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Editor: Guy Whitehouse, 41 Victory Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1LH.
I have now started work and am living at Eastleigh, so perhaps it‟s best to ring me on my Eastleigh number,
02381 787835. E-mail:
BCA website address:                                                E-mail:
                                           BCA Committee 2011-12
Chairman: Alec Crombie MBE, „Elton House‟, 47 High Street East, Uppingham, LE15 9PY. Tel: 01572 822280.
Secretary: Norman Wragg OBE, 2 Chorley Avenue, Fulwood, Sheffield, S10 3RP. Tel: 0114 230 5995.
Treasurer: Gill Smith, 58 Foxfield Avenue, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, BS32 OBW. Tel: 01454 885045.
Website Coordinator: Chris Ross, 24 Sandwich Close, Huntingdon, PE29 1NB. Tel: 01480 431962.
Publicity Officer: Stan Lovell, 2 Plaxton Court, Scarborough YO12 6QT. Tel: 01723 373447
Tournament Director: Gary Wickett, 10 Holmesfield Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, B42 2DJ.
Tel: 0121 358 1892. Email:
Audio Librarian: Mark Kirkham, 35 Hallamshire Close, Sheffield, S10 4FJ. Tel: 07906 387187. Those
concerned about the expense of calling a mobile can leave Mark a message and Mark will ring you back.
Membership Secretary: David Hodgkins, 44 Moorhill Road, Whitnash, Warwickshire, CV31 2LN.
Tel: 01926 425803.
Junior BCA representative: This post is unfilled.
                                            Non-Committee Posts
IBCA Secretary: Steve Hilton, Flat 0/1, 4 Quarrier Street, Greenock, PA15 2HE. Tel: 01475 731944,
Periodicals Distributor: Richard Harrington, 51 Iveagh Court, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 5DN. Tel: 01442 236707.
Friendly Games Coordinator: Gary Wickett, contact details as above.
Note: The views expressed by members in the gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA,
nor those of the editor.
Editorial ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Forthcoming BCA Events............................................................................................................................................ 3
Castle Chess and Spectrum Chess ............................................................................................................................... 5
Windermere Chess Theme Week 2011 ....................................................................................................................... 6
AGM Tournament 2011 .............................................................................................................................................. 6
The 2011 AGM ............................................................................................................................................................ 7
International Matters .................................................................................................................................................... 8
Membership of BCA Sub-committees as at 2nd April 2011. ...................................................................................... 9
Grass Roots Scheme .................................................................................................................................................... 9
Easy Fund Raising on the Internet ............................................................................................................................. 10
Millennium Club Winners ......................................................................................................................................... 10
Postal Tournament Director‟s Report ........................................................................................................................ 10
Membership Secretary‟s Report ................................................................................................................................ 11
New Book in the Audio Library ................................................................................................................................ 12
Audio Chess on the Website ...................................................................................................................................... 13
Demonstration of Accessible Chess Technology ...................................................................................................... 13
Representation on the Right to Read Alliance ........................................................................................................... 13
Two New Braille Books ............................................................................................................................................ 13

I trust this issue finds everyone well and enjoying spring. The chess season will be nearly over as you read this. If
you had a good one well done; if not perhaps you need to look at Mark Kirkham‟s article on a new book added to
the audio library (I shall certainly be looking at the book myself). Mark also reports a new and potentially far-
reaching development, the making available of chess audio material on the website. Two new books are also
appearing in Braille which should be useful to those who, like me, have had mixed fortunes this year.
The British Championships are approaching (both ours and of course the ECF‟s, which has sections for people of
all grades). Good luck to all our members who play in either event. Focusing for a moment on our event, you
might be interested in a little article towards the end of this gazette which talks about a planned demo of
accessible chess information technology we hope to hold at Scarborough.
Happy reading, and contributions for the August Gazette to me by 3rd July. Thanks.
Guy Whitehouse.

                                       Forthcoming BCA Events
Note: Please study the booking conditions and procedures which follow these announcements; they have been
updated to take account of the latest developments.
13th - 20th August 2011. British Championship for the Blind and Partially Sighted.
Red Lea Hotel, Prince of Wales Terrace, Scarborough. In addition to the main event for the British
Championship, there will be a minor section, subject to sufficient entries. Both events are limited to UK visually
impaired residents.
The entry fee for both events will be £10. The rate for dinner, bed & breakfast will be £265 for members and
associate members. The rate for those booking for five days or less will be £45 per day. The weekly rate for non
members will be £315. Visually impaired UK residents who are under 25 on 13th August 2011 will receive free
entry and free accommodation if they are playing in the tournament.
The rate of play in the championship event will be 40 moves in two hours for each player followed by an
additional 30 minutes for each player for the completion of the game. The rate of play in the minor, if there is one,
will be all moves in two hours for each player. Players in the minor section may request a half-point bye in any
one of the first six rounds.
The winner of the championship event will automatically qualify to represent the UK in the next IBCA World
Individual Championship. The players finishing in the top two places in the championship event will form part of
the selection panel for future major international team events. Placings in this event may also be used to
determine qualification for the 2013 British Championship should the format be changed.
Please see the booking procedures that appear at the end of 'Forthcoming Events'.
The Red Lea hotel is situated within easy walking distance of Scarborough's south shore. Here you will find
pleasant walks through the beautiful Italian Gardens and the Cliffe lift which takes you down to the foreshore and
the Spa complex where daily concerts are given, in the Sun Court, by the Spa Orchestra each morning and by
Howard Beaumont, the Spa Organist, each afternoon. We will also arrange a variety of social activities designed
to entertain members, their families and their friends throughout the week. Those who enjoy a swim are reminded
to bring their swimming gear so they can enjoy a dip in the Red Lea's heated indoor swimming pool.
Organisers: Stan & Jan Lovell, tel: 01723 373447, e-mail:
28th -30th October 2011. International Autumn Tournament.
This will take place at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate. It will consist of two five-round Swiss tournaments - an
Open Tournament and a Minor Tournament for those whose grade or estimated grade is 110 or below. Both
tournaments are open to blind and partially sighted players and to associate members of the BCA.
The Old Swan Hotel proved to be a very popular venue for the Autumn Tournament 2010 and we look forward to
returning. The hotel is within walking distance of the lovely spa town of Harrogate and a short taxi ride from the
railway station. This is likely to be a popular tournament so early booking is recommended.
The BCA has once again been able to provide a subsidy for the Friday and Saturday Nights. The cost for
members and associate members for dinner, bed and breakfast will be £36.50 per person per night sharing a
double or twin room; the cost of a single room is £38.50 per person per night. The cost for non-members and
those wishing to stay the Sunday night will be £52.50 per person per night in a double/twin room and £55 per
person per night in a single room. Please note that anyone wishing to stay on Sunday night should notify the BCA
when booking. However, all payments for Sunday night accommodation must be made direct to the hotel on
Payment for Friday and Saturday night accommodation and the £10 entry fee plus room requirements should be
sent to The Treasurer, Gill Smith by the closing date, Friday 9th September. Any queries to the organiser, Steve
Burnell, 16 Ridgewood Close, Leamington Spa CV32 6BW, tel: 01926 339900, e-mail
9th - 16th June 2012. The Chairman's Cup (formerly the Stephen Eastwick-Field Memorial Tournament).
Whitehall Hotel, Bournemouth.
This event is open to visually impaired players and to associate members of BCA whose grade is 140 or below.
The event is played over seven rounds with round 1 commencing at 8pm on Saturday 9th June 2012. The other
rounds will be played each day commencing at 10:15am apart from round 5 which will commence at 8pm
Wednesday 13th June to allow for the outing to take place earlier that day. In addition to the chess some coaching
sessions will be arranged if members request them.
The entry fee is £10. The cost of accommodation, including dinner, bed & breakfast will be £250 for members
and associate members. The cost to non-members will be £305. The cost to those booking for less than 6 days is
£50 per day. Any person booking a twin or double room will be required to pay £10 single supplement for any
nights more than two nights when the room is used for single occupancy.
This will be our third visit to the Whitehall Hotel for this event. The Whitehall, with its excellent food, friendly
staff and comfortable accommodation has proved very popular with our members. Please see booking conditions
which appear at the end of 'Forthcoming Events'. Organisers John & Pam Jenkyns.
Booking Conditions and Procedures
The BCA reserves the right to refuse or cancel any entry or to exclude any person from any event it runs.
Cheques should be made payable to the Braille Chess Association. Building society cheques should have the
name of the sender clearly marked. Post dated cheques are not accepted. Bookings accepted after the closing date
are subject to a £10 late booking penalty for each person. Late bookings and entries are accepted at the discretion
of the organiser. Bookings are confirmed when full payment has been received by the Treasurer or when the
money has been received by the BCA bank.
Payments can only be refunded within the time limit set in the terms and conditions set by the various hotels.
Members are advised to take out holiday insurance to cover themselves.
When sending your cheque to the treasurer, please include details of your booking requirements including:
1. Single room, double room or twin room
2. If you prefer a bath or a shower
3. If you prefer a room in which you may smoke. Please note many hotels now adopt a no smoking policy.
4. If you will be bringing your guide dog.
5. If you are on a special diet.
6. If you have mobility problems and would benefit from being located in a room near to a lift.
7. If you are a wheelchair user.
8. Any other special requirements.
There is no need to send your requests to the organiser as Gill will do this, but you may, of course, contact the
organiser on any point. Please do not make special requests to the hotel as this causes confusion.
Those who make payment into the BCA‟s account on-line or by direct bank transfer should make sure their
payment is cleared by the closing date. When this has happened inform the treasurer your payment has been made
and include your booking requirements as above.
Gill may be contacted on 01454 885045, e-mail:
Please note: the BCA reserves the right to refuse or cancel any entry or to exclude any person from any event it

                                 Castle Chess and Spectrum Chess
For those who have never tried a mainstream congress before, you will find both Castle Chess and Spectrum
Chess to be a perfect introduction. These events are held in very pleasant hotels and often located in idyllic
surroundings, perfect to bring a non-playing chess friend or spouse, or simply just to come alone and have a
wonderful weekend of chess. All the events listed below are five-round Swiss tournaments, with three games on
Saturday and two on Sunday with the offer of a half-point bye if required. The rate of play for all tournaments
listed is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes to complete the game.
Under the Grass Roots Scheme, you may even be able to claim £150 to attend such an event, and if you are a
novice to mainstream congresses and you qualify under the scheme, this special offer will be extended to a friend
or spouse. You will find more information about the Grass Roots Scheme in another article I have placed in this
Gazette. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to drop me an e-mail or give me a ring to find out more about Grass
roots (see front page for contact details).
I have not included prices. However, as a fairly regular attendee of such events, I can highly recommend these
Spectrum Chess
Spectrum Chess is mostly run by Norman Went and his wife Yelena, whom you will find both friendly and
helpful. Spectrum Chess have three sections: Premier grade 200 and below, Major 160 and below, Minor 120 and

24th -25th September - Fareham Congress held at the Bugle Hotel, The Square, Titchfield, Fareham, Hampshire.
This is a new event in the lovely “oldy worldy” town of Fareham near Portsmouth. The Bugle itself being an 18th
century coach house, with a dreamy log fire by which to tarry with battle tale, and for sooth or for song, sup thy
favoured ale. I, myself, intend to attend this one. Due to limited space, Book early to avoid disappointment.

5th -6th November 2011 – Gillingham Congress held at the King Charles Hotel, Brompton Road, Gillingham,
ME7 5QT. The first Gillingham Congress held by Spectrum Chess took place in March and received an excellent
report, with delicious food, plenty of space in the chess room with tea and coffee to accompany the games (a
feature present in most if not all Spectrum and Castle events).

For more information or to obtain a booking form, please contact Norman Went on telephone 01708 551617 or
visit Please note that at the time of writing, some of the congresses advertised on the
website have been changed.

Castle Chess
Castle Chess is mainly run by Tony Corfe and his wife Barbara, whom again you will find to be both friendly and
helpful. Castle Chess have three sections: Major grade 175 and below, Minor grade 135 and below, Challengers
grade 110 and below.

11th -12th June 2011 – Bideford Congress held at the Tantons Hotel on Bideford Quay, New Road, Bideford,
North Devon, EX39 2HR. A beautiful location and a great favourite. I can personally recommend this one.

1st -2nd October 2011 – Dudley Congress held at the Quality Inn Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley, Dy1 4RN.
Dudley was my very first congress and I came away wanting to go back. I will certainly do my utmost to be there.

For more information or to obtain a booking form, please contact Tony Corfe on telephone 01707 659080 or visit

As Congress Coordinator for the BCA, if anybody would like to register their bookings for any non BCA
tournaments, or if you simply wish to inquire about BCA attendance of any such events, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

Gary Wickett.

                               Windermere Chess Theme Week 2011
Once again we must gratefully thank Celia and Peter Gibbs for organising and running the 18th chess theme week
at Windermere during January this year. Despite the inclement weather beforehand there were still 27 of us
present, although only 17 were involved in the chess, including 4 Irish and a welcome new member, Abi Baker.
On Sunday and the Monday there were two coaching sessions each day. Tuesday was a free day and the hotel
arranged a trip to Coniston Water and Hawkshead in the morning, lunch back at the hotel and a sail around Lake
Windermere in the afternoon. The hotel also arranged half day trips to Ambleside, Grasmere, Grizedale Forest
and Cartmel. There was evening entertainment with two quizzes and a singer from Barrow, but topping the bill
was the Joan Shorrock BCA talent show on Tuesday evening.
Wednesday and it was back to chess, when we saw the start of the fun handicap competition. By Thursday we
knew the finalists, and it was pleasing to see two new names, Richard Harrington and Stan Lightowler, against
Michael Meaney. By Friday Michael had managed to hold off the challenge from Stan and Richard to win the
competition, but Stan and Richard could not be separated and tied for second place.
That afternoon there was the customary simultaneous display. At the closing ceremony after dinner Peter
presented the Windermere trophy to Michael and the amazing Joan produced yet another of those famous
monologues to end the week on a high note.
Now the important news: the 19th chess theme week at Windermere will be held from Saturday 21st to Saturday
28th January 2012 at a price of £343, but if you book before the middle of October there is a 10% discount
bringing the cost down to £308.70. So you know what to do and I‟ll see you then.
Les Whittle.

                                         AGM Tournament 2011
Editor‟s note: I received contributions on this from Stan and Mark Hague, so I have merged the two.

The BCA AGM and chess congress 4th - 6th March 2011 was held at the Hallmark Derby Hotel. The Hallmark is a
particularly suitable venue being so conveniently close to the railway station with many of our visually impaired
members travelling by train, and, indeed, the tournament was well attended with 56 people staying and 27 players
in the tournament. Happily service from the hotel was better this year than last year, when there were some issues
with the quality of food and the level of service in the restaurant.

We benefited from the generosity of Derbyshire folk, particularly the Derbyshire Freemasons who generously
sponsored the event and the Derby Lions who, once again, provided handsome trophies for the top three in each
section. We would also like to thank Sheila Milsom for organising a raffle which raised £150 towards BCA‟s
funds. Thanks are also due to our arbiters, in particular to Julie Leonard for stepping in at the last moment when
Gerry Walsh was unable to officiate due to a family illness. Thanks are also due to all our associate members
whose support is so important to making our events run smoothly.

In the tournament, once again Chris Ross scored a resounding victory in the open with 5 from 5 followed by:
Steve Burnell 3.5, Graham Lilley and Tristram Cole 3, Bill Armstrong, Ian Blencowe, David Hodgkins, Richard
Murphy and Roger Waters 2.5, John Gallagher, Steve Thacker and Mark Kirkham 2, Les Whittle 1.5.

Grading prizes went to Ian Blencowe, David Hodgkins, Richard Murphy and Roger Waters.

The Minor event finished in a tie with Steve Brown and Phil Smith sharing the first prize with 4 from 5 followed
by: Jim Cuthbert and Colin Wilson 3.5, George Phillips, Voldi Gailans and Mark Hague 3, John Dearie 2.5, Gary
Wickett and Lee Ryan 2, Rebecca Blaevoet and John Osborne 1.5, Richard Harrington and Abi Baker 1. Grading
prizes went to Jim Cuthbert, Mark Hague and Lee Ryan.

We welcomed three new members playing in their first BCA event: Colin Wilson, Rebecca Blaevoet and Abi
Baker. The Derbyshire telegraph gave us good publicity with an article before the event and a very good feature

                                               The 2011 AGM
The Hallmark Hotel in Derby was once again the setting for our AGM which was held on Saturday 5th March
2011 and attended buy a total of 35 members. The following paragraphs outline some of the more important
points from the meeting.
The Freemasons of Derbyshire had donated £500 for the AGM weekend and the Derby Lions Club had once again
donated six elegant trophies for the players finishing first, second and third in each section. The President of the
Derby Lions Club presented the trophies at the prize giving ceremony.
Alec Crombie said that the BCA was very grateful to the Hodgkins family who had specified that donations in
memory of Clive should go to the BCA, resulting in a sum of £1028 being received. David, speaking not only for
himself but for his mother and family, thanked everyone who had attended the funeral and who had contributed.
Alec said that we were also very grateful to Brian Perham as we were receiving a generous bequest from his
Gill Smith reported that cash holdings at the year end (30th September 2010) were £112,409 compared with
£122,561 the previous year, a drop of around £10,000. She explained that we had invested some of the BCA
funds in a fixed term deposit account with Birmingham Midshires. It provided a fairly good rate of interest and
had the additional advantage that, since the BCA funds were now divided between different banks, they were all
covered by the financial support scheme. Gill added that the investment policy drawn up by the committee was to
be very cautious and to steer away from investments involving risk. Bill Armstrong felt that a small portion of our
funds should be put into something other than cash. Alec said that, although the committee had discussed
investment in some detail, the matter would be revisited.
A total of £17,775 had been raised by Julia Scott during the last financial year, down on recent years but the
fundraising climate had been very difficult. The new financial year was proving to be more successful, with a
total of £13,500 being raised in less than six months. The other good news was that Julia had recently signed a
new three year contract with the BCA, starting in April this year.
Stan Lovell explained that our main publicity efforts at present were aimed at visually impaired
people/organisations. The work was paying dividends as we were getting an increasing number of enquiries and
one or two new members.
On publications, Stan explained that the role of the sub-committee was to select books, articles etc. that would be
made available in accessible formats. He added that it would be very useful to have a panel of service users who
could be asked for their views on, for example, a particular publication or a new reader. He had already floated
the idea but had received no volunteers for the panel. The work would not be arduous and he urged members to
consider joining.
Stan announced that the RNIB would be producing two chess books in Braille this year. We were also taking part
in an experiment to have a chess book produced in Braille by a company run by one of our new members, Rebecca
Gary Wickett said that he had been redrafting rule 2 of the postal rules to bring it up to date. A problem with the
original wording was that it seemed to imply that playing by Braille was the norm and this could deter some newer
members from participating. Gary had now revised the rule to make it clearer that various methods were available
for playing correspondence chess but the revision did not jeopardise in any way the ethos of people playing in
Braille if they wanted to.
Mark Kirkham emphasised to members that it was their audio library and he encouraged people to use it and also
to come forward with requests for items they would like putting into audio format. He had produced an up to date
library catalogue as a Microsoft Excel document and he would be producing an updated audio version very soon.
Mark had made good progress during the year with transferring some of the old cassette material to the computer.
He could send any of these titles to members over the Internet if they so wished but he reiterated that this was not
intended as a replacement for the tape service.
An action placed on Chris Ross at the 2010 AGM was to explore whether some of the chess DVDs were
accessible. He had purchased five of the DVDs and had found that, by using them with Fritz, it was possible to
follow what was happening. The five DVDs will be made available via Mark Kirkham, but guidance on using
them can be obtained from Chris or John Gallagher.
Bill Armstrong drew attention to the “main news stories” part of the website, which was not being kept up to date;
indeed, one of the stories was from 2008. He felt that we could do a much better job of presenting to the public.
Chris said that his responsibility was on the technical side and not the contents. Bill offered to be responsible for
updating the news stories and his offer was readily accepted.
Guy Whitehouse reported that a valuable step forward had been made during the year with the availability of a
talking digital chess clock. It was a normal clock used by sighted players but there was also a “chess voice” box
that plugged into the clock so that a visually impaired player could hear through earphones how much time was
left for each player and whose move it was. At this stage, it was not possible for a VI player to set the clock
David Hodgkins was seeking views from members on the change of time control at weekend events from 105 to
90 minutes for all moves. Steve Burnell did not mind either way but said that several members had requested
shorter games to give more time between rounds and observed that the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon
schedules were a rush. On a show of hands, opinion was divided equally between the two time controls and the
TSC was asked to make the final decision.
Stan Lovell reported that further progress had been made in the area of junior development. A project was in
progress at Dorton College where we were funding the coaching of a group of VI youngsters. Stan said that the
project was going well and that we might also be able to offer help to a club run by students at Worcester.
The committee put forward a motion to allow clubs of VI chess players to affiliate to the BCA. Stan Lovell said
that the proposal was part of the drive to get more VI people into the BCA. We were already helping a club within
the Cornwall Blind Society and, if they became affiliated, we would establish a firmer relationship with them and
there would be more chance of individual club members joining the BCA in their own right. Affiliated clubs
would get the benefit of some BCA services such as the audio library or E books but would not receive financial
benefits such as accommodation subsidies.
Members of affiliated clubs would be entitled to attend the AGM. The motion as proposed by the committee
would have allowed clubs with less than eight UK VI members to cast one vote at the AGM and clubs with eight
or more UK VI members to cast two votes. After extensive debate, it was clear that there were serious misgivings
from members about the proposed voting arrangements. There was concern about delegates from affiliated clubs
coming along with two votes each, meaning that our votes counted for less with some loss of power. An
amendment was proposed that would give each affiliated club only the one vote. With this amendment in place,
the motion was carried by a large majority.
The committee proposed a second motion dealing with the subscription rates for affiliated clubs. It stated that as
from 1st April 2011 affiliated clubs with less than eight UK VI members would pay an annual subscription of £30
and clubs with eight or more UK VI members would pay £50. A proposed amendment to the motion to provide
more of a sliding scale of charges was defeated by virtue of the Chairman‟s casting vote and the original motion
was then carried by a large majority.
Norman Wragg.
                                          International Matters
Readers will recall that the 4 IBCA European Individual Chess Championship was hosted by the UK and held in
Durham in August 2007. Four years on, the 5th European Championship will take place on the Greek Island of
Rhodes, Hotel Sun Beach Resort, from 5th to 16th September 2011. The invitation explains that “the Sun Beach is
an exceptional 4 star resort located in the heart of Ialysos resort, directly on a superb beach.”
Colin Crouch and Bill Armstrong will be representing the BCA in the Championship while Steve Hilton will also
be playing.
The tournament is an open one and any European VI player is eligible to participate. The cost of accommodation
is 59 Euros per person per day in a double room, 84 Euros in a single room and 54 Euros in a triple room. These
prices include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The 7th IBCA Junior World Championship will take place at the same resort the week before (28th August to 4th
September 2011). To be eligible for this tournament, players must have been born in 1991 or later.
Another international event this year is the Six Nations Tournament which this time will be hosted by the UK and
will be held at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, from 5th to 9th May. Teams from France, Belgium, Germany, the
Netherlands, Ireland and the UK will be taking part. The UK team will be Graham Lilley, Steve Hilton, John
Gallagher and Stan Lovell.

The inaugural “World Chess Games for Disabled” will take place in Dresden from 24th to 30th October 2011. The
competition is an event only for disabled chess players. It will be a seven round Swiss event and will be held as an
open individual tournament but there is the option for a separate team ranking. The plan is to hold the event every
two years.
Anyone requiring more information about any of these events should get in touch with me. I am sure you will join
me in wishing every success to all the UK players.
Norman Wragg.

                Membership of BCA Sub-committees as at 2nd April 2011.
At the committee meeting held on 2nd April 2011 the various sub-committees were reconstituted as follows:-
Finance and Fundraising: Alec Crombie (Chairman), Norman Wragg, Julia Scott and Gill Smith;
Information Communication and Technology: Chris Ross (Chairman), Alastair Irving, John Gallagher and
Shafeeq Ulhaq;
Publications: Stan Lovell (Chairman), Mark Kirkham, Guy Whitehouse and Rebecca Blaevoet;
Technical: Alec Crombie (Chairman), Guy Whitehouse and Chris Ross;
Tournament: David Hodgkins (Chairman), Stan Lovell, Mark Hague, Steve Burnell and Gary Wickett;
Grass Roots: Gary Wickett (Chairman), Stan Lovell, Voldi Gailans and Steve Thacker. Norman Wragg.

                                           Grass Roots Scheme
As Stan Lovell is now taking up the role as Chair for the Publications sub-committee, I have been appointed the
new Chair for Grass Roots. However, although Stan has decided to step down as Chair, he still remains a member
of the Grass Roots Sub-committee. Bill Armstrong, however, has decided to leave the group. He assures me,
however, that the timing of his departure was purely coincidental and has nothing to do with being uncomfortable
with the change of Chair!
Due to Bill‟s departure, we have recruited Steve Thacker and Voldi Gailans, both very familiar faces on the
mainstream circuit and their willingness to join the team is very much appreciated.
Grass Roots is now in its third year and has been set up to help share out more equally benefits to UK BCA
members who have not had the privilege of playing in high-profile international events; with the second objective
of seeking to encourage members to participate in mainstream congresses.
UK members eligible under the Grass Roots Scheme can currently claim either £150 towards the price of any non
BCA congress or two payments of £75 for any such tournaments that might fall short of this amount. Please note
that the scheme has now been extended to include events overseas. Although it is hoped that eligible members
might use the scheme to help fund their attendance at mainstream congresses, please also note that the scheme has
now been extended to include any non BCA events, whether in the UK or overseas, that are specifically aimed at
VI players.
All BCA UK members who have played in at least one of the three BCA events during the previous BCA financial
year (which runs from 1st October to 30th September), and who have not received funds of £300 or more to play in
an international event during any one of the two previous BCA financial years, will be eligible to claim.
Moreover, eligible members who are novices to mainstream congresses, or haven‟t attended one for ten years or
more, can also claim £75/£150 (appropriate to expenditure) for a guide to any mainstream event.
If you are eligible for a grant, there are just three simple steps to make a claim:-
    1. Inform me that you wish to make a claim at least one week before the event.
    2. On your return, send a receipt to the Treasurer, Gill Smith, (if the receipt is less than money claimed, this
        could also include rail tickets etc).
    3. Send me a report for our records. This could be as long or short as you consider adequate. We just need to
        know whether you had any problems with the event and whether you would recommend it for other BCA
        members to attend. Please be assured that all reports will be kept as anonymous records.
If you have any queries or you are unsure whether you qualify for the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You will find my contact details at the front of the Gazette.
Gary Wickett.
                                  Easy Fund Raising on the Internet
Everyclick is an easy way to raise money for BCA when shopping online with no extra cost to you. is a website you can use to search the web, shop online and trade on eBay. Every search you
make creates a donation.
The BCA‟s special address is, all searches, shopping and eBay
activity made from here will raise money for us. Going to this address gives you a screen that you can use to
search when shopping online. Any donations generated will be added to the BCA account automatically. There is
no need for you to sign in, but if you do you can track how much you have raised.
Everyclick has already raised over £1,700,000 for a wide range of charities around the UK, and Everyclick was
voted website of the Year 2008 and has been recognised as a top-100 media tech company 2009.
Gill Smith, Treasurer.

                                        Millennium Club Winners
The latest Millennium Club winners are:
       February       Tyson Mordue,
       March          Ollie Leonard,
       April          Janet Curwen.
The Millennium Club raises funds for the BCA by offering participants the chance to enter a monthly draw at £12
per number. The winner of the draw receives £35. If you wish to join the Millennium Club send a cheque to Gill
Smith, or you can now pay online; make Millennium Club the reference of any online payment, and let Denise
Ross who runs the draw know you have sent payment and wish to join the club. Denise‟s email address is
Guy Whitehouse.

                                Postal Tournament Director’s Report
If you can stomach more of my nonsensical babble in my hunger to search out the primitive drivers that propel
people into postal chess, my feet have been guided, or possibly my nose, to the happy plethora of restaurants that
are continually opening to tempt our taste buds and to transfer our pounds from our wallets to our waists. My
theme, therefore, for the next four editions of the Gazette, is the three course meal and what comparisons can be
made between this delightful institution and the three main stages that are served before us in that great banquet of
kings, the ever abundant feast of the mind that is simply known as correspondence chess.
I do not intend to indulge in such cheap puns as to suggest that after first of all checking the wine list, the perfect
meal would consist of a pawn cocktail, followed by rook pie, then sweetening the taste buds with queens pudding,
not forgetting of course the chess and biscuits; before finishing the knight off with a good old Dickensian
favourite, a hot bowl of smoking bishop, a truly satisfying punch fit for a king! No, I wouldn‟t dream of such bad
taste! Neither will I mention the utensils of forks and skewers in the eating and preparing of such delicacies.
However, what I plan to do over the next few issues is to tease out any comparisons between people‟s choice of
starter and their preference of opening; their choice of main course and their style of middle game; their choice of
sweet and their mode of end game. So plenty of food for thought to hopefully whet your appetite.
However, as my report without scores would be like mushy peas without chips, I will move onto that most prized
pinnacle of these pages without further ado.

BCA Correspondence League
Division 1 – Group Leader David Hodgkins
Bryant-Atherton 0-1 Polish 15
Mike Hague-McElroy 0-1 Giuoco Piano 25
Atherton-Crombie 0-1 London 25
Atherton-Mike Hague 0-1 Queen‟s Pawn 23.
Scores: Alec Crombie 4-5, Mark Hague 2-3, Ernie McElroy 2-3, David Hodgkins 1.5-2, Mike Hague 1.5-6, Frank
Atherton 1-3, Lionel Bryant 1-4.
Things are looking good for Alec, who may get a second bite of the cherry this season, with just one game left to
complete against Lionel. Alec was pipped by Ernie at the post from winning the league last season by just 0.75 of
a point on the first tie-break system (Sonneborn-Berger). However, still plenty of games unfinished and still too
early to make any concrete predictions.
Division 2 – Group Leader Sean O‟Brien
S. Brown-O‟Brien 1-0 Sicilian 37
McGuigan-O‟Brien 1-0 King‟s Indian 28
O‟Brien-Patching 1-0 Sicilian 27
Phillips-O‟Brien 0-1 Vienna Game 35.
Scores: George Phillips 4-5, Steve Brown 4-5, Sean O‟Brien 2.5-5, Eric Gallacher 1.5-4, Mike McGuigan 1-4,
Geoff Patching 1-5.
Congratulations go to George who finishes his games top of the division, beating Steve Brown by 1.5 on the first
tie-break system. Congratulations also go to Steve Brown who will now join George in promotion to Division 1
next season. The only game remaining in Division 2 is Eric‟s game with Mike McGuigan, where both players are
fighting to avoid relegation; Eric only needing a draw and Mike obviously needing to win.
Division 3
Pearce-Wickett 1-0 Scotch Game 32.
Scores: Jason Pearce 3-3, Derek Couchman 2-3, Gary Wickett 2-4, Jim Cuthbert 2-4, Allen Richardson 0-4.
Congratulations go to Jason Pearce who will be promoted to Division 2 next season. There is only one game
remaining in Division 3, that being Jason‟s game with Derek Couchman, where Derek only needs a draw to also
be awarded promotion. However, if Jason wins this final game, it will create a three way tie for second place,
which on this occasion cannot be separated by any of the tie-break systems. Therefore, if Jason manages a perfect
score, he will be the only person promoted to Division 2. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Derek is extremely
unwell in hospital and I know you will all share with me in wishing him a speedy recovery.
BCA Ladder Table
Wickett-O‟Brien 0-1 Blackburn Shilling 56.
Leading scores: Gary Wickett 17, Orlando Sobers 14, Ernie McElroy 12, Frank Atherton 10, Geoff Patching 9.
Up until about 10 moves from the end, my game with Sean looked like it might be our third draw on the bounce.
However, Sean having clawed back a pawn that I had stolen from him earlier, gained supremacy, having three
connected pawns against my three isolated officers of that same modest but noble rank, all operating under the
expert governance of a rook and a queen apiece. The game concluded with me offering Sean my rook, thinking
that he would not take this royal residence as if he did I could pounce upon a draw by repetition. However, the
proverb, “Check for checks,” had slipped from my single brain cell, and so after queen takes rook check! I had no
choice but to resign. However, I take great comfort in knowing that my blunder simply hastened the inevitable.
Keep chessing.
Gary Wickett.

                                   Membership Secretary’s Report
I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that the guidelines below are followed. If a member moves and
their details are not passed to me, it makes it extremely difficult to keep our membership and gazette records up to
If any person has details of a new member wishing to join the BCA, or you just have a change of address, however
slight, or require to alter the medium in which you receive information, then please do not hesitate to contact me
either by phoning 01926 425803 or by writing to: David Hodgkins, 44 Moorhill Road, Whitnash, Warwickshire,
CV31 2LN.
Obviously it is up to those playing correspondence chess to notify their opponents of any changes to their address
or to their use of medium.

Deceased members.
Peter Cash (Braille, life member), died 27 November 2010.
John Busbridge (tape, life member), died 8 March 2011.
Morgan Drewell (Braille, life member), died 25 March.
Jack Horrocks (Braille, life member), died 26 March.

                                    New Book in the Audio Library
Catalogue no. p334: Streetfighting chess by Andrew Burnett
In order to whet people's appetite, included below are the chapter headings and a short extract from a review by
'Chess Edinburgh'.
Chapter Headings:
     1. The king must die!
     2. In a material world
     3. Streetfighting heroes 1
     4. In the beginning...
     5. Middle-game matters
     6. Mind games
     7. Streetfighting heroes 2
     8. Something new, something old...
     9. Losing it and using it
     10. Mind games Re-visited
     11. More middle-game matters
     12. Streetfighting heroes 3
     13. The end is nigh!
     14. Walking the walk
The reviewer says: “So there I was enjoying the book and simply playing over the games, actually forgetting I had
to write a review - then suddenly I realised something. This is Chess for Tigers in action!!. And I mean that as a
huge compliment (Andrew actually recommends Chess for Tigers by Simon Webb for further reading). Tigers is
a minor classic. Streetfighter is the next step up.
Andrew has read Tigers, used some of its ideas in his games but must have found it lacking in some departments
and has surpassed it, adding some of his own conclusions from his over-the-board experience.
Chapter 6 ends with this statement: "Psychology is one of the least thought about aspects of chess with regards to
your average chess player, and in my opinion this is a huge mistake. Of course it is not difficult to see why it is
overlooked when we are bombarded with over-hyped books on opening theory and computer-driven assessments
at every turn. But hopefully, having read this introduction to the subject, many of you will now see things in a
different light, and next time you reach out at a bookstall your hands will automatically steer away from the latest
'opening sensation' and drift towards a different kind of literature."
This book throws out useful tit-bits of advice on practically every page. The club player who seems stuck in a rut
is in for a right slap across the face. But, it will be an enjoyable slap across the face. It will sting. But when was
the last time you read a chess book that kicked the living daylights out of everything you thought you knew?
Enjoy the moment. You will soon be doing the kicking.
The real reason why any chess book should be written must be to entertain and enlighten the reader. This book
ticks all the boxes.”
Mark Kirkham.

                                      Audio Chess on the Website
As many of you know, Richard Harrington sends out tapes of articles from the press and also the monthly chess
magazine. I am pleased to say that these files produced by our readers are now available for download from our
website. It is important to mention that, due to copyright laws, we are only allowed to provide this service to our
UK visually impaired residents. Anyone wishing to have regular access to this material is invited to contact Chris
Ross who will be happy to issue you with a user name and password, as well as the link to the publications folder
where the files are located. I will also be sending out notifications to the email user group each month when there
are new batches of files on the site.
I do hope that members find this beneficial, and I would welcome any comments and suggestions regarding this
Mark Kirkham.

                        Demonstration of Accessible Chess Technology
We are hoping to put on a demonstration of accessible chess technology at the British Championships in
Scarborough. Recent developments mean that certain applications on Apple‟s iPhone and iPad are set to become
usable by visually impaired people. But it isn‟t just cutting edge technology that the demonstration will focus on.
The thinking is that many people would benefit from being shown in a practical, hands-on sort of way how to use
some of the more established technology out there such as Fritz and the like.
Technology and computers are here to stay on the chess scene. Our sighted counterparts take such things for
granted. It‟s therefore vitally important we learn how to make the most of what is out there, even if the first few
steps to learning how to use such technology may prove challenging.
With this in mind the committee will be looking at putting on an event at the British. Ideas being discussed
include a demonstration of accessible chess applications on Apple gadgets, revisiting chess engines like Fritz, and
for those just discovering the Internet, a demonstration of how you can find chess material on sites like Youtube.
Finalised plans will appear in the August Gazette; sounds like a good reason to enter the championships…
Guy Whitehouse.

                         Representation on the Right to Read Alliance
On 29 March I attended a meeting of the Right to Read Alliance at the RNIB in Judd Street. I‟d been invited
largely on the basis of some work and lobbying I‟d done on behalf of the World Blind Union‟s copyright working
group. At the meeting Hans Cohn asked why I had been co-opted and wasn‟t representing the Braille Chess
Association instead.
The chair of the alliance, Peter Osborne, invited the Braille Chess Association to nominate a representative and the
committee felt that for the rest of this year I should be our representative, but that of course the position would
come up for election at the next AGM. Obviously I‟ll be reporting back anything of relevance to the association
and will try to use the position to improve access to published chess material.
Guy Whitehouse.

                                         Two New Braille Books
Two new books will be appearing in Braille very shortly, I am told in a matter of a few weeks.
They are “Better chess for the Average Club Player” by Tim Harding and “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” by
Murray Chandler. Ring the RNIB helpline 0303 1239999 if you wish to place an order.
Guy Whitehouse.