Held at the Elmbank Hotel, York.

The Six Nations Tournaments have been in existence since the 1960s to promote chess competition and friendship between visually handicapped players of different countries. They are held every two years with each nation taking turn to be the host.

This year it was Great Britain's turn, and the B.C.A. organised the event. We chose the Elmbank Hotel in York, which proved to be an excellent venue in terms of playing conditions, food and assistance from staff of the hotel.

The tournament was controlled by Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard, with assistance from Phil Smith and from several members of the York chess club, who acted as guides and scribes throughout the event, particularly Peter Cloudsdale who gave us a great deal of support. The tournament was organised as a five-round contest with teams of four players from each nation playing each other once. Participating countries were: Great Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland. The GB squad consisted of: Chris Ross, Colin Chambers, Bill Armstrong, John Gallagher and David Hodgkins. The GB team faced very strong opposition particularly from Germany and Belgium.

Results, round by round:

Round 1. Belgium 3.5, Switzerland 0.5, Netherlands 2.5, Ireland 1.5, GB 1, Germany 3.

Round 2. Switzerland 0, Germany 4, Ireland 2, GB 2, Belgium 3.5, Netherlands 0.5.

Round 3.  Netherlands 1.5, Switzerland 2.5, GB 0.5, Belgium 3.5, Germany 3.5, Ireland 0.5.

Round 4.  Switzerland 2, Ireland 2, Belgium 1.5, Germany 2.5, Netherlands 1.5, GB 2.5.

Round 5. GB 3, Switzerland 1, Germany 4, Netherlands 0, Ireland 1, Belgium 3.

These results led to the final placings:

1st Germany 17 points; 2nd Belgium 15; 3rd GB 9; 4th Ireland 7; 5th/6th Switzerland and Netherlands 6.

Scores of the GB squad:

Chris Ross was only able to play the first 3 rounds because of prior commitments, and was replaced by Bill Armstrong on board 1.

Board 1 Chris Ross 1 - 3, Bill Armstrong 1.5 - 2.

Board 2 Colin Chambers 3.5 - 5.

Board 3 David Hodgkins 1.5 - 5.

Board 4 John Gallagher 1.5 - 5.

The leading individual scores through the entire tournament were two familiar players to the BCA: Jergen Pohlers, Germany 5 - 5 and Peter Devos Belgium 4.5 - 5.

The entire tournament was played in a spirit of great friendship and sportsmanship between the teams: old friendships were renewed and new ones were made. Players and guides enjoyed a trip to York Minster and a canal cruise.

The BCA must express appreciation to the Primary Club, the Cricketers' Charity for the Blind and Partially-Sighted, and British Blind Sport for their support and sponsorship for the Six Nations.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Mayor of York and her husband; and the prize giving, on the final evening of the tournament, was a great celebration with laughter and music and singing from many of the participants.

The Six Nations received considerable attention from the local media, with items on local radio and newspapers.

We are now all looking forward to the next Six Nations Tournament in 2003!





















































B.C.A. 2002