The Gazette - February 2021

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

6th to 27th February 2021 - The BCA Big Bash!

An event with up to six games per player, where each game will be played in a single session over the telephone, via Skype or any other instant internet based platform such as Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, Lichess etc. Everyone must be prepared to play by telephone if their opponent does not have the IT skills or equipment to use the other systems. Games can be scheduled at mutually convenient times. The rate of play will be all moves in 90 minutes for each player.

Players will be placed into groups of 4, 5 or 6 for mini all-play-all events, possibly with play-offs. Third party timekeepers will be rewarded with points. The precise tournament format and points system will be determined when we know how many entries there are. The event is open to all members and associate members of the BCA. It will be controlled by Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard.

To enter please contact Gerry, giving a telephone number and contact details for the other platform(s) you are able to use. By entering this tournament, you agree to share your contact details with the arbiters and the other players

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 3rd February. We're aiming to complete the event by the 27th of February so as not to clash with the 14th BCA Email Tournament which will start on the 1st of March, but there will be a little flexibility over the end date if necessary.

19th to 21st March 2021: Remote Spring Tournament.

We are arranging this weekend event as a substitute for the AGM congress 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, Lichess 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 event is open to all members and associate members of the BCA.

The rate of play will be all moves in 90 minutes for each player. The games will largely follow the normal timetable of a BCA over the board 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 or two byes in the first 4 rounds. No byes can be requested 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. The games will not be submitted for grading.

Please let Gill Smith have your entries by 26 February, letting her know which platforms you are able to use and whether you would want any byes in the first four rounds. By entering this tournament, you are deemed to have consented to sharing your relevant contact details with all participants and the arbiters.

Our first remote event of this type was held in October/November 2020 and we hope this next one will run as smoothly. All entrants 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 once again be controlled by Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard.

Saturday 10th April 2021: Remote AGM to be held via Zoom/Skype.

Please see the full announcement and agenda elsewhere in this issue.

Sunday 6th to Sunday 13th June 2021: The Sheila and David Milsom Memorial

British Championship and Chairman’s Cup.

With the 2020 Chairman’s Cup having to be postponed because of the pandemic, the committee has decided that our one week event in 2021 will be a combined British Championship and Chairman’s Cup. Naturally, we are hoping that the event can go ahead as planned but there can be no certainty and members are advised to check with a committee member before making a booking.

The event will take place at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth, which proved to be a very popular venue for our 2018 Chairman’s Cup. It is very friendly and comfortable and we also have use of an outdoor heated pool. The parking and green areas are also very good.

The event is open to all visually impaired players both from the UK and overseas and to BCA associate members. It will be played over 7 rounds with one round each day. Players may request a half point bye in any one of the first six rounds.

The highest placed UK visually impaired player will be declared as British Champion. The Chairman’s Cup will be awarded to the highest placed player whose grade is 1750 or below. If there are sufficient entries there will be a challengers section as well as the open, although anyone electing to play in the challengers section will not be eligible to compete for the British Championship or Chairman’s Cup.

Entry fee: £10. Cost of dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation to members and associate members of BCA: £300 per person for the week irrespective of room type. The cost to those booking for less than the full week will be £45 per day for members and associate members. For anyone wishing to stay additional nights at the beginning or end of the tournament, the cost per night will be £65 per person regardless of room type. A few rooms are available with sea view or sea view plus balcony which cost an extra £20 per room per night or £25 per room per night respectively.

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

The closing date for bookings is 20th April 2021. 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.

June to September 2021: Telephone Email Skype Summer Ladder (TESSLa).

Following the success of the 2020 TESSLa event, we will be starting another shortly after the combined British Championship and Chairman's Cup. Players challenge each other for rungs on the ladder while at the same time accruing points from all their games. More details to follow.

15th to 17th October 2021: International Autumn Tournament.

This event will take place at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. It will be a five round Swiss event with an open section and a challenger’s section for players graded 1450 and under. More details to follow.

Sunday 30th January to Sunday 6th February 2022: 28th Chess Theme Break.

This week-long event provides coaching, a friendly rapid-play tournament as well as a wide range of entertainment. It will be held at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth. More details to follow.

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, their 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:

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

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 making your booking please let the organiser 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 the tournament organiser, copy in Gill so she can look out for your payment and let you know when it has been received. Gill will always confirm receipt of any payment.

Also say if 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.