Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - May 2018

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.

25th Chess Theme Break

This event took place from 27th January to 3rd February 2018. As usual it was a resounding success. Ten students were coached by seven chess experts. After two days of coaching nine students took park in a rapid play handicap tournament. The event was won by George Phillips with Abi Baker runner-up and Jim Cuthbert third. It was certainly very heartening to see Abi doing so well. Over the years there have been many different winners of the tournament, previous winners being – Des Watkins, Geoff Patching, Shirley Watkins, Eric Gallacher, Alan Davey, Steve Thacker, George Plechaty, Philip Gordon, George Phillips, Michael Meaney, Gary Wickett, John Jenkins and Mark Hague. On the Friday afternoon there was a simultaneous chess tournament which would normally have been given by Peter Gibbs’ old school friend, John Toothill. Sadly John passed away last year. Mark Kirkham kindly offered to give the display and scored a very creditable 3.5 points out of 5. No, I won’t say to whom he lost a game but perhaps his coaching was too good! The weekend was not all chess though. Apart from the usual outings organised by Shery, we were entertained by Celia who ran a quiz on one evening and a bingo session on another, and female singers entertained us on two evenings. On Thursday evening there was a special presentation organised on behalf of the BCA by Mark Kirkham to acknowledge all the work that Peter and Celia had put in over 25 years to promote chess and provide such an enjoyable week. Mark outlined Peter and Celia’s contribution before presenting them with a framed picture on Windermere depicting a snowy day in December. The staff at Windermere were also thanked for all their friendly assistance over the week. After dinner we had the traditional soiree organised by Joan with many making contributions with poems and musical offerings. In fact the musicians amongst us performed an amusing tribute song from the musical Chess for Peter and Celia. On Friday evening George was presented with the trophy for winning the tournament.

Many thanks to Peter and Celia for 25 years of great chess theme weeks.

We look forward to seeing you all next January at Windermere.

Mark Hague and Lea Ryan

Editor’s note: Grateful thanks to Joan Shorrock for sending me the text of her poem in celebration of the 25th Chess Theme Break. It will be included in the August 2018 gazette.