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.

Forthcoming Events

Alternative BCA British Championship and Chairman’s Cup: Saturday 21st August - Saturday 2nd October

Following the cancellations of last summer’s Chairman’s Cup, and this year’s combined British Championship and Chairman’s Cup, we are following on from recent tournaments by holding this year’s combined event by telephone, Skype, or other internet based platform. Telephone will be the default method of play.

The tournament will run over six weeks, with one round per week at a mutually agreed time between both players. Each player will have 1 hour 45 minutes for all moves. Players will be able to take either one or two byes if they wish in round one to five, and will be able to arrange this at fairly short notice.

The tournament will be open to all members and associate members of the BCA. The title of BCA British Champion will be awarded to the highest placed visually impaired UK player. The Chairman’s Cup will be awarded to the highest placed member or associate member whose most recent published grade is 1750 or below (equivalent to 140 or below under the old ECF grading system). Depending on the entries, we may be able to incorporate a Challengers’ section. Whether or not this is possible, the tournament will be a friendly and fairly informal event and we would urge as many members and associate members to “have a go” regardless of their playing strength. Games will not be graded unless a sufficient number of the participants are in favour of sending them for grading. Note that we are not referring to the ECF OTB grading system but to a completely separate ECF system for grading games played online.

Please let Gill Smith have your entry by Saturday 7th August, giving full contact details and which playing platforms you are able to use. If you have a preference, please also say whether or not you’d like the games to be sent for grading. By entering this tournament, you are deemed to have consented to sharing your relevant contact details with all participants and the arbiters. The arbiters will be Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard.

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

This will take place at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. Because of the pandemic, there was initially considerable uncertainty as to how feasible it would be for us to go ahead with the event. As a result, we carried out a survey of regular tournament attendees at the end of June to assess how many members would hope to attend. The outcome of this survey gave us the confidence to inform the hotel that we were indeed going ahead with the event.

The hotel, with its excellent facilities, is located close to the town centre, and a short taxi ride from the railway station. As usual, we shall aim to run two five-round chess tournaments, an Open section and a Challengers section limited to those graded ECF 1450 or below. The tournaments are open to all visually impaired chess players and associate members of the BCA.

The entry fee for both tournaments is £10. The cost of dinner, bed and breakfast for members and associate members, sharing a double/twin room is £45 per person per night for Friday and Saturday nights and £47 per person per night in a single room. For members and associate members staying on the Sunday night, the cost will be £60 per person sharing a double/twin room and £69 per person in a single room. Car drivers need to note please that there is a £10 charge per day for parking.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 1st September 2021. We shall need to let the hotel know our room requirements very shortly after this and so it might not be possible to accommodate late entries. Please send your entry fee and full payment for all accommodation to Gill Smith by this date. Queries about the tournament should be directed to Steve Burnell.

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

This week-long break offers coaching, a friendly rapid-play tournament and a wide range of entertainment. It will be held at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth. At a recent committee meeting it was agreed that this event will be dedicated to Antoine Reeves, a regular attendee at Chess Theme Breaks, who passed away in April.

We sincerely hope it will be possible for this event to go ahead and are monitoring the situation closely. All being well, details of the cost and how to book will follow in the November gazette.

Friday 18th March to Sunday 20th March 2022: AGM Congress

This will be held in Derby. There’ll be a five round Swiss tournament and the AGM will take place on the Saturday afternoon. More details will follow in a future gazette.

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.