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.

Membership Secretary’s Report

Before I introduce our new members, let me first of all mention a proposal that the Committee will be bringing to the next AGM. It probably hasn’t escaped anybody’s notice that the price of BCA membership hasn’t changed since Greco first pushed a pawn! It certainly hasn’t changed since I joined the BCA in 2005, apart from life membership being reduced from £70 to £50! At the next AGM the Committee therefore will be proposing that annual subscription is increased from £7 to £10, with the caveat that the increase won’t come into effect until the printing of the next batch of leaflets, so as not to make any increase counterproductive. The Committee are not proposing any change to the price of five year and life membership, which will remain at £20 and £50 respectively. I won’t squander the precious pages of this magazine to explain/bore you with my reasoning for the proposal but will save that exciting discourse for my AGM report.

Right, far more important than figures, let me introduce our new members. This time I am pleased to say we have five new members, which include a very keen new junior.

Let me start the ball rolling therefore by now officially extending a very warm welcome to Hugo Roman. You may remember that I briefly introduced Hugo in my report to the November Gazette, but as at that point he hadn’t yet officially joined, I said I would give him a proper welcome in the February Gazette. It was great to meet Hugo at our Autumn Tournament in Harrogate. Hugo has joined as an overseas associate member and hopes to come to Derby in March. VI chess players must know how to have a good time both on and off the board, as Hugo tells me that he has not only twice served as IBCA Arbiter, he is also a member of the French and Netherlands associations, not to mention a member of his home country Belgium. Chris might be pleased to read that Hugo specifically asked me to mention that he is also a huge Ross fan!

Keeping with the overseas theme, in my November report I also hinted that we may have a new member joining us from the USA. It is my pleasure therefore to welcome Jim Homme, who has joined as a five year member, which brings our USA membership up to four. Unfortunately, I know very little about Jim but I do know that the BCA was recommended to him by a friend. With the advent of email, the world is a much smaller place and I do trust you will feel very much a part of the association.

Well, sort of keeping with the overseas theme but obviously not joining as an overseas member, all the way from the Isle of Wight may I extend a very warm welcome to Arthur Greatrex who has joined as a life member. Arthur is an ex Brumby, went to my old school Lickey Grange and as well as chess enjoys playing country music on the guitar, so in my book must be a top guy! Arthur tells me that when he had more sight he spent many years sailing the seas as a skipper. In speaking to him I get the impression that he has taken up chess with the same gusto and he tells me he always plays better after a couple of pints of Guinness! So if he’s playing me I will do my best to ensure the bar is closed! Arthur is hoping to come to Derby and to Bournemouth.

Well, Arthur may have gone to my old school, but the next new member went to Dorton College, Tanvi’s old school. It is my great pleasure therefore to welcome Adam Luckhurst. I get the impression that Adam is a little newer to chess than our other new members and so for now has joined as an annual subscriber. Adam graduated from Dorton College about 20 years ago. I don’t know whether his time at Dorton would have coincided with Jeff Baker, a BCA chess coach who for many years ran chess classes at that establishment, but if so, it just goes to show that teaching children chess is never a waste of time and money.

Finally, I am delighted to welcome new member, Eli Josebashvili, who at 14 has joined as a junior member. If enthusiasm is a good measuring stick then watch out Chris! As I write, Eli is putting our Chairman through his paces in an email game. It is nothing but joy to behold the enthusiasm of the young as it proves that chess is very much alive and well and the BCA will potentially live on to see another 80 plus years!


This is the heading I always hate to include but tragically it is too often a feature of my reports. I have recently had it on good authority that the London based John Gallagher passed away some time ago. John joined the BCA at the close of 2008. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting John, as like many on the membership list, John never attended any of our events or played in any of the correspondence tournaments and it was only through recent Gazettes being returned that caused me to make some investigations. If anybody knows John and would be able to write an obituary please contact our Editor, Julie Leonard.

It is also my sad duty to report the death of Peter Keffler, who passed away at the age of 92 on 22nd December 2015. Although I can’t claim to have known Peter personally, I am told that he was a larger than life character and a formidable chess player too, playing both at club and county level. Peter joined the BCA in 2011, but due to failing health sadly he was unable to attend any of our own tournaments. However, in his life time Peter certainly made his mark on the chess world. Watch out for his obituary in the May Gazette.

Gary Wickett