Braille Chess Association – Chairman’s Cup – 15th to 21st July 2023

Braille Chairmans Cup 2023 - Ian Blencowe (Open) and Neda Koohnavard (Challengers and Ladies) - squarish

23 players competed over 7 rounds in the Braille Chess Association’s Chairman’ Cup, held at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth, from Saturday 15th to Friday 21st July 2023.

The congress was opened on Saturday evening by the Worshipful Mayor Cllr Anne Filer accompanied by her consort Honorary Freeman Michael Filer (pictured below) with a lovely welcoming speech.

Players came from all over England, Sweden, Austria, and Spain.

The tournament was smoothly run by international arbiter Gerry Walsh and James Connors, with the sensitive support of Norman Andrews.

Congratulations to Ian Blencowe (pictured above) for being the overall winner on 5½ points from 7 games.

Stan Lovell came in second on 5 points and Bill Armstrong and Olle Engstrom were joint third on 4½ points.

In the Challengers group, for players rated under 1300, Neda Koohnavard (pictured above) was the winner with points and she also won the Ladies Cup.

Tony Elbourn was second with 4 points and Teresa Codina was third on 3½ points.

Local players Steve Bailey (Poole) and John Jenkins (Highcliffe), pictured above, acquitted themselves well with 3 and 4 points respectively.

Everyone enjoyed a full week of evening entertainment, including a quiz, an excellent contribution from local barber shop singers, a jazz duo, murder mystery and a 16 board simultaneous from local player Martin Simons. A late night finish gave Martin 9 wins and 7 draws.

Julie Leonard organised a splendid musical soiree at the end of the week, crowning her masterful performance as a cockney moll, not even recognised by her own parents.

Although the rail strike caused some disruptions, it did not spoil the fun. We look forward to returning in two years time.

For more information on the activities of the Braille Chess Association which brings chess to visually impaired people, please click on the following link …

John Jenkins – August 2023

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