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.

All Under One Roof

Members can claim support for attending any of these congresses from the Congress Support Scheme. You just have to flag up with the Congress Support Officer, Mark Kirkham, that you intend to participate, and assuming you have not exceeded the amount you are entitled to claim in a year and that you send in a small report on the tournament afterwards you could probably offset the vast bulk of costs incurred by playing in an event.

This list should not be treated as definitive and is only as complete as I can make it whilst complying with gazette deadlines. The following events take place in hotels so the accommodation and tournament are at the same venue.

Castle Chess

These are organised by Tony and Barbara Corfe. You can subscribe to Tony's newsletter yourself; just email him and you will be added to his list of subscribers. Tony and Barbara are used to having visually impaired participants in their events. I have also found that other participants in Castle Chess events have got to know and befriended BCA players.

Please note that unless otherwise stated, all Castle Chess congresses are now six-round Swiss events and you are allowed to take a half-point bye in any two of the first five rounds. The grading bands are an Open which also has an U180 section, the Major for those under 160 with an Intermediate section for U140s, and a Minor section for those with a grade less than 125 with a Challengers section for U100s.

19th – 21st February 2016, 9th Portsmouth Congress, Lysses House Hotel, High Street, Fareham.

Rooms in this hotel are limited so book well in advance if you wish to go to this event.

11th – 13th March, 2016, 8th Hereford Congress, Green Dragon Hotel, Broad Street, Hereford.

BCA players have enjoyed this event in the past. The Green Dragon hosted a masters tournament in 1885 where the winner was JH Blackburne.

e2e4 Events

It looks as if e2e4 events are starting up again. Contact Sean Hewitt.

19th – 21st February 2016, Gatwick Congress, Crown Plaza Hotel, London-Gatwick Airport, Crawley.

This is a five-round Swiss. There are three FIDE-rated sections: an open and sections for those with a FIDE rating under 1950 and under 1700. There is discounted food and drink available to chess players. The cost of hotel rooms is just £55 pppn for a single room, or £36 pppn for a double room. These rates include full breakfast, free onsite parking and are fully cancellable up to the day before arrival. The entry fee is £35 with a £5 discount for hotel guests. There is free entry for women and girls provided they enter on or before Sunday 31st January 2016.

27th - 30th May 2016, Gatwick Whitsun Congress, Crown Plaza Hotel, London-Gatwick Airport, Crawley.

This is a seven-round Swiss. There are four FIDE-rated sections: an open and sections for those with FIDE ratings under 2050, 1850 and 1650. The entry fee is £38 with a £6 discount for hotel guests. There is free entry for women and girls who enter on or before Sunday 1st May 2016. The cost of hotel rooms is £55 per night for a single and £36 per night for a double or twin.

4NCL FIDE-rated Congresses

You don’t have to have a FIDE rating to play in these five-round Swiss events! There are sections for various playing strengths and most sections have grading prizes. For more information please contact Mike Truran or see No telephone number is provided.

1st -3rd April 2016, 8th 4NCL Congress, Cedar Court Hotel, Denby Dale Road, Calder Grove, Wakefield

There’s an open section and sections for those graded under 175 and under 135.

Other Events

11th – 13th March 2016, 40th Blackpool Conference, Imperial Hotel, Promenade, Blackpool.

There are five sections; Open, Major (U181), Intermediate (U155), Minor (U135) and Standard (U115). Email No telephone bookings will be accepted.

13th – 18th March 2016, Rothay Manor Chess Holiday, Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria.

ECF graded, seven round Swiss tournament and four tutorial sessions on openings, middle games, endings and tactics. Website: Contact: Peter Cloudsdale. Note that this event finishes on the day when the BCA AGM Congress begins.

25th – 28th March 2016, WECU 69th Open Easter Congress, The Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, Devon.

Three sections; FIDE rated Open (incl. West of England Championship); FIDE rated Major U1950 or ECF U170; Minor U135. Website: http://www.chessdevon. Contact: Meyrick Shaw

10th – 16th April, Polar Capital Jersey International Chess Tournament,

Hotel Ambassadeur, St Clement Bay, Jersey

There are two sections; a nine round FIDE rated Open and a seven round Holiday Tournament for those with a rating under 1900, or graded under ECF 160 if unrated. In addition, the Nautilus Jersey Open Blitz Tournament, will take place on 13th April. Website:

Contact Paul Wojciechowski.

Guy Whitehouse.