Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - August 2005

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.



This year the party going to the annual IBIS chess tournament in the little Dutch town of Haaksbergen numbered nine BCA members. We all met up at Harwich on Friday morning to catch the high-speed ferry to the Hook of Holland and then travelled via train to Hengelo. Here we were met by some of the Dutch organisers and taken by car to the school where the chess is played.

Our host families picked us up from the school and the usual Friday night welcome party commenced where new and old friendships were made. Also chess players were able to learn which table they were on and who they would be competing against.

The chess commenced as usual on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with speeches from the organisers explaining the rules of the competition. The event was then formally opened by a person from the town council.

All the BCA players fared well and results were as follows with everybody winning a prize:

Table 6 – David Hodgkins – 3 from 3, (first on his table).

Table 11 – Mike Murphy – 2.5 from 3, (first on his table).

Table 12 – Brian Perham – 3 from 3, (first on his table).

Table 13 – George Plechaty – 2 out of 3, (second on his table).

Table 14 – Phil Smith – 1 from 3, (joint second on his table).

Table 19 – Kieren Wood – 2.5 from 3, (joint first on his table).

Overall the British players scored 14 out of a possible 18 points.

This year Mike Murphy and Kieren Wood were in the winning team for the friendship plaque. They both won a commemorative medal as the plaque stays in Haaksbergen.

On the Saturday evening the usual musical event took place at the school and most of the host families and competitors attended. A good night was had by all.

During the musical evening the president of the organising committee announced that a special DVD had been made of the 30th anniversary tournament which took place in 2004. He informed us that people could purchase one of the DVDs for 5 Euros. Some of our party bought one of these.

On Sunday afternoon after the closing speeches and prize giving we departed from the school with our host family for the remainder of our stay in Haaksbergen.

On Monday morning we all met up at Hengelo station to start the journey back on train to catch the high-speed ferry to Harwich.

I would like to sincerely thank Clive and Phyllis Hodgkins, Phil Smith, Mike Murphy and Kieren Wood, for all the help and assistance they gave throughout the trip. Without their assistance and support the journey and organisation would not have gone as smoothly as it did.

Next year’s IBIS tournament will take place from Friday 21st to Monday 24th April 2006. All those who would like to go on this trip should notify myself by no later than Saturday, 17th December 2005, hopefully along with the name of a guide. Also when notifying me of your participation on this trip you should confirm whether you will be travelling with the organised party on the high-speed ferry from Harwich or making your own travel arrangements.

David Hodgkins