The Gazette - August 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.


It’s often said that “An Englishman’s home is his castle”, which fits quite well with our game because Kings can live in castles too and in chess, when we castle, what else are we doing but making a secure residence for our king? Over the past eighteen months many of us will have spent a lot more time in our homes than we’re used to and some can’t wait to break out and seek new adventures. Perhaps there’s a comparison to be drawn with a chess king who’s spent too long cooped up behind pawns with a rook on guard and is desperate to go on the march when the heat of the middlegame battle has subsided!

As I write this editorial in mid-July, it looks as if our Autumn Tournament in Harrogate could go ahead as planned in October. Following the disappointment and frustration at the cancellation of other events since the covid outbreak began, this will be encouraging news to many. We’ve held tournaments at The Old Swan Hotel for some years now, so it’s almost a “home from home” for members. You’ll find all the details in Forthcoming Events. Kindly note that the closing date for entries has been brought forward to the 1st of September.

Sadly, we know that some of our OTB tournament regulars will not feel able to attend this first post lockdown event. All our circumstances are different and, as in chess, everyone must give careful consideration to their own position. If we dare hope that the worst of the pandemic is now behind us in the UK, perhaps we’re in the endgame, but it looks like it’s going to be a long one, fraught with danger. Caution is still very much needed. The BCA has been running replacement remote tournaments in various formats, such as the current TESSLa. There’s an interim report in this issue. We also have our combined Alternative Championship and Chairman’s Cup coming soon (see Forthcoming Events) and we are committed to running more remote events in future. So there will be lots of opportunities to play chess in the comfort of your own home. After all, there’s no place like it!

I heard that football was expected home recently but there was a last-minute change of plan. Nevertheless, our Membership Secretary, Mark Hague, gives a warm welcome in his report to all our new members, including one from Italy. Mark also updates us on who’s moved home lately and of course there are the usual officers’ reports to keep you up to date with everything that’s going on in the association. Mark Kirkham announces a new reader for our audio excerpts from Chess Magazine and invites members to subscribe. There’s also a history of our Audio Library from Stan, who explains how chess material was distributed long before home computers were dreamt of!

Each chess piece has its own home square. This issue contains an annotated game by Paul Benson, in which at least one piece stays at home for the whole encounter! Paul also sent in a game from our Remote Spring Tournament, where all competitors had a home advantage. There’s a game selected by Owen Phillips too, with annotations by Rod Macdonald, and another instalment of Gerry Walsh’s chess career.

Personalia is full of good news and there are charming anecdotes by Philip Doyle, domiciled in Dublin and Hugo Roman, who dwells in Belgium! Finally, we say a fond farewell to Antoine Reeves, who passed away in April.

Thank you very much to everyone who sent an article or news for this gazette. Please send me your contributions for the November gazette by the end of September.

Julie Leonard