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.


Congratulations to John Osborne, who has qualified with his new guide dog, Vixen. She’s an amber coloured golden retriever and all being well, John hopes to bring her to our Autumn Tournament in Harrogate so fingers crossed that we’ll get to meet her there!

In May, Michael Delaney was posthumously inducted into Vision Sports Ireland Hall of Fame. This honour is reserved for their most influential, valued and longstanding members and decorated athletes. Michael represented Ireland in high jump and cycling (as well as chess). His award was presented to his brother, Dave Delaney.

Congratulations to Derek Heyes who has qualified for the 2021 series of Brain of Britain! Derek is a keen competitor who has taken part in national quizzes before. He says, “The audition this time was a little different. One could do the qualifying quiz on line but in my case it was done over the phone. It consisted of 30 general knowledge questions each with 4 suggested alternative answers. I managed to score 27 and was hopeful that this would be good enough to qualify me as one of the 48 contestants who get through to the recording heats of the quiz. A couple of weeks later I was informed that I had indeed qualified.” His first heat, recorded on the 10th of July in Salford, will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Monday August 23rd at 3pm and repeated on the following Saturday at 11pm. No doubt many of us will enjoy listening to that and Derek, we wish you the very best of luck!

Congratulations also to Lara Norman on completing her degree in Fine Art at De Montfort University, Leicester!

It’s very rare to have a wedding to report in Personalia, but this time we have two and a Golden Wedding to boot!

Firstly, congratulations to Ednun Pourtahmasbi, who married Emily in St. John’s church, Wimbledon on the 5th of June. The couple took the brave decision of streaming the ceremony so that all their family and friends who could not be there in person due to Covid restrictions were able to follow it live. It was a beautiful service and everything went smoothly.

Now here is an account by Sally Kenealy on another couple who tied the knot this summer:

“The wedding of Sarah Kenealy to Daniel Scarrott took place on June 12th 1pm at Warwick registry office followed by a reception for 30 (due to covid restrictions) at Stoneleigh Deerpark golf club. Tom Kenealy was best man along with 8 year old George who made sure his father and uncle behaved themselves and wore their suits and ties, not jeans and T shirts as they had threatened. Felicity, now 12, made a beautiful bridesmaid. Everyone had a lovely time. Phyllis did not attend for health reasons, but afterwards Sarah and Danny took her a piece of cake and a wedding favour and she enjoyed looking at the photos.”

Tony and Irene Elbourn have sent a response to ‘Concerning Hugo’ in the May gazette, in which Hugo Roman cautioned against family members playing each other at chess in case it ends badly. Here’s what they wrote:

“Thank you very much Hugo for the warning contained in May’s Gazette. We think that Julie summed up the situation nicely in the last paragraph of the article.

“At Torquay in 2019 Irene beat Tony in round one of the Challenger’s competition, which may well have helped fuel his determination as he won the next six games. We thought there may have been speculation that Tony let Irene win, but that was not the case. Irene would have been upset if he had done so. Tony got an overwhelming attack going on the King’s side, Irene had a bishop on a3 which prevented him castling so when he attacked Irene’s queen there was only one square for the queen and the rest is history.

“Some years ago, someone referred to us as ‘the odd couple’. Perhaps we are! We met at a ‘blind date’, which was a Halloween dance at the R.N.C. We don’t think we are going to fall out over who wins at chess, which Irene describes as ‘only a game’. Together we have overcome many difficulties and are now looking forward to celebrating our Golden Wedding anniversary on 7th August.”

I know members will join me in wishing both pairs of newlyweds a long and happy marriage. Let’s also congratulate Tony and Irene on their 50 years together and hope they have a wonderful time marking the big day!