Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - August 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.


As I write, the good old British summer is in full swing, with overcast skies and frequent downpours! Wimbledon is over and, as seems to be the case every year, tennis reporters have not been able to resist likening their game to ours: "Such a chess match at time, tennis matches!" declared a commentator during James Ward’s 3rd round match. In both activities the players try to outwit one another by employing clever tactics on the board or court and anticipating their opponent’s next move or shot, but do the two games really have that much in common? True, some chess players are as highly strung as Ivan Lendl’s racquet, others make backhanded remarks to the arbiter and a few resort to McEnroe style tantrums, though thankfully not in BCA tournaments where conduct is of the highest standard! On the other hand, we play with a set whereas tennis players compete for a set. Our playing surface is typically wood or plastic, not grass or clay. Is a rook charging from one back rank to another similar to a powerful baseline shot or a bishop sweeping down a long diagonal akin to a cross court volley? Could an en passant pawn capture be the equivalent of a passing shot down the line? Crucially, why do we never remark that a chess game was like a tennis match? Intriguingly, the Biel International Chess Festival is advertising a “Chess-Tennis Tournament” for teams with two players this summer, so perhaps they will find the answers!

This gazette is as packed as Centre Court for a Singles Final! Since the last issue, both the BCA Junior Championship and the main BCA British Championship have been contested. You can read the reports in these pages, together with news of BCA members competing in other events such as the Six Nations Tournament in France, the annual Haaksbergen event and the ECF National Chess Club Championship. Your committee is seeking suggestions as to how attendance at the BCA British Championship can be improved in future and there is an update on the innovative fundraising activities carried out by our supporters at Apex Credit Management. Other articles include a poem about Windermere 2015, news of a BCA member appearing on television later this year and a charming letter from a loyal friend of the BCA who made excellent audio recordings for many years. Tragically we also have another obituary, this time for our former champion, Colin Crouch.

Please send any submissions for the November gazette to arrive no later than the end of September. Right now, it’s time to serve some strawberries and cream!

Julie Leonard