BCA – Bringing Chess To Visually Impaired People

About Us

Who are we?

Visually Impaired player studies game on specially adapted  chessboard

We are the UK national association of visually impaired chess players. Our aim is to encourage and support the playing of chess at all levels by blind and partially sighted people. Membership is open to blind and partially sighted people while sighted friends and family may join as associate members. Associate members play a vital role within the association and they are eligible to play in most of our tournaments. We were formed in 1932 and developed from a Braille correspondence chess organisation to a community of chess players taking part in correspondence chess and over the board tournaments, at home and abroad. This is why the word Braille is in our title but you do not have to use Braille to be part of our association as we now use a variety of means of communication.

The BCA is a very friendly organisation and although chess will always be our main focus there is also a strong social aspect to our events.  Many of our members have been pals for decades and we’re always delighted to welcome newcomers to our group.  At our longer events we often have entertainment in the evenings such as music, a quiz or a murder mystery!

What do we do?

  • Offer tuition and coaching from beginner to advanced level.
  • Sell good quality adapted chess sets and chess clocks.
  • Give advice on chess software suitable for blind people.
  • Offer practical help and advice to any school, college, group or association of visually impaired players wishing to form a chess club. This may include tuition and coaching or help with the provision of chess sets and chess clocks.
  • Run an audio library of chess literature in a variety of accessible formats.
  • Run an email user group where members exchange information and opinions.

 Events we organise or are involved in

  • Host three over the board chess tournaments each year: weekend events each spring and autumn, and a week long event in the summer.
  • Run a week long event with coaching sessions and a mini tournament.
  • Host email tournaments and remote tournaments on Skype/Zoom/phone.
  • Run correspondence events in which members send moves to each other in Braille, on tape or by email.
  • Enter teams and individuals in World and European championships for blind and partially sighted players.
  • Participate in less formal international events such as a Six Nations tournament .

Follow this link Constitution and Policies to see our Constitution and Policies Documents.