The Gazette - August 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

Hopefully by now you should have all received your new membership list which was sent out in July. If anyone hasn’t yet received their membership list or has received it in the wrong medium, please let me know.

For those who share my love of figures you may be interested to know your new membership list contains a total of 245 members: made up of 159 VI and 86 associate members. This figure includes: 12 Honorary Members, 36 Overseas Members and 32 members of “Junior BCA”.

I am delighted to report that we have another bumper crop of new recruits. As you may remember from the last Gazette, I introduced a record number of twelve new members. This time I have another record breaking figure of ten VI members. As all the following new members and the two changes of address are in the new membership list, I will not take up space by listing addresses. The following have all taken out five year membership.

Without further ado, let me extend a very warm welcome to Ken Harris. One or two of you may remember Ken as he has re-joined after a break of about thirteen years. I understand that he is an active player in the Teeside chess circuit. It goes without saying, it would be great to meet you at one of our events if you were able to come.

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to Ian Rattray. Ian was one of the students at some chess coaching sessions that Voldi was running in London earlier this year. Ian has obviously caught the chess bug as he has since bought one of our sets and joined the association. Ian, I can warn you that if you come to one of our events you will quite likely catch a more serious strain of the bug and want to come again!

Skipping across the pond for a minute, I’d like to welcome three new members from the Republic of Ireland.

Let me start by extending a very warm welcome to Ann Casey. Again, Ann is no stranger to the BCA and it has been my pleasure to meet and even play Ann at one or two of our tournaments in the past. I have fond memories of the Windermere Chess Theme break where Tanvi and I left the bar at some unseemly hour and delicately crept past the Caseys’ room, only to hear that such precautions were not necessary as Eamonn’s Irish brogue could be faintly heard behind the door giving Ann a crash course for our game the following morning. I can’t remember who won but I do remember that as a novice to chess Ann was a very formidable opponent! I am delighted to say that both Ann and husband, Eamonn, were on the list of attendees of the Chairman’s Cup this year.

It is also my great pleasure to welcome Joe and Rose McAloon. Can I take this opportunity to say how blessed we are as an organisation to have such warm support from our friends across the pond. This year’s Chairman’s Cup is no exception, as once again we will be joined by many of our friends from the Emerald Isle. Although Joe and Rose recently attended the Chess Theme Break at Windermere, this will be their first official BCA event. I do trust that you enjoyed it so much that you will want to come again!

Another new member whom I’m delighted to welcome is Antoine Reeves, who also attended the Chairman’s Cup. Many of you will already know him as he is a familiar face at the famous Windermere Chess Theme Breaks. Not only is Antoine a good friend of mine, but he is also a man of many talents. I would be in trouble with the Editor if I sought to list all the musical instruments he can play. Chess aside, Antoine will be a great asset to the organisation, and if his chess ability gets as good as his musical ability, I think I’ll try my hand at draughts!

It is also my great pleasure to welcome Tony Lawton, who apparently joined through meeting Mark Hague and Lea Ryan on a cruise. Mark omitted to tell me who won the chess game that they played! Sun, sea and chess sound perfect to me and maybe I should float the idea of BCA cruises to the Tournament Sub-committee! Although BCA cruises may be just a pipedream, I can promise you that if you dip your toe into the water and try one of our events, you will want to come again!

This brings us to the end of our list of five year members. I now would like to introduce two annual subscribers. Let me extend a very warm welcome therefore to George Foster and partner Jadwiga Kelley. Those who were at the Chairman’s Cup will already have had the pleasure of meeting George and Jadwiga. George tells me that he used to play chess a fair number of years ago when he had more sight, but after recently losing nearly all his sight he is learning to play by touch. Many of us can sympathize what that ‘feels’ like and are living proof that with practice things do get easier. Eventually something seems to click in the brain and it is as if you have played by touch all of your life. Jadwiga reads large print but is very new to the game and still at the learning stage.

Finally, it is my great pleasure to welcome Ben Sheppard, who has joined as part of what we call “Junior BCA”. Ben is 17 and attends the RNC College in Hereford, which, as I mentioned in the last issue, now sports its own little chess club, which I understand Ben plays an integral part in running. With free entry and accommodation for VI “BCA Juniors” at all our events, why not come and check us out and bring some friends along?


Our Secretary, Guy Whitehouse, has moved back to the East Midlands and Mike Harris also has a new address.


It is my sad duty to inform those who do not already know of the death of long time associate life member Gwen Lilley, who passed away at the age of 97. Although due to ill health Gwen hadn’t been able to attend any of our tournaments for many years, over the years she was a faithful supporter of the BCA and had attended many BCA and IBCA events with her son, Graham. Unfortunately, I personally never got the chance to meet Gwen. However, she was a much loved and valued member and a familiar face to many and will be very much missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Graham at this sad time.

It also saddens me to report the death of long time life member Chris Brown. You may remember from a recent Gazette, Chris had not long celebrated her 90th birthday. I first met Chris during my very first tournament at Paignton back in 2006, when a good friend of mine, the late Peter Price, told me that she was the favourite to win the Minor tournament. His prediction was correct as Chris went on to win with a perfect score. The other fascinating thing about Chris is that she is the only person I’ve ever known who recorded all her moves on an old-fashioned Braille handframe, and I was always in awe at the speed she could do this. Everyone who knew Chris will agree that she was a gentle and charming lady and she will be very much missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to husband Bob and daughter Penny and family.

Regrettably I also have to report the sad passing of long time life member Kathy Cash. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Kathy as she hadn’t attended any of our tournaments for many years due to her late husband’s poor health. However, I have since learned that Kathy was once a regular participant at BCA events and in true northeast style was quite handy on the chess board! Our deepest sympathies go to Kathy’s family.

Like many I was totally stunned to hear of the sudden premature death of Steve Brown. Steve had been a life member for many years and a regular participant of all our tournaments, both correspondence and over the board. Small in stature but a giant on the chess board and a huge part of the BCA. Generally quiet with a wonderful dry sense of humour, but I’ve had some drinks with him in the bar and can tell you that he really knew how to let his hair down too, with an infectious laugh. A top guy who will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts especially go out to his mother and family at this tragic time.