Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - November 2002

Sponsored by the employees of the John Lewis Partnership including Waitrose
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.


The BCA Junior Championship last took place at the Sitwell Arms, Renishaw, in 1999. I am pleased to say that the event has been restored to the BCA's calendar this year: no doubt due to Stan Lovell's endeavours! The tournament was held in July at RNIB New College Worcester. Eight juniors took part, all students at the college, their ages ranging from 13 to 17. I looked after the tournament with help from my wife, Celia, and Matthew Hewitt - Matthew was, of course, a regular competitor in this event when he was a junior. Mr. David Spybey, the master in charge of chess at the college, was a great help.

I am glad to report that all the junior competitors have joined the BCA.

We had a visit from the media, both radio and newspaper, to interview the players.

The format was an all-play-all, and it was impressive to watch the players with no previous experience of using a clock take to it so readily.

17 year old Yan Kit Chan won all his games; 15 year old Simon Ledwith was second with 5 points; followed by 14 year old Robin Williams on 4.5; Alastair Irving and Adam Pritchard 3.5; Lee Clarke 2.5; Richard Claridge 2, and Kerry Nichols 0.

After the last round I gave a talk to encourage the players, mentioning their strengths and any weakness that I had detected. I told them that they all seemed to be playing better as the tournament progressed. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful event.

Peter Gibbs.



Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd 4 Nxd4 e5

This move occurs in several Sicilian variations. Black voluntarily giving himself a backward d-Pawn in return for free piece play.

5 Nb5 Bd7

After this, White should grab the d-Pawn with 6 Nxd6+. Correct instead is 5 ...a6 pushing the Knight away first.

6 Bc4 Nc6 7 Nbc3 Nf6 8 Be3 Be7 9 0-0 0-0 10 Qd3 a6 11 Nxd6 Bxd6 12 Qxd6 Ng4 13 Bc5 Re8

An interesting alternative here is 13 ...Qh4 14 h3 Nf6 and White's h3-Pawn could become vulnerable to attack.

14 Rad1 Nf6 15 Na4 Be6 16 Nb6 Bxc4 17 Nxc4 Nxe4 18 Qd5

White has a very comfortable game after instead 18 Qxd8 and 19 Bd6.

18 ...Qxd5 19 Rxd5 Nxc5 20 Rxc5 Nb4 21 Re1

There is nothing wrong with 21 Rxe5.

21 ... Nxc2 22 Rc1 Rad8 23 Nxe5

Instead, 23 Rxc2 ends the game abruptly as there is a back row mate. Still best is 23 Rxe5, after the move played, 23 Nxe5, Black could play 23 ...b6 attacking the Rook which is protecting the Knight.

23 ...Nb4 24 Nc4

Under time pressure, White begins to crack.

24 ...Nxa2

Even stronger is 24 ...Nd3 forking both Rooks.

25 Ra1 b5 26 Ne5 b4 27 Re1 Rd2 28 Nf3 Rxe1+ 29 Nxe1 g6

And Black soon won the ending.

Peter Gibbs.