Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - February 2018

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.

Forthcoming Events

16th to 18th March 2018: AGM Weekend Chess Congress

This will take place at The Hallmark Hotel, Derby. The AGM will be held at 2pm on Saturday 17th March. We are pleased to be returning to this popular hotel with its excellent facilities. The hotel is very conveniently located within a few yards walk of Derby railway station.

There will be two five round chess tournaments. The Open section is open to all visually impaired chess players and associate members of the BCA. The Challengers is limited to those graded 100 or below. The entry fee for both tournaments is £10. The cost of dinner, bed and breakfast for members and associate members is £40 per person per night for Friday and Saturday nights in a single room, and £36 per person per night in a double/twin room. For non members and those staying on the Sunday night, the cost will be £58 per person in a single room and £51 per person in a double/twin. The closing date for entries was 26th January, but if you contact the organiser quickly there might still be spaces available. Please, let our secretary know if you are planning to attend the AGM without staying at the hotel so that we can let you have the AGM papers.

Organiser Steve Burnell

15th to 22nd June 2018: Jan Lovell Memorial Chairman’s Cup, Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth

Please note the change of date and venue! This is due to circumstances beyond our control.

The Chairman's Cup is open to all visually impaired players whose grade or estimated grade is 140 or below in either the July 2017 or January 2018 grading lists and to BCA associate members within the same grading limit. The event is played over 7 rounds with one round each day. Players may request a half point bye in any one of the first six rounds. If there are sufficient numbers there will be two sections. Entry fee: £10. Cost of dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation to members and associate members of BCA: £270 for the week. The cost to those booking for less than the full week will be £45 per day for members and associate members. The cost to non-members of BCA: £357 for the week or £57 per day. The closing date for bookings is 30th April 2018. Bookings accepted after that date, at the discretion of the organiser, will be subject to a late booking fee of £10 per person. Bookings, including full payment, should be sent to: Mrs Gill Smith (see list of BCA Officers for contact details). Please note: Rooms will not be reserved until full payment has been received.

The Marsham Court appears very friendly and comfortable. We also have use of a heated pool. The parking and green areas are also very good. In addition to the chess tournament there will be a varied programme of social activities. Anyone with ideas for social events, or who wants further information is invited to contact the organisers: John and Pam Jenkins

A message from John Jenkins: I think the format of the 2016 Chairman's Cup went down fairly well with most attendees. There was one game played every morning at 10.00am except the first night when the chess started at 7.30pm. Entertainment included a simultaneous display, barber shop singers, a quiz, jazz in the bar, a murder mystery, and a final night concert. I can arrange trips out to suit individuals. The Lighthouse is functioning again, offering music and various exhibitions etc. Please give me feedback for possible improvements.

I have contacted Yvonne Brooks of Action for Blind People at Salisbury, and hope to set a session of one to one tutorials for tech equipment like smart phones, tablets and daisy readers etc., like Philip in the Windermere Manor (not chess programs). I would like suggestions for the kind of equipment to be discussed and who would be interested.

Booking Conditions and Procedures

If you have any queries about the hotel or the tournament please contact the organiser.

Blind and partially sighted UK residents under the age of 25 receive free entry and free accommodation when playing in BCA events. In appropriate circumstances, free accommodation is also available to a parent or guardian accompanying a junior.

Visually impaired UK residents in their first year of membership receive their first BCA weekend event free or £100 reduction in the cost of a week-long event. They may also be accompanied by a guide or companion who will receive the same concession.

For a first event we ask for payment in advance and we then make a refund at the event.

You may pay in these ways:

Cheques payable to Braille Chess Association should be sent to Gill Smith. Online or telephone payments may be made to:

Braille Chess Association, sort code 40 52 40, account number 00082456.

Credit/debit card payments may be made through the BCA website.

If you pay by direct payment then you should inform Gill when the payment has been made.

Bookings accepted after the closing date are subject to a £10 late booking penalty for each person. Late bookings and entries are accepted at the discretion of the organiser. Bookings are confirmed when full payment has been received. Payments can only be refunded within the time limit set in the terms and conditions set by the hotels.

Members are advised to take out holiday insurance to cover themselves.

When contacting Gill please let her know if you want a single, double or twin room and if you have a preference for a bath or a shower. And remember, if emailing Gill, copy in the tournament organiser.

Also say whether any of the following apply.

1 If you will be bringing a guide dog;

2 If you are on a special diet;

3 If you have mobility problems and would benefit from being located in a room near to a lift;

4 If you are a wheelchair user;

5 If you feel you would have any special difficulties in an emergency such as a fire evacuation;

6 Any other special requirements.

By entering a BCA tournament a player is deemed to have consented for their forename, surname, club, results and possibly also their gender to be sent to the ECF for grading purposes. For juniors, the date of birth is also required if they are to get the age-related grading bonus they are entitled to.

Please note: BCA reserves the right to refuse or cancel any entry or to exclude any person from any event it runs.