Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - May 2015

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.

22nd Windermere Chess Theme Week 31st Jan – 7th Feb 2015

Report by Lea Ryan

Peter and Celia Gibbs, once more, organised another very successful chess theme week at the Windermere Manor hotel. The purpose of the week is to:

• Offer an introduction and explanation into the techniques and rules of playing chess.

• Provide chess coaching for beginners and more advanced players alike.

• Offer the opportunity to take part in a mini chess tournament. (This is not rated but takes place with a realistic tournament atmosphere. This has proved extremely beneficial for chess players who have never entered a tournament before).

An account of the week

Saturday 31st January: We arrived at the hotel. At 5.45, Shery, the activities coordinator, welcomed us and outlined the trips that were on offer during our stay. Dinner was a lively affair, with everybody really pleased to see each other again. At 8.45, Peter Gibbs held a meeting to notify the chess players of their coaching groups. The rest of the evening was spent chatting in the bar.

Sunday 1st February: There were chess coaching sessions in the morning and afternoon. There was no official entertainment that evening; however, we were lucky enough to have our very own in-house music band. The group was called AGTA; consisting of Abi Baker, Gary Wickett, Thuy Mallalieu and Antoine Reeves. They are all excellent musicians and played their musical instruments to perfection.

Monday 2nd February: Morning and afternoon were spent enjoying more coaching sessions. For those who did not wish to participate, there was a trip to the village called Grasmere, where lovely gingerbread is sold. In the evening, Celia organised a very entertaining and brain teasing quiz. Joan also entertained us with a quick “One Word or One Number Answer” quiz.

Tuesday 3rd February: Today was the official day off from chess! There was a trip to Hawkshead village in the morning and after lunch, a boat trip on Lake Windermere. There was bingo in the bar that evening.

Wednesday 4th February: Tournament day! Ten chess players took part; consisting of two groups of five. Each player had four games in the preliminaries. I was pleased to scrape through to the finals, as this meant I played more games. There was a trip to Hayes garden centre at Ambleside, for non-chessplayers.

Thursday 5th February: For those not playing chess, there was the option to visit Keswick. The finals of the tournament finished that afternoon. George Philips was the winner. Mark Hague came second and Jim Cuthbert third. In the evening there was the BCA Soirée. This began with a one minute silence in memory of Mary Cuthbert and David Hodgkins. Sadly they had both passed away recently. Then followed excellent entertainment, including: music from the group AGTA, poems from Celia and Joan and Eleanor Tew playing her recorder.

Friday 6th February: With the tournament finished, there was the choice to visit the quaint village of Cartmel, or opt for more chess coaching. In the afternoon, Peter’s friend John Toothill, once again gave his chess simultaneous display. He gave an impressive performance against nine opponents. Everybody congratulated Abi, Thuy and their mentor, John Gallagher on achieving a spectacular win.

Friday evening was prize giving evening. Hearty thanks were given to: The hotel staff, chess coaches, sighted members, chess players and, of course, Peter and Celia, for organising another very successful chess theme week.

Game at Windermere from the simultaneous display with notes by John Gallagher.

White - John Toothill (Grade 180)

Black - Abi Baker and Thuy Mallalieu (a joint game with John Gallagher as mentor)

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 4. Nf3 (not getting sniped) cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Be3 d6

7. Be2 Nf6 8. 0-0 0-0 (this is now safe as White has castled K-side)

9. Nb3 (not sure about this one) Be6 10. f4 Qc8 11. h3 Rd8 12. g4 d5 13. f5 dxe4

14. Qe1 gxf5 15. Nc5 fxg4 16. Nxe6 Qxe6 17. hxg4 Nxg4 18. Bf4 Nd4 19. Bd1 e3 20. Qg3 h5

21. Ne2 Nf5 22. Qh3 Bxb2 23. Qxh5 (Wrong, the Rook is hanging) Ng7 24. Qh3 Bxa1

25. Ng3 Nf2 26. Qh5 Nxh5 27. White resigns.