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.

Should We Change Our Name? Probably not!

In an article in the August 2017 Gazette, the committee recommended that we should consider whether to change the name of our Association because of the risk at present of putting off potential new members who do not read Braille. The article generated quite a lot of feedback which was divided roughly equally between those favouring a name change and those opposing one. Moreover, among those favouring a change, there was little agreement about what the new name should be. Our fundraiser Julia Scott is not opposed to a change but feels that the term BCA is well known among our donors and that it would be a great pity to lose it, meaning that our options for a new name would be very limited.

The committee discussed the matter again at the November meeting and we came to the conclusion that we should not recommend a name change because of the level of opposition to the idea, the lack of agreement on any new name and the risk of possibly damaging our fundraising prospects. Instead, we feel we should continue our recent practice of giving less prominence to the full name “Braille Chess Association” in our publicity output and making more use of our strapline “Supporting chess players with sight loss”. I must emphasise that this decision by the committee does not prevent any member from pressing for a name change and raising the matter at the AGM.

During our committee considerations, the question arose as to what course of action would have been appropriate if we had recommended a name change. The fact is that a name change would affect our constitution and so the decision could only be made by VI members voting at an AGM. However, less than 20 such members typically attend the AGM and we felt that this would be too small a proportion of our membership to make such a major decision and that some sort of postal voting would be more appropriate. As a result, we will be bringing to the 2018 AGM a motion that, if passed, would allow postal voting for any major issues in the future.

Norman Wragg