The Gazette - May 2014

Sponsored by The Ulverscroft Foundation
Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Two New Over-the-Board Match Opportunities

I mentioned these at the AGM and on the email user group, but because I know that some of our active members aren’t actually on the user group, and obviously not everyone was at the AGM, I thought I’d write a brief gazette article about two new over-the-board opportunities that have come our way.

First, Bill Armstrong alerted the committee to the fact that we are eligible to field a team or teams in the ECF National Clubs Championship. This competition has been re-shaped and now takes the form of a four-round Swiss weekend tournament in which teams are divided up into sections according to the average grade of their members. There are odd rules designed to ensure that averages aren’t skewed by the inclusion of someone whose grade is much higher than that of their team members, but I won’t go into those for now. All you really need to know is that if you want to participate you need to have played in a BCA event, if memory serves me right, during the season in which the championships occur.

A full policy on this tournament hasn’t been worked out (e.g. whether there should be a ratio of associate members to visually impaired members in any given team), but in a brief discussion I had on this with Norman we both agreed that those representing the BCA should have all reasonable expenses met. Also I believe the tournament will be held in a hotel, thus avoiding difficulties getting to and from the venue.

At the time of writing I think I can safely say we won’t have managed to get a team into this year’s championship, but based on the feedback I’ve already had its possible, even probable that we’ll get at least one team into next year’s championship, and maybe even a second team. Let me know if you’re interested in taking part.

The other opportunity that’s come our way is an annual challenge match against Wallington chess club which is where one of our associate members and active coaches, Owen Phillips, is based. His club has players of all strengths from a Grandmaster to players graded around 80. Owen’s initial thought was that the match would be held in Wallington and that there should be a wide range of abilities in each team. Given that each game would be played on two boards, Owen thought that ten boards per team would be about right.

Again no formal policy has been drawn up on this regarding team formation, partly because we haven’t been 100% sure we’ll get a team together, but I’m pleased to say that I’ve already had enough expressions of interest to make me think that we should be able to get something up and running. Playing strengths of those who have expressed an interest range from Richard Harrington to Stan Lovell. If one or two of our elite players pitched in, it could turn into a wonderful annual day out and get together. Again I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem in paying reasonable expenses if people had to travel down to Surrey the evening before the match. Those interested in playing should let me know and I’ll keep them posted of developments.

Guy Whitehouse.