The Gazette - May 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

Well, despite proposing at the AGM in March that the price of annual membership should be increased from £7 to £10, I have still somehow been elected for another year! I’ll have to think of something far more radical next year!

For those of you who were not at the AGM, the motion to increase annual membership subscription to £10 was agreed. However, so as not to make the price increase counterproductive, the new price for annual subscription will not come into effect until the necessity to print a new batch of publicity and welcome leaflets, which I am informed certainly won’t be this year or possibly even next, so no need to rush to find your cheque book! You may also be pleased to know that the vote at the AGM was only in respect of annual subscription, therefore, five year membership and life membership will remain the same at £20 and £50 respectively.

I do not yet have a date for the biennial membership list but if you haven’t received it by August I will put a publishing date in the August Gazette.

At least two people have asked me why I have stopped listing the preferred medium of new members. Please let me assure you that I fully endorse the practice of listing people’s preferred mediums of contact, and where possible, I have continued to include these. However, I can only do this if a VI member reads Braille, large print, is happy to receive correspondence via tape and/or happy to have their email address included on the email address circulation. In saying this, in the mad rush to get the February Gazette report typed, I did omit to mention that Arthur Greatrex is a Braille user, which was purely an oversight on my part.

Well, I am thrilled to say that this time we have a grand total of, wait for it, twelve new members! This is the largest ‘bumper crop’ I’ve ever had the pleasure to introduce. Nine new members have joined as part of “Junior BCA” and by the time this Gazette goes out, seven of these will have all played in the BCA Junior Championship.

However, before I introduce our new influx of juniors, let me start the ball rolling by extending a very warm welcome to Muzz Lakhani, who has joined as a life member. Not of course to be confused with the BCA, Muzz is the Secretary of the BCAB (British Computer Association for the Blind) and is also the Treasurer of NTE (National Talking Express).

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to Margaret Keogh, who being extremely new to chess has joined as an annual subscriber. I am always delighted and think it takes a lot of courage when people join who have never played the game before. The BCA is there to support complete novices right up to world champions and everything in between. Chess is a game that can be enjoyed at all levels and I hope that it gives as much pleasure to Margaret as it has given to many of us “old hands” over the years.

It was a great pleasure to meet Kathleen and her husband Graham Pennington at the BCA AGM Chess Congress in Derby. Graham is already a member of the BCA but Kathleen has now taken out annual subscription as an associate member. As far as I know, Kathleen is not a chess player, however, I can vouch she has a winning personality and is a great asset to the BCA. I have a strong inkling that we will see more of Kathleen and Graham at our events.

As I said at the start, we have nine new juniors, seven of whom are what I term the “Owing to Owen” juniors and are all based in Surrey. The remaining two are from the Royal National College in Hereford, where I have recently learned chess is quite a popular pastime. The BCA is setting up plans to help these students with their chess, so watch this space!

Let me first of all return to Surrey and start the proceedings by introducing our first two juniors, Alex Wright aged twelve and Dan Wainwright aged fourteen, who both attend Oxted Grammar School, Godstone. May I extend to you both a very warm welcome and trust you had an enjoyable day on 23rd April and I look forward to hearing all about it in the August Gazette.

Moving on from Oxted Grammar School but staying in Surrey, the following five juniors are all members of the Wallington Chess club and have joined as Associate Juniors.

Let me start by offering a very warm welcome to Abhinay Narish. Abhinay is already a star in his own right, as being only six years old, he is officially our youngest member.

It also gives me great pleasure to welcome Shivank and brother Shubhransh Khare. Shivank is twelve years old, and as Shubhransh was seven in March, he is the second youngest member of the BCA.

Let me now extend a very warm welcome to Ayush Patel. Ayush is eleven years old and like the others in this sub-section will be taking part in the Junior Championship. No bookie would dare call this one; it will be close!

Lastly but by no means least, I am delighted to welcome Jijjith Thukaram-But. At the tender age of eight Jijjith is obviously very useful on the chess board as last year he was the under eight Wey Valley Champion and I have just learned he was offered a place to play for the Wey Valley team in the county championship but declined as it clashed with the BCA Junior Championship.

Moving back to Hereford, our final two new members have joined as juniors in the BCA sense of the word. Under the BCA Junior Policy all VI members under the age of 25 come under the umbrella of “Junior BCA”.

Let me therefore extend a very warm welcome to Kimberley Jeffreys and Laura Tyler aged 19 and 20 respectively. I have to say I wrote to Laura and Kimberley before going away and when I returned I was delighted to have such prompt replies. It has been ten years since we last had a female champion and we certainly need to put that right! It is great to see that the BCA is now attracting more and more female players.


I am sure most of you will now have heard of the sad death of long standing life member David Gibbs, who passed away on 29th January. David attended many of our over the board events and also for many years played in the top sections of our correspondence tournaments. I have played David over the board a number of times and I think I’ve only beaten him once, which was more by luck than design. Our sympathies go out to his widow Monica, stepson David Mears and granddaughter Rachel Rees.

It is also my sad duty to inform you of the death of another long standing life member. Henry (known as Harry) Beevers passed away on 24th January aged 86. Certainly in recent years Harry hadn’t attended any BCA events, so unfortunately I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him. However, it is quite possible that he did attend events back in the ’70s and early ’80s, as the Chambers family tell me that they recall meeting him in the ’70s at a chess event in Austria.

Finally, it is also my sad duty to report the death of Maureen Jakob who passed away on 22nd January aged 87. Surprisingly Maureen technically never got round to joining as a member, but I am sure everyone will agree she was a member in every other way. She accompanied her daughter, Clare, and Voldi at many of our events and also during the ’80s was a regular guide on the trips to Haaksbergen and also kindly gave accommodation to BCA members when playing events in London. I, like many, have spent many a happy hour chatting with Maureen and it goes without saying she will be sadly missed.