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.

Note from the Chairman

What an extraordinary and challenging year it has been for us all. And as if to underline the strange times we are going through, we held our remote AGM over Skype yesterday, 10th April. A total of 28 members took part and I am pleased to say it went very well. Nevertheless, as a committee we do hope that this will be the only time we need to hold our AGM in this way.

Sadly we have not been able to hold any over the board tournaments for more than a year and we now know that it will not be possible to go ahead with our proposed one-week event in June this year at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth. The hotel have outlined the restrictions they are required to follow and, suffice to say, running a chess tournament would be impossible. Instead, our summer chess activities will be another TESSLa tournament running for three months from 10th May and then a remote British Championship and Chairman’s Cup starting 23rd August and spread over six weeks with one round of games each week. More details are given in the section on Forthcoming Events. Please give them your support: We are hoping once again they will be played in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. Our next scheduled over the board tournament is our International Autumn Tournament at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate in October so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

It is very encouraging that, despite the pandemic, we are attracting active new members. Indeed, we have welcomed 14 new members in just over a year, offering them a friendly and supportive environment to learn the game, to improve their playing ability and to meet their aspirations in the chess world.

One final point. Next year will see us reach our 90th anniversary. This is a remarkable achievement and I know from previous fundraising activities that potential donors are often very impressed with how long we have been in existence. The committee will need to consider options for how best to mark this anniversary but, in the meantime, we can all hope that the pandemic does not have a significant voice in the discussions.

Norman Wragg