12th I.B.C.A. Olympiad - Tarragona 2004
here to download all games
2-13 November 2004, the B.C.A. squad went to Spain to compete
in the 12th International Braille Chess Association (IB.C.A.)
Olympiad. Held at the Hotel Palas Pineda, Tarragona, this is the
top international event for teams of visually handicapped chess
Graham Lilley (St Helens)
Colin Chambers (Cheltenham) (Captain)
Bill Armstrong (Leek)
Les Whittle (Morpeth)
Norman Wragg (Sheffield)
team was supported by trainer Julie Leonard and guides Barbara
Chambers, Geoff Ward, Moira Whittle and Pauline Wragg. Besides
helping with pre-match preparation and looking after team interests
in many ways, they provided a great deal of encouragement.
Olympiad consisted of 9 rounds. Four members of the squad played
in each match so that players could rest once in a while. As in
all IB.C.A. events the matches were played under strict tournament
conditions, identical to those for sighted players apart from
essential modifications to the sets and clocks. The B.C.A. team
faced opponents from all over the World including teams from former
Soviet republics where chess has had far more state support than
in the UK.
a 1-3 defeat to Spain (the home team) in Round 1, the B.C.A. bounced
back to beat Switzerland by the same score. In Rounds 3 and 4
we lost 1-3 to strong teams from Macedonia and then Turkmenistan.
In Round 5 we beat South Africa 4-0, but lost by the same margin
to Kazakhstan the following day. After losing to France 1.5-2.5
in Round 7, we put on a strong finish to beat Norway 3-1 in Round
8 and Greece 3.5-0.5 in Round 9.
the team scored 18 points from 36 and this placed us joint 15th
to 18th. We were seeded 22nd, so we finished above our station!
Graham 4.5 from 9
Colin 2 from 6
Bill 4 from 8
Les 6 from 8
Norman 1.5 from 5
players made an important contribution, but special credit goes
to Graham and Les. Graham played in every match and scored 50%
against top-class opponents. Les won the silver medal on board
4. This means he achieved the second highest score on his board.
and Norman attended the IB.C.A. congress on our behalf - this
lasted 6 hours! As a result of a presentation by the B.C.A. at
this Congress, the B.C.A. was awarded the right to host the European
Individual Championship for the Blind in 2007.
was an excellent party spirit and, despite all the stresses and
strains of a major chess tournament, all the squad came home good
B.C.A. Publicity Officer
Monday 29th November 2004
Picture from the tournament