Braille British Chess Champ’ship & Chairman’s Cup – B’mouth, 19-26th June

Braille British Chess Champ’ship & Chairman’s Cup – B’mouth, 19-26th June

Pictured above, the Bournemouth Mayor, Cllr Derek Borthwick about to make his first move at the last Braille Championship held in 2018.

Local players will be interested to hear that the 2022 Braille British Chess Championship and Chairman’s Cup (for players rated less than 1750) will be held in Bournemouth from Sunday 19th to Saturday 26th June at the Marsham Court Hotel (3 Russell Coates Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AB) following its success when it was previously held in Bournemouth in 2018.

The Braille Chess Association

The Braille Chess Association is a national association of visually impaired chess players. It was formed in 1932 and developed from a Braille correspondence chess organisation to a community of chess players taking part in correspondence chess and over the board tournaments, at home and abroad.

Its aim is to encourage and support the playing of chess at all levels by blind and partially sighted people. It currently supports over 150 visually impaired players and learners, and have over 70 members without a visual impairment who assist in the organisation’s activities in a variety of ways.

Membership is open to blind and partially sighted people while sighted friends and family may join as associate members.

For further details on all of its activities and how you can support the organisation, please visit … https://www.braillechess.org.uk/.

How does a totally blind person play chess?

Modifications to chess sets enable a blind person to examine the position of the pieces on the board by touch. The black squares are raised slightly above the level of the white squares with a hole drilled in the centre of each square. Each of the pieces has a peg in its base which fits into the holes in the board. The black pieces are distinguished by a small pin on the top. Each player uses a separate board and after making a move, announces it to his/her opponent.

This Year’s Championship in Bournemouth

This year’s event is once again being expertly organised by local Highcliffe player, John Jenkins and his wife, Pam.

So far, 24 blind and partially sighted players have entered which is 4 more than in the 2018 when Richard Murphy won the Chairman’s Cup. This year’s competition includes local players John Jenkins (Highcliffe), pictured left above and Steve Bailey (Poole), pictured right above, who will be representing the local chess community.

The Bournemouth Mayor, Cllr Derek Borthwick and the Lady Mayoress (pictured above), opened the Championship in 2018 and the current Bournemouth Mayor, Cllr Robert Lawton and his wife, will open this year’s event at 7.45pm just before the 1st round on Sunday 19th June.

Chess Playing Schedule and Coaching

The 1st round starts at 8pm on Sunday 19th June.

All other rounds will start daily at 10.30am.

There will also be chess coaching provided by local players:

  • Ian Clark (Wimborne) on Monday afternoon
  • Eric Sachs (Poole) on Wednesday afternoon,

both scheduled for 3pm to 5pm.

Evening Entertainment

There will be an exciting array of evening events at 8pm to keep everyone entertained!

  • Monday 20th June – Southern Union Chorus
  • Tuesday 21st June – Quiz
  • Wednesday 22nd June – Jazz
  • Thursday 23rd June – Murder Mystery
  • Friday 24th June – BCA Soiree – where members show off their own talents. This will include a performance by local chess player, guitar playing and singer Graham Morris (Poole), who was very popular when he joined in with the musical soiree in 2018.
  • Saturday 25th June – Simultaneous Display by Martin Simons (Southbourne).

Spectators Welcome!

Spectators will be warmly welcomed at both the chess tournament / coaching sessions and evening events. Please come along and support the Braille Chess Association.

Martin Simons – 15th June 2022