Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ChessWITH THE KNIGHT in Association With

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

ChessWITH THE KNIGHT in Association With

Article excerpt

IT has been a very good year for British chess both locally and nationally. Locally, there has been sgnificant growth in the numbers of players taking part in teams in the Northumbria League and increased entries in local congresses. The County individual tournaments have also been very well supported. A lot of credit for this must go down to the quality of the organisers of these various activities. They all do the preparation, ongoing management and administration freely and in their own time. The majority are employed or self employed and many have family commitments too. So they deserve many thanks for their unstinting and skilled work on behalf of the local chess community.

A recent event at Morpeth Chess Club is a typical example. This involved a simultaneous event to raise funds for the Braille Association who give support to chess players who are blind or partially sighted. I think it is fair to say that many sighted players are mystified by the skill and resilience of unsighted players. It is a challenging enough game to play when you can see the board and the pieces! There are three playing in the Northumbria League. They are all good players. They need special equipment. The pieces have pegs on the bottom which slot into the hole in each square in the board, very much like many travelling sets do. The pieces have distinctive surfaces on the top so they can be recognised as white or black or as a knight or bishop etc by touch. Their clocks have no glass in the front so they can feel the time. Obviously there are far more sighted players, so with the economies of scale, their equipment is much cheaper. The Braille Association have helped to create and supply the special equipment needed for the players with sight issues. Roger Coathup, the current county champion, for several years has taken on all comers in what has become an annual simultaneous event, with all the proceeds going to the Braille Association. The attraction for the participants is multi-layered. Firstly, and foremostly, there is the opportunity to contribute to a very worthwhile charity.

Secondly, there is the better than usual chance of defeating the county champion, though, in practice not many do! …

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