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.

Words from the Whitehouse

The committee held a meeting on 11th November and here is my usual brief summary of discussions.

We all enjoyed looking at the trophy Julie had received when the ECF named the Gazette as their magazine of the year; the trophy did look rather splendid it must be said!

We looked at feedback to our request for views on the possibility of changing the association’s name. Opinion was split fairly evenly, although there was no unanimity amongst those who did favour a name change as to what we should change the name to. This led us to suspect that if we did go for a name change, we risked annoying more or less everyone! Please see the separate article by our Chairman for further thoughts on this subject. For now, we’re going to change the website to emphasise “BCA” rather than Braille Chess Association and take every opportunity to make it clear that people do not have to be braillists to join us.

It looks as if we are going to be sending a team to the World Cup. This is scheduled to take place in Sofia, Bulgaria from 20th to 31st July. We’re also looking to enter a team in the Six Nations which will be held in Ermelo, the Netherlands from 1st to 5th March. Throw in Haaksbergen, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate we have a busy international programme next year.

We’ve decided to try a slightly different approach to publicising our tournaments. Instead of sending articles to local newspapers, which, at the moment, seem to be ignored, we’re going to let local chess clubs in the area know. Obviously if someone such as the local Mayor happens to visit a tournament of ours we’ll contact the local press, but for now we want to experiment with this new approach to see if it leads to different results. In the meantime I should also point out that Gill has new publicity leaflets for anyone who feels they can make use of them.

Our Audio Librarian, Mark, is looking to digitise more of Chris’s annotated games and he is hoping that Paul Benson will send him some of his analysed games so that these also can be catalogued and made available to members. Keep an eye out for updates on ebooks from Mark in his AGM report; it seems that Kindle books and other formats have become rather more accessible than they previously were.

We are always looking for volunteers to take on tasks and so help the committee, many of whom are holding down jobs and/or have other commitments over and above their BCA roles. If you’d be interested in the position of friendly games coordinator, or could control a group or division in our correspondence competitions, or if you could help organise over-the-board tournaments, particularly the championships, do get in touch with us.

Gill, supported by Julia’s excellent fundraising efforts, continues to keep us financially shipshape. We are particularly proud of the fact that for every pound we raise, 83 pence is spent directly on supporting visually impaired chess players leaving only 17 pence being spent on publicity, governance and fundraising.

Finally the new trustees’ annual report is available for anyone who wishes to read it. Also we made some minor adjustments to our health and safety policy and ratified updated versions of our reserves and investment policies as well. We actually have quite a few of these policies now including, amongst others, a complaints policy. Anyone who wishes to familiarise themselves with the contents of these policies can contact the committee or find them online under the ‘About us’ section of the website (click on BCA Policies).

Guy Whitehouse