BCA International Autumn Congress 2012

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On Saturday 10th November 2012, 73 members, friends and guests attended a Gala dinner at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the BCA. This was preceded by a wine reception at which the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate welcomed the BCA to Harrogate.

Click here to hear Stan Lovell describing Braille chess to BBC Radio York.

Description: Description: The Mayor of Harrogate with Norman

In a brief address, chairman, Norman Wragg OBE, outlined the progress of the association from its early days, when postal chess by Braille was one of its main activities, to the present, when regular over-the-board events, participation in major international events, correspondence chess and a variety of support services are all part of the very active programme of BCA activities. Norman expressed thanks to the officers, friends and associates of the BCA whose generous support contribute so much to its success. He also paid tribute to the fine performances of BCA teams in the British Correspondence Chess League, where our team finished first in the premier division and to the UK team in the IBCA Olympiad in India whose performance earned them a place in the 2013 World Team Championship for the top ten teams due to take place in Spain in June 2013.

There was a special mention for Hans Cohn who joined the association in 1945 and has made a massive contribution to the development of chess for visually impaired people in the UK and throughout the world.

Also singled out for special mention was Stan lovell, who joined in 1951 and who for the last 35 years, has been the engine and driving force of the BCA, including a spell of over 20 years as secretary.

The evening was concluded with a soiree with entertainment provided by several multi-talented members of the association.

Description: Description: The audience greatly enjoyed the evening's entertainment

The five round chess tournament attracted 35 players from: Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and UK. Chris Ross finished first in the major event a point and a half ahead of the field with seven players sharing second to eighth. A number of new members competed in the minor event with several of them putting in a very promising performance. This event was won by Steve Brown who plays much of his chess in the Bradford league. David Welch, chairman of the ECF arbiters, was joined by Matthew Carr to control the event, assisted by Richard Murphy as steward.

Final standings


1st Chris Ross 4.5
Joint 2nd Bill Armstrong, Graham Lilley, Steve Hilton, Tristram Cole, Philip Doyle, Steve Burnell and Michael Delaney all scored 3.
Hans Cohn, Olle Engstrom, John Gallagher, Sean Loftus, Stan Lovell, Ernie McElroy, Steve Thacker and Norman Wragge all scored 2.5
David Hodgkins 2.
Norman Andrews 1.5
Mark Kirkham 1
Ian Blencowe 0.5

Bill Armstrong won grading prize A.
John Gallagher won grading prize B.
Sean Loftus won grading prize C.


1st Steve Brown 4.5
2nd Michael Meaney 4.
Joint 3rd George Phillips and Gary Wickett 3.5
Ian Blackmore, John Carroll and Voldi Gailans 3.
Dan Rugman 2.5
Abi Baker, Richard Harrington, Andy Lee, Michael Lowery and John Osborne 2.
David Gibbs 1.5
Rebecca Blaevoet 1

Ian Blackmore won the rating prize.

Description: Description: Steve Brown won the minor section
Description: Description: Michael Meaney won second in the minor section
Description: Description: And Gary Wickett and George Phillips came joint third for the minor section


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