All chessed out

Posted on 15th May 2014 | in Clubs + Societies , Community , Michael Lowery's Blog , Young People’s Activities

All chessed out

I played chess in Harrogate in a tournament for able/disabled people. It took place over the weekend of the 17th to the 9th of March. I had a wonderful experience finishing with a final win giving me 2.5 points out of the five games I played.
I consider this a commendable effort considering the opposition was strong and it was a highly rated event.
The venue was excellent with people participating from London, Birmingham Warwickshire and even across from the Emerald Isle. In total there were 20 players in the competition.
I used my own specially adapted tactile chess set which was in plain view of the officials and the sighted people who I played against. I used the phonetic alphabet to announce my moves, and the start square and destination squares of chess men.
This method is accepted internationally as well as in Britain as it makes an equal playing field for handicapped people and the able bodied counterparts who play them. This rule because of its clarity avoids confusion and makes co-operation between players less awkward. The games were conducted in a “gentlemanly fashion” and a display of amenability was prevalent throughout the tournament. There were a number of players who won all their matches.
It was a refreshing change for me to experience a different environment from the Friday night trips to the working men’s club in Alnwick. Playing in such an event was an honour and a privilege for me.

Michael Lowery

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