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.

Words from the Whitehouse

The committee held the first of its twice-yearly meetings on 21st May. Here is a summary of the main points.

We continue to enjoy a period of financial buoyancy brought about largely by Julia’s marvellous fundraising activities. At this writing the total for this financial year stands at around £22,000 and one of our donors has put in place a standing order of £2,000 a year.

Junior development continues to be a cause for concern. We’ve sent the chess group at RNC some large sets and a clock, but moving home has meant I haven’t been able to firm up contact with people there as much as I’d like. However Voldi is looking at an application to the John Robinson Trust to help with the coaching of juniors and he is also trying to liaise with the Chess in Schools and Communities initiative. Regarding outreach more generally, Voldi has also been giving talks on chess to groups of visually impaired people based in London and he and John Osborne have an idea of getting something along these lines going which is more permanent. We did also think about moving a weeklong event to the summer to coincide with school holidays in case that would attract some juniors to participate in it.

The international chess scene will be a busy one this year. I’ve been putting in place travel and accommodation arrangements for a team going to the first IBCA European Team Championships. The team will consist of Bill Armstrong, Les Whittle, Steve Hilton, Phil Gordon and myself as a backup. Owen Phillips and Chris Beaumont will be acting as guides and coaches and Moira will be accompanying Les. Chris Ross has been invited to be part of the IBCA team playing in the mainstream Olympiad in Azerbaijan this August.

We’ve reconstituted the sub-committees as we always do at our first meeting of the year. The main difference is that Mark Kirkham will be operating in conjunction with the ICT sub-committee so as to ensure that the topic of ebooks doesn’t get overlooked. We did note that for the technologically adventurous amongst us options were

expanding beyond the .pgn books on offer from Everyman.

Owen Phillips attended his first ECF Council meeting in his capacity as our representative on that body. The main points of common interest to emerge from his report were that board, league and membership fees were to remain unchanged for the year and that games played in the final rounds of the Open section of the county championships were to be FIDE rated, while those played in lower sections were not.

We did look at whether to do something for our 85th anniversary next year. The feeling was that there was nothing special about the number 85; even with the help of sub-committees the main committee is busy enough and our energies are better directed towards developing the association in other ways.

Finally, based on the results of discussions at the AGM we decided there was no point in trying to persuade the RNIB to produce Standard English Braille versions of the gazette; in any case they are adamant they no longer have the capacity to do this. However we will include the possibility of producing Standard English Braille versions the next time we put the production of the Braille gazette out to tender.

Guy Whitehouse.

Editor’s Note: Guy also reported on the Annual Best Game Award and the issue of notetakers, but these subjects are now covered in separate articles.