Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - November 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.

14th IBCA Olympiad, Chennai 2012

The International Braille Chess Association’s (IBCA) 14th Chess Olympiad for Blind and Visually Impaired players took place from 9th - 21st August 2012 in the city of Chennai, India. The tournament consisted of 9 rounds, with a rest day.

The UK squad was:1. IM Colin Crouch (2373)

2. CM Chris Ross (2231) [captain]

3. Stephen Hilton (1914)

4. David Hodgkins (1738)

5. John Gallagher (1730)

Coaches: Grandmaster Neil McDonald and International Master Chris Beaumont

Official website:

Games download:

The UK team achieved a very creditable 7th place, having been seeded 11th at the start of the tournament. Much of the team’s success was due to the silver medal performances of International Master, Colin Crouch, with a score of 7.5 from 9 on top board and Candidate Master, Chris Ross, on board two, with a score of 6.5 from 9. With several of the other BCA leading players being unavailable, boards 3-5, Steve Hilton, David Hodgkins and John Gallagher, found themselves battling with players with a much higher rating than them. It is to their credit they gave of their best. David Hodgkins in particular, achieved results well in excess of his rating with his better-than-50% score of 3.5 from 6.

Another significant feature of the UK team's performance was, that of the nine rounds played eight were against teams seeded in the top ten and 6 were against the teams finishing in the top six places in the tournament. With this result UK comfortably qualified for the next IBCA World Cup due to be held in Spain during 2013. This is the event for the top ten nations.

Team captain, Chris Ross, was particularly keen to acknowledge the outstanding support given to the team by the two coaches, Grand master Neil McDonald and International master Chris Beaumont and by the two tireless guides, Sally Kenealy and Geoff Ward.

The BCA acknowledges with grateful thanks its sponsors for their generous support, which enabled it to send a squad well prepared and with the excellent support of high quality coaches and guides. Our extended thanks go to Westfield Health, Mrs E Y Imries Charitable Trust, North Harrow Lodge, The Ostrich Charitable Trust, Huntingdon Freemens Trust and JTH Charitable Trust.


Round 1: United Kingdom 4 – 0 Netherlands


1Crouch, Colin (2373)1-0Sergio Harnandan (1982)

2Aleattin Gundogmus (0000)0-1Ross, Chris (2231)

3Hilton, Stephen (1928)1-0Ron Snoek (0000)

4Jan Zeeman (0000)0-1Hodgkins, David (1738)

Round 2: Iran 1.5 – 2.5 United Kingdom

1Moradiyan, Meysam0-1Crouch, Colin (23)

2Ross, Chris (2231)1-0Mousavi, Emadeddin

3Bagheri, Majjid1/2-1/2Hodgkins, David (1738)

4Gallagher, John (1730)0-1Ghoorchibeygi, Alireza

Round 3: UK 2.5 – 1.5 Poland

1Crouch, Colin (2373)1-0Piotr Dukaczewski (2228)

2Jacek Stachanczyk (2256)0-1Ross, Chris (2231)

3Hilton, Stephen (1914)0-1Rafal Gunajew (2260)

4Marek Mackowiak (2165)1/2-1/2Gallagher, John (1730)

Round 4: India A 1.5 – 2.5 UK

1Krishna, Udupa (1885)0-1Crouch, Colin (2373)

2Ross, Chris (2231)1-0Swapanil, Shahs (1884)

3Kishan, Gangolli (1972)0-1Hilton, Stephen (1914)

4Hodgkins, David (1738)1/2-1/2Darpan, Inani (2015)

Round 5: UK 1.5 – 2.5 Spain

1Crouch, Colin (2373)1/2-1/2FM Desanjose Candalija, Eduardo (2238)

2Palacios Perez, Manuel (2166)0-1Ross, Chris (2231)

3Hilton, Stephen (1914)0-1Enjuto Velasco, Roberto (2132)

4Clemente Llamero, Roberto (2134)1-0Gallagher, John (1730)

Round 6: Ukraine 3.5 – 0.5 UK

1Grigorchuk Sergey (2302)1/2-1/2Crouch, Colin (2373)

2Ross, Chris (2231)0-1Shepelev Igor (2217)

3Konev Victor (2128)1-0Hilton, Stephen (1914)

4Hodgkins, David (1738)0-1Yatsishin Ivan (2137)

Round 7: Germany 2.5 – 1.5 UK

1Crouch, Colin (2373)1/2-1/2FM Mueller, Oliver (2265)

2Schellmann, Frank (2110)1/2-1/2Ross, Chris (2231)

3Hodgkins, David (1738)1/2-1/2Dobierzin, Olaf (2060)

4Pohlers, Juergen (1991)1-0Gallagher, John (1730)

Round 8: Slovenia 0.5 – 3.5 UK

1Mlacnik, Franc (2124)0-1Crouch, Colin (2373)

2Ross, Chris (2231)1-0Muri, Emil (2018)

3Znuderl, Matej (1986)1/2-1/2Hilton, Stephen (1914)

4Hodgkins, David (1738)1-0Cizman Gregor (1784)

Round 9: UK 1 – 3 Russia

1IM Crouch, Colin (2373)1-0IM Meshkov, Yuri (2390)

2Smirnov, Sergei (2333)1-0Ross, Chris (2231)

3Hilton, Stephen (1914)0-1IM Krylov, Sergey (2337)

4FM Babarykin, Stanislav (2280)1-0Gallagher, John (1730)

Final standing

1st Russia

2nd Ukraine

3rd Spain

Chris Ross