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.

Forthcoming Events

18th to 20th March 2016: The David Hodgkins Memorial AGM Chess Congress

This will be held in memory of David Hodgkins, one of our most active, loyal and much loved members who sadly passed away in early 2015. It will take place at The Hallmark Hotel, Derby. The AGM will be held at 2pm on Saturday 19th March. We are pleased to be returning to this popular hotel with its excellent facilities. The hotel is located within a few yards walk of Derby railway station and is very convenient.

There will be two five round chess tournaments. The Open section is open to all visually impaired chess players and associate members of the BCA and the Challengers is limited to those graded 100 or below. The entry fee for both tournaments is £10. The cost of dinner, bed and breakfast for members and associate members is £39 per person per night for Friday and Saturday nights in a single room, and £35 per person per night in a double/twin room. For non members and those staying on the Sunday night, the cost will be £56 per person in a single room and £50 per person in a double/twin. The closing date has now passed but there may still be space for late entries. (The late booking penalty will apply.) Please let Guy know if you are planning to attend the AGM without staying at the hotel so that we can let you have the AGM papers.

Organiser Steve Burnell.

25th June to 2nd July 2016: Chairman’s Cup, Whitehall Hotel, Exeter Park Road, Bournemouth

In 2016 the Chairman’s Cup will be held in memory of Juliet Reeve, a wonderful associate member who passed away on the 29th of August 2015. Juliet made an invaluable contribution to the social side of our events and will be greatly missed for her inexhaustible kindness and generous spirit.

The Chairman's Cup is open to all visually impaired players whose grade or estimated grade is 140 or below and to BCA associate members within the same grading limit. The event is played over 7 rounds with one round each day. Players may request a half point bye in any one of the first six rounds. If there are sufficient numbers there will be two sections. Entry fee: £10. Cost of dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation to members and associate members of BCA: £260 for the week. The cost to those booking 1 to 4 days: £54 per day. The cost to non-members of BCA: £336 for the week. The closing date for bookings is 30th April 2016. Bookings accepted after that date, at the discretion of the organiser, will be subject to a late booking fee of £10 per person. Bookings, including full payment, should be sent to: Mrs Gill Smith. Please note: Rooms will not be reserved until full payment has been received.

The Whitehall Hotel has become very popular with our members who particularly appreciate the good food and the very friendly and helpful staff. The hotel is situated a relatively short downhill walk to the seafront, lower gardens and shops. In addition to the chess tournament there will be a varied programme of social activities. Anyone with ideas for social events, or who wants further information is invited to contact the organisers:

John and Pam Jenkins

21st to 23rd October 2016: International Autumn Tournament, Holiday Inn, Solihull, West Midlands

This will consist of two five round Swiss tournaments – an Open Tournament and a Challengers Tournament for those whose grade or estimated grade is 100 or below. Both tournaments are open to blind and partially sighted players and to associate members of the BCA. The Holiday Inn was used by the BCA a few years ago. It is conveniently located a short taxi ride from Solihull Railway Station, and is also convenient for Birmingham International Airport. The hotel has extensive grounds and is adjacent to Solihull’s indoor shopping centre. The cost for dinner, bed and breakfast for the Friday and Saturday nights is £36 per person per night for BCA members and associate members. The cost for non-members and for those staying the Sunday night will be £51 person per night. There is no single room supplement.

Payment for all accommodation (including Sunday if required), together with the £10 entry fee should be sent to the Treasurer, Gill Smith. The closing date for entries is Friday 2nd September. Any queries, please contact the organiser, Mark Hague

Booking Conditions and Procedures

If you have any queries about the hotel or the tournament please contact the organiser.

Blind and partially sighted UK residents under the age of 25 receive free entry and free accommodation when playing in BCA events. In appropriate circumstances, free accommodation is also available to a parent or guardian accompanying a junior.

Visually impaired UK residents in their first year of membership receive their first BCA weekend event free or £100 reduction in the cost of a week-long event. They may also be accompanied by a guide or companion who will receive the same concession.

For a first event we ask for payment in advance and we then make a refund at the event.

You may pay in these ways:

Cheques payable to Braille Chess Association should be sent to Gill Smith.

Online or telephone payments may be made to:

Braille Chess Association, sort code 40 52 40, account number 00082456.

Credit/debit card payments may be made through the BCA website.

If you pay by direct payment then you should inform Gill when the payment has been made.

Bookings accepted after the closing date are subject to a £10 late booking penalty for each person. Late bookings and entries are accepted at the discretion of the organiser. Bookings are confirmed when full payment has been received. Payments can only be refunded within the time limit set in the terms and conditions set by the hotels. Members are advised to take out holiday insurance to cover themselves.

When contacting Gill please let her know if you want a single, double or twin room and if you have a preference for a bath or a shower. And remember, if emailing Gill, copy in the tournament organiser.

Also say whether any of the following apply.

1 If you will be bringing a guide dog;

2 If you are on a special diet;

3 If you have mobility problems and would benefit from being located in a room near to a lift;

4 If you are a wheelchair user;

5 If you feel you would have any special difficulties in an emergency such as a fire evacuation;

6 Any other special requirements.

Please note: BCA reserves the right to refuse or cancel any entry or to exclude any person from any event it runs.