BCA – Bringing Chess To Visually Impaired People

Chairman’s Cup 2023

Braille Chess Association – Chairman’s Cup

The BCA held a tournament in the Marsham Court Hotel from Saturday 15th July to Friday 22nd July.  23 players took part, most of them visually impaired.  During the week, 7 rounds of chess were played and in the evenings the group enjoyed entertainment such as a quiz, some music and a murder mystery.

The tournament and entertainments were organised by John Jenkins of Highcliffe and he took part in the chess along with local Steve Bailey of Poole.

18 other players travelled to Bournemouth from around the UK and they were joined by players from Vienna, Barcelona and Sweden.

The tournament was officially opened by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Anne Filer, and Martin Simons gave a challenge in a 16 board simultaneous, finishing on 12.5 points.

The Chairman’s Cup was won by Ian Blencowe (Gloucester) with a score of 5.5 from 7. Stan Lovell (Scarborough) was second with 5 points and so remains our Visually Impaired Champion.  Neda Koohnavard (London) was the top placed player with a rating under 1300 and she also won the ladies cup, she scored 4.5.

The rail strikes meant that half of our party left a day early on Friday 21st and so a “soirée” of musical talents was held on Thursday afternoon with a much smaller soirée held on Friday night.

We hope to return to Bournemouth again in the future.


The Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Anne Filer, opened the tournament.
Stan Lovell finished 2nd overall and was the highest placed visually impaired player. Accompanied by guide dog, Casper, he received his prize from Gill Smith.