Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - August 2020

Sponsored by The Ulverscroft Foundation
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

30th October to 1st November 2020, 1st BCA Telephone/Skype Weekend Tournament.

We are arranging this weekend event as a substitute for the Autumn tournament which has had to be postponed because of the pandemic. It will be a five round event played over the telephone, Skype or any other internet based platform such as Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp etc. But all players must be prepared to play by telephone if they are drawn against an opponent who does not have the IT skills or equipment to use the other systems.

The rate of play will be all moves in 90 minutes for each player. The games will largely follow the normal timetable of the Autumn tournament, with one game on the Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. We do envisage some flexibility on start times. For example, some players might prefer to play their Friday game in the afternoon. Each player can request one bye except in the final round.

A clock will be used in each game if at all possible. Normally, it will be the player with the white pieces who operates the clock but this can be changed by agreement between the players. If both players feel that they simply cannot use a clock in such circumstances their game can be played without one but the game must be completed within three hours and a result agreed amicably. It must be understood that it will be a fairly informal weekend, requiring friendly cooperation from all concerned.

Please let Gill Smith have your entries by 9th October, letting her know which platforms you are able to use and whether you would want a bye in one of the first four rounds.

We have certainly not ironed out all the possible issues in staging such an event but those who have entered will receive updated information after the closing date. Please get in touch with a member of the committee or TSC if you wish to discuss the event. Indeed, if you do have any ideas about how the weekend should be run then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

The weekend will be controlled by Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard, fresh from their success in running the very popular and successful TESSLa tournament currently in progress.

19th to 21st March 2021: AGM Weekend Chess Congress

This will take place at The Hallmark Hotel, Derby. The AGM will be held at 2pm on Saturday 20th 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 £44 per person per night for Friday and Saturday nights in a single room, and £40 per person per night in a double/twin room. For those staying on the Sunday night, the cost will be £65 per person in a single room and £54 per person in a double/twin. For non-members of the BCA, please contact the organiser for the cost of accommodation. The closing date for entries is 23rd January. Please send your entry fee and full payment for all accommodation to Gill Smith by this date. Please send any resolutions or other items for inclusion on the AGM agenda to Guy Whitehouse by 31st December 2020. Also, let Guy 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.

Dates for your diaries:

Looking further ahead, we have the following events planned, so please note the dates and keep them free!

Sunday 6th June to Sunday 13th June 2021: Combined British Championship and Chairman’s Cup, in memory of Sheila and David Milsom at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth.

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th October 2021: International Autumn tournament at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate.

Sunday 30th January to Sunday 6th February 2022: The 28th Chess Theme Break at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth.

Tournament information and details of how to book will be published in future gazettes.

Booking Conditions and Procedures

By entering a BCA tournament, a player is deemed to have consented for their name and any special requirements to be passed to the hotel prior to the event. Also, consent is considered to have been given for a player’s name, 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.

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, see the front of the Gazette for her address. 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.

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