Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - February 2005

Sponsored by The Leeds Hospital Fund Charitable Trust
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.


At the AGM in March last year, there was considerable discussion on whether the BCA should make a bid to host the 2007 European Individual Championship as part of our 75th anniversary celebrations. We knew that any such bid needed to reach the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) in time for consideration at its meeting at the Olympiad in Spain in November 2004. The AGM asked the BCA committee to give the matter further detailed consideration and to put in a bid if this was judged to be the best course of action.

In the months since the AGM discussions have taken place on the matter, both at committee meetings and elsewhere. In the end we decided to go ahead with the bid and I am pleased to say that it was successful. We shall indeed be hosting the European Individual Championship in 2007 and a lot of hard work now lies ahead.

The championship will inevitably be an event for the stronger players within the BCA. However, a special event for the wider membership will also be organised. The anniversary celebrations will be costly but I am delighted to say that our fund raiser, Julia Scott, has agreed to work with us for at least the next 3 years.

I attended the IBCA meeting on behalf of the BCA. It lasted for 6 hours and was quite an experience. A substantial part of the meeting was devoted to IBCA finances but among the other decisions made was that Greece would be the host nation for the World Junior Championship in 2005. As in 2003, the BCA will be supporting a number of our juniors to play in this tournament.

On more domestic matters our publicity officer, Richard Murphy, has decided to stand down after more than 6 years of valuable service but I am pleased to say that Richard has agreed to continue with his reading activities for us. We have some ideas about a replacement publicity officer but anyone who has a burning ambition to be considered for the post should get in touch with me as soon as possible.

The BCA annual report for 2003/4 and the business plan for the next 3 years have now been produced. The two documents can be read on the BCA website and anyone who would like a copy of either document in print, large print, Braille, on tape or by e-mail should let me know.

I will close by quoting from the final paragraph of the annual report: “we would like to pay tribute to all friends of the BCA, be you sponsors, guides, associate members, arbiters, stewards, readers – or just plain good friends! We are truly grateful to you all!”