Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - May 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.

Gerry’s Chess Career: A truly Swiss Event!

Gerry Walsh writes:

My 1972 Grandmaster Tournament was a great success and I trust you have enjoyed the games I have posted on my daily bulletin. It certainly brings me happy memories because I was able to watch these games at close range. When 1972 finished I knew we had the 1973 World Junior Championship to organise and this was another success with a record entry of 52 countries participating, it was won by Belyavsky from USSR.

In 1974 I organised The World Student Team Championship, another fantastic event, with one unique feature. It was the only chess tournament where Black's clock was started first. In 1975 I followed up with The Alexander Memorial Tournament which was another grandmaster tournament won by Geller ahead of Smyslov, Bronstein, Hort, Hubner, Sax, Timman, Kavalek, Olafsson, Miles, Gheorghiu, Lombardy, Stean, Keene and Hartston. Games from this event will follow soon.

Four magnificent tournaments in my own Teesside certainly furthered my chess career but it was further enhanced by an invitation to Geneva to be deputy arbiter first of all in a super grandmaster tournament won by Larsen and then the semi-final of the Candidates Tournament between Spassky and Portisch. On both occasions I was deputy to chief arbiter Harry Golombek. During the event I attended my first FIDE Congress in Lucerne, which was another highlight.

There was an additional bonus for being in Geneva because the second semi-final was staged 22 miles away in Evian in France between Korchnoi and Polugayevsky and by arrangement they played on alternate days to Geneva. The two magnificent hotels had agreed that if the players and arbiters visited the other venue we could take our meals with our colleagues and since my hotel had provided me with the use of a car I was able to drive to Evian many times.

Here is the ninth game of the Spassky v Portisch match, with Portisch leading by 4.5 to 3.5

White B Spassky Black L Portisch Spanish Game Breyer Variation

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 O-O 9 h3 Nb8 10 d4 Nbd7

11 Nbd2 Bb7 12 Bc2 Re8 13 Nf1 Bf8 14 Ng3 g6 15 a4 c5 16 d5 c4 17 Bg5 h6 18 Be3 Nc5 19 Qd2 Kh7

20 Nh2 Bg7 21 Rf1 h5 22 f3 Qe7 23 Bg5 Qf8 24 f4 exf4 25 Rxf4 Nfd7 26 Raf1 Ne5 27 Nxh5 gxh5

28 Qe2 Qh8 29 Rh4 Kg6 30 Bd1 f5 31 Rxf5 Rf8 32 Qxh5+ Qxh5 33 Bxh5+ Kh7 34 Bf7+ Bh6

35 Rxh6+ Kg7 36 Bf6+ Kxf7 37 Bxe5+ Ke8 38 Rxf8+ Kxf8 39 Bxd6+ Kg7 40 Ng4

Portisch resigned thus the match score was 4.5 each. 8.5 was needed to win

Editor’s note: The daily bulletin that Gerry refers to is his regular contribution to our user group forum. Gerry has been posting a master game every day since the first lockdown of 2020, so that’s over a year now! He has provided no end of entertainment for members of the group and we’re very grateful to him. If you would like to join the group please email me and I will send you an invitation.