Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - August 2006

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

IBIS Haaksbergen Tournament

Friday 20th to Monday 24th April 2006

This year the party going to the annual chess tournament in the little Dutch town of Haaksbergen numbered eleven BCA members. Ten of us caught the high-speed ferry while one made his own travel arrangements.

Myself, Clive and Phyllis Hodgkins, Mike Murphy, George and Janet Plechaty, Brian Perham, Jim and Mary Cuthbert and Kieren Wood all met on Friday morning at Harwich and caught the high-speed ferry to the Hook of Holland. We then travelled by train to Hengelo. Here we were met by some of the Dutch organisers and taken by car either to the school where the chess is played or to our host family. Steve Hilton was the other member of the party who made his own travel arrangements to Haaksbergen.

Later on the Friday evening we all met up at the school where the chess is played and the usual welcoming party commenced where old friendships were resumed and new ones made. The chessplayers were also able to find out what table they were playing on and who they were competing against.

As usual the first round of chess commenced on the Saturday morning with the tournament being opened by a local counsellor of Haaksbergen. The British players were on the following tables and scored as follows:-

Steve Hilton: table 1, 1-3;

David Hodgkins: Table 4, 2-3 (first on his table);

Mike Murphy: table 10, 2.5-3 (joint first on his table);

Brian Perham: Table 11, 1.5-3 (second on his table);

George Plechaty: 2.5-3 (first on his table);

Jim Cuthbert: table 14, 1-3;

Kieren Wood: table 15, 3-3 (first on his table).

Overall the British team scored 13.5 out of a possible 21 points.

This year the friendship plaque was not competed for, because the organisers wanted to obtain players’ views on what form the competition for the plaque should take. The organisers are concerned that in its current format teams of different nationalities are not getting together to know each other.

One of the German players had expressed the view to the organisers that we should go back to having country playing country for the plaque. The president of the tournament asked that each organiser of their country’s party should write to him before the 2007 tournament expressing their country’s view on how the friendship plaque should be competed for.

On the Saturday evening the usual musical party was held at the school and most of the British party attended this. A good time was had by all. 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 those of us who were travelling back on the high-speed ferry met up at Hengelo station and caught the train back to the Hook of Holland.

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

Next year’s IBIS tournament will take place from Friday 13th to Monday 16th April. All those who would like to go on this trip should notify me no later than Friday 22nd December, hopefully along with the name of a guide. Also when notifying me of your participation on this trip you should confirm whether you are travelling with the organised party on the high-speed ferry or making your own travel arrangements.

David Hodgkins.