BCA – Bringing Chess To Visually Impaired People

31st Chess Theme Break – Saturday 25th January to Saturday 1st February 2025


The 31st Chess Theme Break will be held at the Lauriston Hotel, 6-12 Knightstone Road, Weston-super-Mare BS23 2AN.  The 2024 event was also held there, and it was found to be very convenient, with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.  The hotel is in an excellent location, one mile from Weston-super-Mare railway station, a short walk from the seafront and the town centre shops.  Beds and bowls are provided for guide dogs.  The hotel also offers a dogfood service by prior arrangement, to save owners having to transport it themselves.  During the winter, dogs are allowed to run on the nearby beach.

It is anticipated that the week will closely follow the tried and trusted programme developed by Peter and Celia Gibbs over many years.  It will include coaching provided by more experienced BCA members, a tournament and many social events.  Please refer to Stan’s report on the 30th Chess Theme Break in the May 2024 gazette to get a flavour of what the week entails.  Alternatively, get in touch with the organiser, Julie Leonard, to find out more.

All members and any visually impaired person who wishes to learn chess or improve their chess can take part.  Any member with a rating of about 1400 or higher who would like to assist with the coaching would also be most welcome, as would anyone seeking a winter break with BCA friends.

For members, the cost of dinner, bed and breakfast for the week is £420 per person in a single room or sharing a double or twin room, and £455 per person for single occupancy of a double or twin room.  The cost of individual nights for any member not staying the whole week is £60 per person in a single room or sharing, and £65 per person for single occupancy.  With all these prices, an increased members’ discount of £15 per person per night has already been taken off and so no reimbursements will be made for accommodation after the event.  If there is sufficient interest it may be possible to arrange an excursion for the free day at an additional cost.

Grants of £10 per session are available to all members who coach others and to all visually impaired members who receive coaching, up to a maximum of £60 per person.  These grants will be paid after the event.

On online booking form is coming soon!  Alternatively you can email the organiser, Julie Leonard, at organiser.ctb@braillechess.org.uk.  When booking, please say whether you’re attending as a trainee, a coach or a non-chess person.  The closing date is 30th November 2024.  Early booking is advised, especially if you’d like a single room or a room with a bath as there are limited numbers of these.  Rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis and are only reserved when the BCA has received your payment.  Payments made to the BCA are refundable until the money is forwarded to the hotel, which will be in the first half of December.  No refunds are possible after that time and therefore we strongly advise members to take out holiday insurance.