on a new initiative as a sight loss coach. Thanks so much BCA!

I consider the talking chess clock to be a very valuable asset to my game. It will give me even more confidence when playing in tournaments and competitive games.

Dear Sirs I was a member of braille chess in the 1990's before my university studies, then professional career. I remember my Braille chess days fondly and received guidance at the time from [one of the chess coaches] which lead me to study law and qualify as a solicitor. I would very much like to send a thank you letter/card to …

The event has been absolutely great, I have made so many new friends.

thank you for organizing such a lovely tournament

May I say a very big "thank you" to the three of you for organising and controlling the tournament and keeping everyone informed all the way through. From my perspective as one of the participants, it went very well and I certainly enjoyed it and found the new way of holding a tournament very interesting. I'm sure it was a lot of work for you all, with such a diverse group of players and formats of play.

I would like to thank everybody for a fantastic weekend. A special thanks goes to X for enduring the Halloween gambit yesterday. I have been waiting to play that for the last five years! My thanks also go to X for her organisational skills and to X and X for their brilliant efforts in keeping the games flowing and reporting the results. My congratulations to Steve for being the overall winner, well done!

A great weekend! Thanks to X the inspiration for this event. Thanks to X and X 'the A team' for running the event and keeping us informed. Thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable. A real success! Congratulations to Steve, the victor.

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