Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - May 2022

Sponsored by The Ulverscroft Foundation
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.


On my daily commute I habitually listen to the radio, just to let a bit of music and chat drift by me. Recently though, I found myself paying keen attention to the broadcast because the presenter was interviewing lexicographer Susie Dent, whose name may be familiar to you from the TV show “Countdown” in which she occupies “Dictionary Corner”. Words, the connections between them and the way in which language evolves over time hold great fascination for me. In the interview Susie spoke about words that have lost their positive counterparts in modern parlance. She quoted the examples of “disgruntled” and “gormless”, lamenting that the English language has only retained the negative forms of those words. “Gruntled” has fallen into disuse and once upon a time it was probably possible to describe someone as being “gormful”. She suggested it would be a fine thing if English were to reclaim the lost positives and I can't help but agree!

Of course, the goal of reclaiming lost positives has wider applications and there was plenty of it in evidence at the 28th Chess Theme Break in Bournemouth and our Spring Congress in Derby earlier this year. Although we held an over the board event last autumn, some people were unable to attend for various reasons. So, after many months of Covid enforced separation, friends not encountered since pre-pandemic days were greeted warmly and players relished the opportunity to sit down opposite their opponents once again, albeit diagonally. Reports on both events are in this issue. There’s also the welcome return of a poem by Joan!

It is hoped that even more members will feel able to return to BCA over the board tournaments later this year. Please see Forthcoming Events for details of a couple of occasions where you’ll be able to reclaim the positives of being among friends who share a passion for our game. And for those who are not yet ready or simply want more chess, do consider entering our remote Summer Cup, which is also in Forthcoming Events.

Anyone who feels their chess has suffered lately may wish to take affirmative action to restore lost skills. Our Coaching Officer, Voldi, has some suggestions which might be of interest. If you enjoy correspondence chess, please read Dan Rugman’s article about a new magazine devoted to that subject. A lot of work has gone into making the content accessible!

In March we held our AGM via Skype. Guy has typed up the minutes for us so, if you missed it you can read about what was discussed. I was “gruntled” to be re-elected as your Gazette Editor for another year and will endeavour to carry out my duties “gormfully”! The winner of the 2021 Best Game Competition was announced at the AGM and the game itself is in this issue for everyone to admire.

These pages also contain the usual officers’ reports, keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the running of our association. There’s a puzzle selected by Graham to test you and another chapter in Gerry’s Chess Career to look forward to! We also have news of a member who might be embarking on a new career – as a published author!

Once again, we are grateful to the Ulverscroft Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this gazette. With postage costs for the standard print copies on the rise and the price of Braille transcription remaining substantial, it is wonderful to have their support.

Please send me your articles for the August gazette by the end of June. Do get in touch if you’d like to write a tournament report or any other BCA related article. It’s always a pleasure to receive contributions from you, the readers!

Julie Leonard