Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - May 2012

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

AGM 2012 Weekend

This year’s AGM and congress took place at the Park Inn hotel Bedford, a pleasant alternative to the Hallmark in Derby, in spite of the unexpected wake-up call from the fire alarm in the early hours of Sunday morning. The hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was excellent and the playing conditions in the tournament were very comfortable as the chess room was really spacious.

Although there were no new players, the BCA was delighted to welcome a new arbiter, Geoff Jones, who is a highly experienced ECF Arbiter. He had not controlled at a Braille event before, but said afterwards that he enjoyed it.

Honorary life memberships were awarded to five people in recognition of their ongoing and invaluable support, which is much appreciated and continues to be a shining example to us all. The recipients were:

Stan Lovell, Julie Leonard, Peter and Celia Gibbs, and Sheila Milsom. As ever, Sheila held another successful raffle which proved extremely popular raising more valuable funds for the BCA.

I won’t dwell too much on my own performance at the chess board, but I couldn’t write an article on this event without a passing reference to it. I didn’t manage to win any of my games, however, in my first round, I achieved one of my most spectacular losses so far in a BCA tournament, losing in six moves to Gary Wickett! Not content to let our chessboards have such an early night, we decided to play a friendly and two games of suicide chess, at which I was much more successful.

Before I give you the final scores, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Hague and Lea Ryan (the tournament organisers) for their hard work in ensuring that this was another enjoyable and successful event, both on and off the chess board.

BCA AGM Tournament, Bedford 2nd - 4th March 2012

OPEN Chris Ross 4 =1st (Chris won the trophy on tie-break), Tristram Cole 4 =1st, Steve Burnell 3.5 3rd, Eamonn Casey 3 GPA, Les Whittle 2.5, David Hodgkins 2.5, Ian Blencowe 2 =GPB, Mark Kirkham 2 =GPB, Richard Murphy 2, Sean Loftus 2, Phil Gordon 1.5, Stephen Brown 1

MINOR George Phillips 5 1st, Phil Smith 3.5 =2nd, Gary Wickett 3.5 =2nd, Mark Hague 3, Jim Cuthbert 3, Geoff Patching 2 =GPA, John Osborne 2 =GPA, Richard Harrington 2 GPB, Abi Baker 1.5, Rebecca Blaevoet 0 (Rebecca only played in the first two rounds because she had to leave after the AGM.)

Abi Baker