Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - February 2016

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.


Since the November gazette was published, Tristram Cole and the rest of the ‘Bookworms’ team have been back in action in the TV quiz, ‘Only Connect’! They faced the ‘Athenians’ as they competed for a place in the quarter finals. The ‘Athenians’ took an early lead and gradually increased it until they were four points ahead going into the final round. The last round is the ‘Missing Vowels Round’ where teams are asked to identify words or phrases that have had all the vowels removed. The first few questions were all about things that are black and white. So for example, the first set of letters was PNKYS and the answer was ‘PIANO KEYS’. The second cluster of consonants was PPNNTSNCHSS. (In case you missed the programme, I’ll leave that one for you to ponder. The answer is given at the end of this gazette.) This question proved to be the turning point for the ‘Bookworms’! They won the point and went on to answer question after question correctly. When the quiz ended they were the winners by a slender one point margin! In the quarter final itself the ‘Bookworms’ were up against the ‘Wayfarers’ who had beaten them in their first round encounter. The ‘Wayfarers’ prevailed once again and duly ended the ‘Bookworms’ run. Anyone who has watched ‘Only Connect’ will realise how tricky the questions are so let’s congratulate Tristram and his team on getting to the quarter final of such a difficult quiz.

Now, how many readers can cast their minds back to the BCA Championship in Torquay in the summer of 1987? At the time it was quite a well-attended event, however, a certain family was notable by its absence. One shouldn’t really name names, of course, but I’m thinking of Clare and Voldi Gailans and their young daughter, Geraldine. However, it must be pointed out that they did have rather a good reason for not being there. Geraldine’s baby sister, Natalie, had just been born! Over the years, Clare and Voldi more than made up for not going to Torquay by bringing their whole family along to BCA events such as Minor Championships in Paignton and Llandudno, the Diamond Jubilee in Oakham and a Championship in Willerby. It has been a joy for longstanding members to meet the girls at intervals as they’ve been growing up. My reason for writing about this now is because the new baby of summer 1987 has recently become a new mum! Natalie and her partner, Ellis, became the proud parents of a daughter, Poppy, on the 5th of December 2015, making Geraldine an auntie and giving Clare and Voldi their very first grandchild! No doubt Clare and Voldi’s BCA friends will join me in congratulating them on the new arrival and sending very best wishes to the whole family!

Julie Leonard