Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - February 2002

Edited by Peter Price
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.


Our Autumn Tournament was spent in familiar surroundings at the Jarvis Loughborough Hotel. This hotel must be about the most difficult to negotiate because of its very long corridors and complex design. It actually caused me some concern on the first afternoon when my guide-dog led us both astray to a room where no staff or members of the BCA could be found. Eventually, Tyson came to my rescue, and more care was taken thereafter!

It was a very cosmopolitan five-round Swiss tournament with players joining us from India and Ireland. The atmosphere throughout the weekend was very good with a mixture of surprises.

The chess room seemed overcrowded, with four players at each table, although this did allow one to gauge how your opponents were doing. I remember hearing: "Why did I do that?" and "What's wrong with me today?" Yes, we have all said these things many times over, but they serve as a reminder for the next time.

Our appreciation was extended to Graham and Paula Freckleton, from the Helen Jean Cope trust for sponsoring this event. They joined us for a meal on Saturday evening. Also on Saturday, our treasurer, Wendy Holmes, did a great job marketing our t-shirts and other goodies with much skill and enthusiasm.

I had been told that the food at this hotel would be exceptional: the Saturday night's meal, in particular, confirmed this view.

It was a marvellous weekend, and our grateful thanks are extended to Stan for organising this event. To everyone who contributed to this most enjoyable occasion, many, many thanks.

John Osborne.

Principal results.

Open: Chris Ross retained the trophy with 4.5 - 5 on a tie-break with Sean Loftus (Ireland); Mordue and McElroy (Ireland) 4; Doyle (Ireland), Hartley, Lovell, Karandicar (India) and Gallagher 3; Karandicar and Gallagher shared grading prize A. Grading prize B was shared between Steve Brown and Phil Smith: 2.5.

Minor: Shirley Watkins and Guy Whitehouse (in his first tournament) 4; Geoff Patching and Dorothy Hodges, 3; the latter won the grading prize.