Round 7 of the 4NCL saw the e2e4.org.uk second team take on the Braille Chess Association. This was an unusual experience for me as it was the first time I had played a game against a blind or partially sighted player. The basic routine features the following steps repeated until the game has finished:
- Make move on own board
- Announce move
- Press clock
- Wait for opponent’s move
- Make opponent’s move on own board
Although strange at first, I soon got used to this. However, one thing that was unnerving was that all the Braille players seemed to end up well ahead on the clock, with a typical balance at one point in the match being over an hour to the Braille player and about 20 minutes to our player! I suppose that the Braille players make a habit of moving quickly to avoid time trouble, as it could be tricky for them to negotiate a time scramble.
We won the match by the narrowest margin (3.5-2.5). Alan Byron was ground down on board 1 by Colin Crouch. Mark Josse split the point with Chris Ross. James Jackson, Andrew Talbot and John Denton won against Neville Blackie, Steve Hilton and Davis Ross respectively. I lost an interesting game against Graham Lilley, where the game swung backwards and forwards, before I blundered in time trouble.