Nov 132018
 

Round 1Last Monday night Hebden Bridge Chess Club hosted round 1 of the 2018-19 Calderdale Individual Championship  at the Trades Club. Coverage of this year’s event will be somewhat diminished in stature given that your editor is not participating in this year’s competition. Nevertheless we still intend to bring you a brief summary of the round and the results. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get hold of some of the games as well.

The competition organiser, John Kerrane, sent us this short over view of round 1.

The first round is always the easiest for the stronger players, and toughest for the less experienced, and so it proved on the night, with all the games leading to decisive results, and all going to grade. The nearest to an upset was in the last game to finish in which 16-year-old Toby Dodd gained a piece advantage in an endgame against much higher-graded Richard Porter. However, with both players in serious time trouble, Dodd could not find a winning line, and Porter’s cool head saw him through to a win with only seconds remaining on the clock.

The full list of results of the round and overall standings can be found on the Calderdale Chess League website. The next round, when stronger players will face each other, will take place at the Trades Club on 3rd December.

Below are all the individual results. The game viewer at the end of this post contains Pete Leonard’s game against Adrian Dawson. Many thanks to Pete for sending this through. If any players in this competition would like to have their games published please email PGN files to hebdenbridgechessclub@gmail.com

1.) N.Bamford 0 – 1 P.Cook
2.) P.Leonard 1 – 0 A.Dawson
3.) T.Dodd 0 – 1 R.Porter
4.) M.Syrett 1 – 0 Z.Sandhu
5.) L.Curry 0 – 1 M.Barnett
6.) P.Gledhill 1 – 0 B.Joyce
7.) J.Edmondson 0 – 1 P.E.Edwards
8.) A.Gonzales 1 – 0 G.Hughes
9.) A.Dermo 0 – 1 C.Edwards
10.) A.Swales 1 – 0 B.J.S.Hadari

Half point bye:

J.Allan, S.Harrington, J.Morgan, M.Parsons


League 2 update

Last night the fourth round of Calderdale League 2 was played and some significant results were played out.

Leaders Brighouse suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Halifax ‘B’. Robert Broadbent won on board 1 against Carlos Velosa but defeats on boards 4 and 5 for Ron Grandage and Tim Pryke against Howard Wood and Daniel Rowley respectively saw the visitors go down 3 – 2.

At the same venue, Halifax ‘C’ went down to Huddersfield C’ by 1½ – 3½ and this result means that Huddersfield, Brighouse and Halifax ‘B’ are now joint top of the league on 6 points. Huddersfield have the best board score.

Belgrave ‘C’ moved on to 4 points when they successfully saw off the Hebden Bridge ‘D’ team 0 – 5. Once more John  Kerrane provides a brief report on this match.

Belgrave ‘C’ arrived with an unusually strong line-up to take on the youngsters of Hebden’s training team, and, once again, experience was the deciding factor. Despite playing well, the junior players made strategic errors which their opponents were able to exploit, although Gwilym Hughes, on board 5, played well to get into a winning position, only to let victory slip from his grasp. The match ended with a 5-0 win to Belgrave ‘C’.

The individual results were:

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ vs. Belgrave ‘C’
T. Dodd 0 – 1 D. Colledge (W)
L. Curry 0 – 1 A. Gonzalez
Z. Sandhu 0 – 1 P. Edwards
J. Edmondson 0 – 1 C. Edwards
G. Hughes 0 -1 S. Harrington
0 – 5

Steve Harrington’s win on board 5 for the visitors means he is now the only remaining player in the league to have played and won in all four rounds so far.

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Nov 022018
 
Facing up to closest rivals Belgrave 'A' was something of an ordeal for Hebden Bridge 'B' on Monday night. Image: Kevin Jarrett's Flickr photo stream

Facing up to closest rivals Belgrave ‘A’ was something of an ordeal for Hebden Bridge ‘B’ on Monday night. Image: Kevin Jarrett’s Flickr photo stream

It was a night of high tension at the Trades Club on Monday as Hebden Bridge Chess Club’s ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams took part in round 4 of the Calderdale Evening Chess League 1. Both sides were well matched by Belgrave ‘A’ and Huddersfield ‘B’ respectively and both matches were decided by fine margins even if the score lines didn’t necessarily reflect that.

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ were at the top of the table as the only side with a 100% record after three rounds when the evening began. Having already managed to beat strong sides in the form of Huddersfield ‘A’ and Hebden Bridge ‘A’ they now faced their closest rivals, second placed Belgrave ‘A’.

Half term week meant changes for both sides as some regular players were away. For Hebden Bridge their star performers on boards 4 and 5, Sam Swain and Neil Suttie, were absent. In their place came Richard Bedford on board 5 and Chris Bak who played on board 2. On the Belgrave side they were also missing a star performer on the lower boards, Steve Harrington. In his place came Ian Hunter who was inserted on board 1, allowing the rest of the team to move down a board. Both sides then were in fact marginally stronger than they had been for previous rounds.

The players had barely made their opening moves when Ian Hunter and Matthew Parsons agreed a draw on board 1. Ian boldly essayed Matthew’s trade mark opening system with White himself – the ‘Accelerated London’ with 1.d4 and 2.Bf4. Matthew quickly deployed a solid response, equalized and offered a draw on move 12 which Ian accepted. The match would be decided on the bottom four boards where there was a good deal more belligerence.

On board 2, Chris Bak took advantage of a dubious move order employed by John Morgan and was able to pick up an exchange early on in the game with some accurate play. Unfortunately, his precision did not continue as he overlooked a tactical feature a little later on and was compelled to give the exchange back. A relieved John offered a draw at this point and Chris saw no reason to decline.

Now the match would be decided on the bottom three boards and Hebden had cause for concern on all of them. On board 3 there was a ‘Battle of the Daves’ and Dave Patrick and Dave Shapland had a Classical Variation of the Ruy Lopez on the board. Dave Patrick seemed to have the better of the opening and took control of the open e-file. Shapland countered by offering a pawn up in order to activate his pieces. He succeeded in doing this and managed to win back the material at which point Dave Patrick offered him a draw.

The fact that Dave Shapland declined the draw offer had nothing to do with the position on the board. If anything he was still worse and could have accepted gladly. However, by this stage of proceedings it was clear that Hebden were right up against it. Pete Leonard was a pawn down against Malcolm Corbett who had essayed the super-aggressive Four Pawns Attack Variation against Pete’s Alekhine’s Defence. Pete appeared to be in a good deal of trouble. Meanwhile on board 5 Karim Kahn versus Richard ‘Beaky’ Bedford was anything but straight forward and both players seemed to be burning their clock time liberally.

Patrick vs. Shapland. It's white to make his 23rd move. He has the advantage but there is only one way to proceed to preserve it. Can you find it? Answer in the game viewer at the end of this post.

Patrick vs. Shapland. It’s white to make his 23rd move. He has the advantage but there is only one way to proceed to preserve it. Can you find it? Answer in the game viewer at the end of this post.

So, with the prognosis apparently poor on boards 4 and 5, Dave decided he had to play on and try to win his game against Dave Patrick. Of course matter then immediately got worse for him as he tried to play actively but in doing so opening himself him to a direct attack on his king. Fortunately, Patrick missed his best chance to win the game but instead followed a line that also looked very promising indeed. However, it turned out to be one of those lines that, whilst optically appearing overwhelming, in reality required precise play to capitalize on. Now with just a queen and a minor piece left each (plus six pawns each) Patrick grabbed a Black pawn on b7 and lost all of his advantage. The key position is in the diagram on the right. See if you can find the only move to keep White his advantage. After the pawn grab Shapland was able to equalise the position again and Patrick decided to offer a queen exchange when it became apparent that his opponent was going to win back his pawn. At this point Patrick offered a draw again.

The situation had not improved in any way on the lower boards. In fact, by this point Pete was two pawns down and still under massive pressure and Beaky was getting into hot water on the clock. On this occasion though Dave Shapland had more reasons than just the match situation to help him decide not to accept the draw offer. He’d seen that, after the queen exchange he’d have a bishop to Dave’s knight and could play on and try to win with little risk of losing. So, this is what he did.

With time control looming and all six players running short of time, the ’10.15 crisis’ was the most nerve shredding point of the night. Karim and Beaky were both in desperate trouble with their clocks and were banging out moves in a highly complicated and tense position knowing that one slip could prove fatal. Meanwhile Pete and Malcolm were also short of time and were trying to navigate a head-spinning position. Pete seemed to be fighting back however.

On board 3 Dave Shapland had a critical decision to make on his 36th move. He’d seen a pawn break which looked like his only chance to win but meant temporarily sacrificing a pawn. However, if it all went wrong he’d probably lose. Once more he decided to gamble and put his opponent under pressure. Once more he got lucky as Dave Patrick didn’t play the most resilient defence and slipped into a losing endgame position. Now there was hope for Hebden to at least hold the match.

Incredibly, they did a lot better than draw the match as, during the final phase of the match they somehow managed to win all three remaining games! First of all, Pete swindled Malcolm with a mating attack when Malcolm thought his own attack would connect first. It didn’t, and Pete put Hebden ahead. Then Beaky and Karim got into their second time crisis of the night but by this stage Karim’s attack had completely petered out. He’d had a piece for three pawns but then lost a second piece and then a rook as it all went wrong for him. Hebden had snatched the match from the fire.

The last game to finish was Patrick versus Shapland on board 3 where ultimately Shapland’s bravery was rewarded as he finished off his opponent to seal the deal. It had been an ordeal indeed but Hebden had held out. All five games from this match can be found in the game viewer at the end of this post.

Here is the final match scorecard:

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Belgrave ‘A’
M.Parsons ½ – ½ I.Hunter (W)
C.Bak ½ – ½ J.Morgan (W)
D.Shapland 1 – 0 D.Patrick (W)
P.Leonard 1 – 0 M.Corbett (W)
R.Bedford 1 – 0 K.Khan (W)
4 – 1

Meanwhile, across the room, Hebden Bridge ‘C’ and Huddersfield ‘B’ were engaged in a similarly tough battle although in this case the games ended earlier in the evening. Half-term week hit Hebden ‘C’ hard and they were missing a player. This meant that Huddersfield’s Captain, Alec Ward, got a night off and still collected a point for his team.

This proved to be decisive as across the remaining four boards the honours were evenly shared. Hebden’s Captain, Martin Syrett, lost out to Granville boot on board 2 but Paul Gledhill equalised the score with a win on board 3. Board 4 was drawn and this left Andy Leatherbarrow in the envious position of having to win on board 1 against David Gray to level the match. Hard as he tried this never appeared to be likely and indeed Gray held firm and a draw was brokered giving Huddersfield a 2 – 3 win.

Here are the individual results from that match:

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ vs. Huddersfield ‘B’
A.Leatherbarrow 0 – 0 D.Gray (W)
M.Syrett 0 – 1 G.Boot (W)
P.Gledhill 1 – 0 K.Stanczyk (W)
N.Bamford 0 – 0 C.Haigh (W)
DEFAULT 0 – 1 A.Ward (W)
2 – 3

Elsewhere in the League, Hebden Bridge ‘A’s match against Huddersfield ‘A’ at the Golden Lion was postponed at the visiting team’s request and will be rearranged for either the 12th or the 26th of November and at the Lee Mount Club, Halifax ‘A’ smashed Belgrave ‘B’ 5 – 0.

After 4 rounds of play (for everyone except the two sides mentioned above) Hebden ‘B’ remain top of the league with 8 points. They’ve increased their lead over Belgrave ‘A’ who, despite their loss to the leaders stay in second place with 5 points. After that there is something of a bottle neck with Halifax ‘A’, Huddersfield ‘B’ and Belgrave ‘B’ all on 4 points. Hebden Bridge ‘C’ and Huddersfield ‘A’ have 2 points and Hebden Bridge ‘A’ languish at the foot of the table with 1 point but with that match against Huddersfield ‘A’ in hand.


League 2

We’ve been neglecting League 2 on this website. They have now played three rounds of fixtures, the most recent being on the 22nd of October. In this round Brighouse continued their perfect start to the season with a narrow 3 – 2 over Huddersfield ‘C’. Steve Westmoreland scored an excellent win against Robert Broadbent on board 1 for the visitors and another Robert, Sutcliffe, also won on board 3. However, wins for Paul Whitehouse, Adrian Dawson and Tim Pryke meant that Brighouse took the match.

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ were missing two players for their match with Halifax ‘C’ (who only brought four players themselves) but they still managed to get their first game point on the board as Zora Sandhu defeated Barry Wadsworth on board 1. Congratulations to Zora for this excellent win. Let’s hope many more are to follow. Below is the match scorecard:

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ vs. Halifax ‘C’
Z.Sandhu 1 – 0 B.Wadsworth (W)
A.Dermo 0 – 1 P.Stowe (W)
J.Edmundson 0 – 1 J.Nicholson (W)
DEFAULT 0 – 1 E.Fynn (W)
DEFAULT 0 – 0 DEFAULT
1 – 3

Finally, Belgrave ‘C’ lost to Halifax ‘B’ 2 – 3 despite Halifax only having four players. Carlos Velosa, Pete Moss and Daniel Rowley all won their games with (that man again!) Steve Harrington scoring the only point aside from the default for the home team against Howard Wood.

Brighouse stay top with 6 points having taken sole lead by beating Huddersfield ‘C’. They and Halifax ‘B’ are on 4 points. Belgrave ‘C’ and Halifax ‘C’ have 2 points and Hebden Bridge ‘D’ have yet to score a match point but have at least now scored a board win.


Calderdale Individual Championship

Next week, on Bonfire night, the first round of the Calderdale Individual Championship will take place at the Trades Club. All Calderdale players are welcome, indeed encouraged, to enter. If you have not yet entered and wish to do so please contact John Kerrane either by email at kerranerie@btinternet.com or telephone on 01422 842 426. Entries close on Sunday evening so get moving if you’ve not signed up yet!

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Oct 302018
 
Swales vs. Bedford. With the Black king ambling about in the centre of the board it is little wonder that White can win the game. The solution is not straightforward though. Can you find the winning idea for White? Answer in the game viewer at the end of the post.

Swales vs. Bedford. With the Black king ambling about in the centre of the board it is little wonder that White can win the game. The solution is not straightforward though. Can you find the winning idea for White? Answer in the game viewer at the end of the post.

The third round of Calderdale League 1 fixtures took place on the 15th of October and, with all three Hebden Bridge teams in action at the Trades Club there was plenty of action to kibitz! Let’s dive straight in and report on these matches.

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ have had a very tough start to the season. They still have at their core the three players who have done the most to secure them the last four league titles: Andrew Clarkson, Martyn Hamer and Phil Cook. However, their lower boards are weaker this season than they have been in recent years and this is causing them some difficulties for the moment. In both their first two matches they lost on boards four and five. Combined with one other board loss in each match they have been condemned to back to back defeats for the first time in very long time – albeit to two strong sides in the form of Hebden Bridge ‘B’ and Halifax ‘A’.

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ probably expected to be somewhere near the foot of the table this season, and indeed, they have managed just a drawn match against Belgrave ‘B’ from their first two rounds. However, this return still saw them sitting above their ‘A’ team before they faced them at the Trades Club last week.

On the night Hebden ‘A’ had to contend without Phil Cook amongst their number. This meant that whilst they had Andrew Clarkson and Martin Hamer on boards 1 and 2, Andy Swales was promoted to board 3, Pete Dickinson to board 4 and Terry Sullivan was drafted in to play on board 5 for the evening. Would this be enough to gain a result from their ‘C’ team?

Hebden ‘C’ welcomed their captain Martin Syrett into their line up for the first time this season. He played below Andy Leatherbarrow on board 2. Richard Bedford also made his first appearance of the season on board 3 while Paul Gledhill played board 4 and Neil Bamford board 5. All of this meant that, while Hebden ‘A’ looked favorites on the top 2 boards, the other three appeared to be very evenly matched.

As it turned out the form books didn’t lie on this occasion. The first game to finish was the board 2 ‘Battle of the Martins’. This was over in relatively short order as Martyn Hamer met Martin Syrett’s King’s Indian Defence with a contemporary treatment which saw him expand aggressively with White on the king’s side. Martin Syrett never really managed to get any counterplay on the queen’s side, or even to get his queen’s bishop and queen’s rook into the game and he made a tactical blunder on move 24 which would see him lose a piece. He resigned without going any further.

The other four games were played out over a greater part of the evening and were closely contested. On board 5 Neil Bamford and Terry Sullivan played out an endgame where Neil always seemed to have a slight edge. He managed to convert this into a full point and equalise the match score.

Not long after that however, Andrew Clarkson was victorious in the board 1 ‘Battle of the Andrews’ to put the ‘A’ team back in front. This game saw an old and complicated variation of the Scotch Game appear on the board. As Andrew Clarkson mentions in his notes to the game (published in the game viewer at the end of this article) the moves followed the original stem game of the so-called Blumenfeld Attack (characterised by 6.Nb5!?) which was first played by Benjamin Blumenfeld in 1903!

For the first ten moves or so Andy Leatherbarrow seemed to be navigating the complexities well but it seems that Black has the tougher practical challenge in this line and, slowly but surely, his position began to deteriorate. However, Andrew Clarkson then played a few inaccurate moves himself and allowed his opponent to coordinate somewhat before a couple of dodgy moves in succession cost Andy the game.

Hebden ‘C’ drew level once again when Richard Bedford saw off the spirited challenge of Andy Swales on board 3. In some sort of Pseudo Catalan position, Andy was the first to go astray when he appears to have miscalculated a tactical sequence which saw Richard grab a pawn. In exchange for that pawn however Andy got a half open h-file to work with and he quickly went about trying to exploit this by rearranging his fianchettoed bishop to f3 and put his king on g2 in its place. Then, another confusing tactical sequence caused a further material imbalance as Richard gave back his extra pawn but won a knight and bishop for one of Andy’s rooks.

Dickinson vs Gledhill. Black to move. Can you find the correct winning method? Answer in the game viewer at the end of this post.

Dickinson vs Gledhill. Black to move. Can you find the correct winning method? Answer in the game viewer at the end of this post.

Further excitement was to follow as Andy managed to drive Richard’s king into the open board on e4! The situation seemed most perilous, but this point of the game was reached with both players in time trouble and Andy missed a couple of winning continuations just before and then again just after the time control. (Take a look at the game position top right and see if you can find the most clinical finish for White. The solution is in the game viewer at the end of this post.) Finally, the game simplified and Beaky was able to convert the ending. It was tough luck on Andy who has played some interesting and decent chess for his new team so far this season but has yet to show any results for it.

Finally, the board 4 match-up between Pete Dickinson and Paul Gledhill was the point on which the match would pivot. By the time the other games had finished these two had reached a same coloured bishops and pawns ending in which Paul had an extra pawn. It looked for all the world like Paul would win the match for Hebden Bridge ‘C’ and heap more misery on their ‘A’ team, but as the evening draw to a close, Paul was unable to find the winning method (can you do better in the second diagram on the right?) and agreed to a draw which left honours even between the two sides.

Here is the final match score card:

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ vs Hebden Bridge ‘A’
A.Leatherbarrow 0 – 1 A.Clarkson (W)
M.Syrett 0 – 1 M.Hamer (W)
R.Bedford 1 – 0 A.Swales (W)
P.Gledhill ½ – ½ P.Dickinson (W)
N.Bamford 1 – 0 T.Sullivan (W)
2½ – 2½

Meanwhile, on the next row of tables, Hebden Bridge ‘B’ were taking on Huddersfield ‘A’. Most unusually for the Calderdale League, Hebden ‘B’ were the only team with a 100% record after two rounds. Huddersfield meanwhile had suffered a disaster at the hands of their ‘B’ team before pretty much getting a walk over against Halifax ‘A’ at home. The visitors brought a strong side with them though as Messrs Eagleton, Keddie, Westmoreland, Sykes and Tooley looked like they would give the home side a stern test.

The first game to finish was the board 1 clash between Greg Eagleton and Matthew Parsons. These are two of the strongest players in the league and, as you might expect, a fair degree psychology came into play from the very beginning of the game. For a start, Greg played 1.e4 which is certainly not his regular habit and this suggested to Matthew that his opponent must have prepared something to play against his Caro-Kann Defence. Indeed, Greg had prepared something, but Matthew dodged this prep by opting to take a road less travelled in the form of 4…Nf6 (instead of 4…Bf5 or 4…Nd7 which are more frequently seen and must have been what Greg had prepared for.) With the psychology now over, the two played in a very respectful fashion and agreed to peace terms as early as move 19 with the position level.

The other four games in the match went on deep into the evening and were closely contested although play was remarkably ponderous. No better indication of this was that the longest game of the match was concluded on move 37, yet all four of them finished after 10pm.  This also meant that they finished in a relatively short time frame in the run up to the time control at 10.15.

First to finish was the game between Nick Sykes and Sam Swain on board 4. The queens came off the board as early as move 7 but that in no way led to an arid and featureless position. Sam found himself saddled with an isolated e-pawn and this was the basis for Nick’s play. It looked like was making in-roads to the Black position but Sam defended resourcefully until, somewhere around move 20, Nick misjudged a complicated tactical melee, lost a piece and resigned without continuing any further.

On board 3, Pete Leonard and Steve Westmoreland also contested an English Opening which then transposed into a sort of Neo-Grunfeld where White plays g3 and fianchettos his king’s bishop. This was a tense game with both players using plenty of time to reach move 20. With both sets of knights off the board, Pete seemed to manage to get his bishops and rooks coordinated more swiftly and managed to grab a pawn before pushing his now passed d-pawn up the board.

Both players made some inaccurate moves in the time scramble but it was Steve who made the last mistake as he grabbed an exchange that enabled Pete’s d and e-pawns to swap files and gallop towards the back rank. Once the players had agreed that time control had been reached Steve saw that his position was lost and resigned. Hebden Now had the match hand with 2½ points.

Neil Suttie pushed them over the line shortly afterwards when he agreed to a draw with Dave Tooley in what was another tense and complicated struggle. Both players were down to almost no time on their clocks with moves still to make to get to the haven of time control when they decided to agree to a draw.

Finally, Dave Shapland sealed the home side’s victory when he beat Dave Keddie on board 2. This one was another queenless middle game from a 2.c3 variation of the Sicilian Defence. The Hebden player managed to equalise early in the game, created a weakness in the White camp in the form of doubled, isolated f-pawns and then with the tension building up in the centre of the board, found a way to win a pawn. The game simplified down to a rook and bishop (for white) against Black’s rook and knight plus an extra pawn. Objectively it might have been possible for Dave Keddie to hold it but it was very tricky as Shapland’s knight had several wonderful outposts available to it from which it could not be opposed.

Finally, Keddie decided to try and defend through active counter play. It was worth a try but Shapland manage to calculate through the variations, ran his king up the board and finally forced the win with his opponent’s monarch penned in on a1.

This concluded a fine win for Hebden. Here is the final match scorecard:

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Huddersfield ‘A’
M.Parsons ½ – ½ G.Eagleton
D.Shapland 1 – 0 D.Keddie
P.Leonard 1 – 0 S.Westmoreland
S.Swain 1 – 0 N.Sykes
N.Suttie ½ – ½ D.Tooley
4 – 1

You can find nine of the games from these two matches in the game viewer at the end of this post.

Last night League 1 teams play their fourth round and so we’ll report on those matches, plus the intervening round of League 2 fixtures later this week.

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Oct 122018
 
There were no half measures at the Golden Lion on Monday night as all five games ended decisively between Hebden Bridge 'A' and Hebden Bridge 'B'. Photo credit: Kevin Harber (Flickr)

There were no half measures at the Golden Lion on Monday night as all five games ended decisively between Hebden Bridge ‘A’ and Hebden Bridge ‘B’. Photo credit: Kevin Harber (Flickr)

As mentioned in last week’s post the second of six (!!) Hebden Bridge derby matches in League 1 this season was postponed from last week until Monday evening. It was worth the wait though as no quarter was asked for and none was given as all five boards in the Hebden Bridge ‘A’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘B’ match saw a decisive result and some interesting and enterprising chess was played.

Of course, the fixture was only paying lip service towards being a real derby as Hebden Bridge ‘A’ are based in Todmorden at the Golden Lion. Last season Golden Lion had been beaten at home by the same opponents. It was the only match they lost as they clinched their fourth successive title. Hebden Bridge finished four points behind them in second place. It would be reasonable to assume then that these two sides should be in the mix for the title race again this season.

This time around the situation was somewhat different. Hebden bridge ‘B’ had started their season with a resounding win against their ‘C’ team while Hebden Bridge ‘A’ had lost out to Halifax ‘A’. However, the Todmorden-based team still sported a very strong line up with the spine of their quadruple title winning side all present. Andrew Clarkson was on board 1, Martyn Hamer on 2 and Phil Cook on 3. They were joined be Andrew Swales and Pete Dickinson. Swales is new to the team this season, but Dickinson played some games on board 5 last year and performed well.

Hebden ‘B’ meanwhile, whilst not having the same ordnance on all the top boards, certainly had strength in depth. Matthew Parsons played on board 1, Dave Shapland on 2, Pete Leonard on 3, Sam Swain on 4 and Neil Suttie on 5. This meant that the ‘B’ team were stronger on paper on the bottom two boards, weaker on boards 2 and 3 and then slightly stronger again on the top board. If the over the board encounters were as finely matched as it looked in the grading of the players then it was going to be a tight match.

And so it proved to be. All the games continued well into the second half of the evening and the results on all four boards were by no means pre-ordained. It seemed that Hebden ‘B’ would need to win at least one of the bottom two boards. In the end they won both. In the first result of the night, Neil Suttie built up methodically and sensibly against Pete Dickinson’s Philidor Defence. He managed to force Pete’s pieces into disharmony and was then able to take advantage of that with a nice combination starting with 20.Ng5. After Black’s response 20…Rg6 see if you can spot Neil’s continuation in the diagram on the right. After this the game drew to a swift conclusion.

Sam followed up on Neil’s good work with a slightly different sort of win. A highly complicated Chigorin System of the Ruy Lopez appeared on the board. Andy seemed to be making some progress with Black but then, just as had happened on board 5, his pieces seemed to somehow get in each other’s way whilst Sam’s were operating harmoniously. This led first of all to White winning a pawn and then, a little later, Andy was compelled to give up the exchange to prevent his queen from getting trapped. After that Sam was always in control even thought the complications persisted for a while longer. Finally, Sam forced simplifications and Andy resigned when he made a blunder in what was already a lost position.

It was 0 – 2 to Hebden ‘B’, and it seemed that they needed the buffer for by the time Sam had won his game, Pete Leonard had a losing rook and pawn ending on the board against Phil Cook and Dave Shapland, just like Andy and Pete before him, gotten his pieces in a tangle and was forced to give up his queen for a rook and bishop. Unlike Andy and Pete though he did have some counter play and a very resilient looking defensive position.

This all meant that the result on board 1 was absolutely critical to the outcome of the match result. Andrew had ventured a pseudo King’s Indian position against Matthew’s inevitable London System. This way of approaching the London has a decent reputation and indeed Andrew appeared to be holding his own only for Matthew to slowly out play him and exchange one type of advantage for another until he finally sealed it in a rook and pawn ending. By this time Pete had lost and Dave was only writhing in agony before Martyn dealt his death-blow but the result was no longer in doubt. Hebden ‘B’ had managed to beat the title holders away for a second successive season.

Here is the match card:

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘B’
A.Clarkson 0 – 1 M.Parsons (W)
M.Hamer 1 – 0 D.Shapland (W)
P.Cook 1 – 0 P.Leonard (W)
A.Swales 0 – 1 S.Swain (W)
P.Dickinson 0 – 1 N.Suttie (W)
2 – 3

All the games from the match can be found in the game viewer below. Thanks to Andrew Clarkson and Matthew Parsons who have both annotated their game from Monday night.

This result means that Hebden Bridge ‘B’ are the only team with a 100% record after just two rounds! A most unlikely state of affairs. Belgrave ‘A’ are next in the table on 3 points. Then come Belgrave ‘B’, Huddersfield ‘B’, Halifax ‘A’ and Huddersfield ‘A’ on 2. Hebden Bridge ‘C’ have 1 point and Hebden Bridge ‘A’ are yet to get off the mark.

Next week the bottom two teams will play the last of the Hebden Bridge derby matched before Christmas while the top team host Huddersfield ‘A’ in what promises to be another tight match. Belgrave ‘A’ vs Halifax ‘A’ and Belgrave ‘B’ vs Huddersfield ‘B’ completes the fixtures.


League 2

This week also saw a second round of fixtures played in League 2. In this Belgrave ‘C’ crushed Halifax ‘C’ 1 – 4 with ‘Super’ Steve Harrington registering his fourth win out of four in both leagues so far this season. Chris Edwards and Paul Jacobs also won their games while boards 1 and 2 were drawn.

At the Trades Club Brighouse went one point better to whitewash Hebden Bridge ‘D’s line up of juniors and Huddersfield ‘C’ registered a walk over when Halifax ‘B’ defaulted their match.

All of this means that the new outfit, Huddersfield ‘C’ and the old stagers, Brighouse sit atop the League with 4 points. Belgrave ‘C’ and Halifax ‘B’ have 2 points and Halifax ‘C’ and Hebden Bridge ‘D’ have no points.

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Oct 072018
 
The Chinese won both the Open and Women's sections in Batumi. A rare and outstanding achievement.

The Chinese won both the Open and Women’s sections in Batumi. A rare and outstanding achievement.

Your editor is fresh back from a short holiday and, as you might expect, there is plenty to catch up on. This week we’ll get an update on Round 1 of the Calderdale Evening League 2 matches which took place last week and also the second round of League 1 matches that (mostly!) took place this week.

Before all of that though it would be most remiss not to reflect on the chess event that has been dominating coverage on all the big chess news sites for the last two weeks. What do you mean ‘Which event?’ Surely you’ve noticed that the biggest (literally) chess event in the world has been taking place in Batumi, Georgia. Yes, I mean the chess Olympiad.

Hillarp Persson vs. Laurusas. White to move. Black has just played Qf1 threatening to pick up the bishop after Qg2+ next. Can you see how the legendary attacker Tiger Hillarp Persson concluded the game with White here.

Hillarp Persson vs. Laurusas. White to move. Black has just played Qf1 threatening to pick up the bishop after Qg2+ next. Can you see how the legendary attacker Tiger Hillarp Persson concluded the game with White here.

For the past three editions of this great event, which is a real personal favorite of mine, I’ve been involved with running the Fantasy Chess Olympiad. Along with Matty Webb who did all the clever web development work, we’ve had a great time entertaining a global audience and providing them with an opportunity to engage with the Olympiad in a new and interesting way. Sadly, this time around, we both concluded some months ago that neither of us had the time or the energy to run it again. We hope it will make a return for the 2020 edition.

In some ways, not having the FCO to worry about over the last two weeks has left me with more time to enjoy the event itself. It has been extremely well covered in all the usual places and, for a change, England have actually performed creditably well.  The team this time consisted of Michael Adams, Luke McShane, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Nick Pert (Nigel Short was busy making a monkey of himself as a candidate for the FIDE presidency which is too long and tawdry a tail to discuss in any more detail here). After 9 of the 10 rounds England had managed to manouevre themselves into a three way share of third place and were genuine medal contenders having lost only one match to Azerbaijan at that stage.

Haast vs. Kosteniuk. Black to play. Former Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk finished off her opponent her in elegant style. The firs move is fairly obvious but can you see the whole idea?

Haast vs. Kosteniuk. Black to play. Former Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk finished off her opponent her in elegant style. The firs move is fairly obvious but can you see the whole idea?

Unfortunately, they were then drawn against the Russians in round 10 and, despite the fact that the Russian line up looked marginally less frightening than it might have done (no Grischuk or Svidler), they still managed to beat our heroes fairly convincingly with Vladimir Kramnik on board 3 (!!!) downing David Howell in the only decisive game of the match. However, after this set back, England picked themselves up and managed to crush Kazakhstan to finish the event in fifth place. This is the best result for England at an Olympiad for over 20 years so congratulations to them.

In the end the Chinese won both the Open and Women’s sections following a dramatic final round that saw the infamous Sonneborn-Berger tie break invoked. this effectively meant that the final result wasn’t known for quite some time after all the top teams had finished as the results of their earlier opponents was also needed in order to calculate the tie break scores.

I might well return to the Olympiad briefly in my next post but for now, I’d like to share a couple of interesting positions that caught my attention. These are both featured on the right. See if you can find the winning continuations in both situations. The solutions are given (along with the games in full) in the game viewer at the bottom of this post.

Now, back to more local affairs…


Calderdale League 2

The first round of League 2 fixtures this season took place on Monday 24th of September and there was a very welcome last-minute surprise in the form of a Huddersfield ‘C’ team joining the league. This brought the total number of teams up to six and meant that one team would not need to take a bye in each round of fixtures. As it was our own ‘D’ team scheduled not to play in round 1 Huddersfield’s new arrivals were particularly welcome and travelled to the Trades Club to take on our juniors (plus John Kerrane!)

Huddersfield brought along a team with some new faces in it alongside some seasoned veterans. It looked like the visitors would be favorites on paper and so it proved over the board as they inflicted a whitewash on the home side. Here is the full match scorecard:

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ vs. Huddersfield ‘C’
J.Kerrane 0 – 1 J.Lavan (W)
T.Dodd 0 – 1 R.Sutcliffe (W)
Z.Sandhu 0 – 1 C.Bond (W)
L.Curry 0 – 1 M.Rojinsky (W)
J.Edmondson 0 – 1 P.Czerwinski (W)
0 – 5

Elsewhere in League 2, Brighouse dispatched Belgrave ‘C’ at the Belgrave Club with Robert Broadbent, Nick Hudson and Adrian Dawson all scoring wins for the visitors. Steve Harrington managed an excellent consolation point against Paul Whitehouse on board 3 and the bottom board was drawn. The local Halifax derby was only contested on four boards with the ‘B’ team sweeping aside the ‘C’ team on all of those to win the match 4 – 0.

These results see the new Huddersfield ‘C’ outfit go top of the table with Halifax ‘B’ and Brighouse in hot pursuit. One would expect these three teams to be duking it out right through the season.


Calderdale League 1

This week the second round of League 1 fixtures took place. But, before we dive into those it’s worth mentioning that the Huddersfield ‘A’ vs. Huddersfield ‘B’ match, which was postponed from round 1, also took place on the 24th of September and resulted in a surprising and resounding defeat for the senior side by 4 – 1. The lower rated players in the ‘B’ team on boards 3, 4 and 5 all managed wins whilst on the top two boards, where the match ups were more even, the games were drawn.

This week though, Huddersfield ‘A’ bounced straight back on Wednesday night when they fielded a much stronger team against a Halifax ‘A’ side who were, conversely, far weaker than they had been against Hebden Bridge ‘A’ (@Golden Lion) in the first round. Even though Huddersfield defaulted their fifth board, they won on three of the others as Greg Eagleton, Mitchell Burke and Nick Sykes beat Richard Porter, Vivienne Webster and Pete Moss respectively. Nick has sent us his game which you will also find in the viewer at the end of this post.

By turns, Huddersfield ‘B’, having bagged that excellent derby win were soundly thrashed by Belgrave ‘A’ who had only managed a draw in their own derby match in the first round of fixtures. John Morgan on board 1, Karim Khan on board 4 and Steve Harrington (Again! He’s 3/3 for the season so far against higher rated opponents) on board 5 all won. On boards 2 and 4 Huddersfield managed to hold draws against higher rated opponents.

This just leaves us with Hebden Bridge ‘C’s match against Belgrave ‘B’ to report on. These two teams, along with Huddersfield ‘B’, appear to be the most likely candidates for relegation this season and so, seeing as Huddersfield ‘B’ had already won a match and Belgrave ‘B’ drawn one, it felt imperative that Hebden get off the mark. The match was pretty tight by all accounts. John Kerrane summarises proceedings for us below:

The two teams looked evenly matched on paper, and so it turned out on the night. Neil Bamford’s win for Hebden Bridge after a long endgame on board 4 was matched by Dave Colledge’s on board 5 for Belgrave. The other three games were drawn, leaving the final score level.

The individual results were:

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ vs. Belgrave ‘B’
A.Leatherbarrow ½ – ½  G.Farrar
P.Gledhill ½ – ½ M.Barnett
J.Kerrane ½ – ½  K.Marsh
N.Bamford 1 – 0 L.Johnson
T.Sullivan 0 – 1 D.Colledge
2½ – 2½

The big clash between Hebden Bridge ‘A’ and Hebden Bridge ‘B’ will take place at the Golden Lion on Monday night as the venue was not available for the match to be played last Monday. Should Hebden ‘A’ win that match then there would be no teams in the league with a 100% record after just two matches! It looks like this season could become very interesting indeed.

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Sep 212018
 
They're away! It all began again in the Calderdale Evening Chess League on Monday night. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Tomas' Flickr photostream

They’re away! It all began again in the Calderdale Evening Chess League on Monday night. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from Tomas’ Flickr photostream

On Monday night the Calderdale Evening Chess League started up again as a round of League 1 fixtures were played.

As is always the case where any club has two or more teams in a division they are drawn to play each other in the first fixture of the year to ensure there can be no hint of collusion later in the season. This season Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Belgrave all have two teams. Hebden Bridge actually have three with the team based at the Golden Lion now part of the club and named Hebden Bridge ‘A’.

As Golden Lion were last season’s champions (their fourth title in succession which is a feat only ever bettered by Courier ‘A’ who won the Anderson Trophy five successive times between 1986-87 and 1990-91) let’s start with them.

At the core of the Golden Lion team is the same spine that has helped them to those last four league titles, Martyn Hamer, Andrew Clarkson and Phil Cook. This year though their top scorer from last season, Dave Shapland, has based himself back at the Trades Club as Captain of Hebden Bridge ‘B’ and David Innes and Marc Turu, who played on board five between them for most of last season, have both moved on. In their stead came Andrew Swales and Jon-Paul Ellis who occupied the bottom two boards as they hosted Halifax ‘A’.

Halifax have had a turbulent few seasons themselves. They used to have a trio of super strong players on the top three boards themselves but Winston Williams and Darwin Ursal were both missing last season and the team felt their loss keenly. However, for this first match of the season, Winston was back on board 1 and with Bill Somerset on board 2, Richard Porter on 3, Carlos Velosa on 4 and Sam Scurfield on 5, Halifax had a stronger line up than they’d managed to put out at any point in 2017-18.

Porter vs. Cook. White to move.

Porter vs. Cook. White to move.

It was always likely to be a tall order for Hebden ‘A’ on the lower boards and they weren’t helped when JP lost his game quickly and somewhat noisily. Unfortunately, this caused some distraction to other players on both sides and Andrew Swales lost his game shortly afterwards.

This put the top three Hebden ‘A’ players under a great deal of pressure and the remaining games went on long into the night. They could very well have pulled it off. Martyn managed to beat Winston, Andrew had Bill on the rack for significant chunks of the evening only for his adversary to defend himself stoutly and resourcefully to hold the balance and a draw.

This just left Phil cook and Richard Porter to decide the match. If Phil could win the match would be tied. Nay other result and Halifax would steal the win. Phil was a piece and a pawn up when he made time control and all looked well but it seems he may have drifted back into time trouble for he made a most uncharacteristic blunder on move 41 and this basically cost him the game on the spot as Richard spotted a nice tactic. See if you can find it in the position on the right.

The games from the top three boards can be found in the game viewer at the end of this post. Here is the final match score card:

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ (@Golden Lion) vs. Halifax ‘A’
M.Hamer 1 – 0 W.Williams (W)
A.Clarkson ½ – ½ B.Somerset (W)
P.Cook 0 – 1 R.Porter (W)
A.Swales 0 – 1 C.Velosa (W)
JP.Ellis 0 – 1 S.Scurfield (W)
1½ – 3½

So, an early season set back for the reigning champions that will give the other teams in the League this year hope of stealing their crown. There is a long, long way to go though.

Meanwhile at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge ‘B’ were playing their derby match against Hebden Bridge ‘C’. Hebden ‘B’ welcomed back the strongest player in the league (on paper at least) in the form of Matthew Parsons. Dave Shapland, Pete Leonard, Sam Swain and Neil Suttie made up their formation.

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ had the luxury of having more players than they needed and so their Captain, Martin Syrett generously sat the match out to enable others to play. The ‘C’ team lined up with Andy Leatherbarrow, Neil Bamford, John Kerrane, Terry Sullivan and Luca Curry. With significant differences in the players ratings on all the boards this match always looked like it would be a tough challenge for the ‘C’s but they’ve been known to cause derby upsets before and they put up spirited resistance before succumbing on this occasion.

Leatherbarrow vs. Parsons. Black to play

Leatherbarrow vs. Parsons. Black to play

The first game to finish saw Dave Shapland take advantage of some early season rustiness on Neil Bamford’s part to win swiftly but the other games all went on much, much longer. On board 3, the lack of ‘match fitness’ (if you can call it that!) showed itself even earlier as Pete Leonard confused two different variations of the Grunfeld Defence and lost a pawn as early as move 6. Sometimes, this kind of thing can be overcome but John Kerrane maintained his material and restricted Pete’s counter play for quite a long time. Later in the game he gave Pete a glimmer of hope before finding the right way to close out the game with some good technical play. The match was level.

Sadly, that was as close as the ‘C’ team got. First, Matthew sealed a fine win with the King’s Indian Defence by finding a very smart pretty tactic. See if you can spot it in the diagram on the right. Then Sam saw off Terry in the endgame before Neil did much the same against Luca although he had held a material advantage for a significant chunk of the evening.

All five games from this match are in the viewer at the end of this post. Here are the final results:

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘C’
M.Parsons 1 – 0 A.Leatherbarrow (W)
D.Shapland 1 – 0 N.Bamford (W)
P.Leonard 0 – 1 J.Kerrane (W)
S.Swain 1 – 0 T.Sullivan (W)
N.Suttie 1 – 0 L.Curry (W)
4 – 1

The third match to take place on Monday night was the one between Belgrave ‘A’ and Belgrave ‘B’. Again, on paper this looked like it should have been straight forward for the home team, but, playing Black and with a rating advantage on every board but board 5, they struggled greatly.

Gordon Farrar continued his strong recent form by holding Ian Hunter to a draw on board 1. New recruit Keith Marsh and Les Johnson did the same to Dave Patrick and Malcolm Corbett respectively. Meanwhile, the only player in the ‘A’ team line up to have a lower rating than his opponent (Steve Harrington against Angel Gonzales) won his game and this left Karim Khan with the task of holding Dave Colledge to a draw to squeeze out a win for Belgrave ‘A’. Sadly he was unable to manage it and Dave won the last game of the night to finish as the ‘B’ team took a very creditable draw indeed.

On Wednesday night Huddersfields ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams were due to meet but (perhaps unsurprisingly given their recent history) the fixture was postponed until next week. We will try and bring you that result then.

League 2 starts next week and the good news is that Huddersfield have been able to belatedly enter a ‘C’ team to the League which means that there won’t need to be a team taking a bye in each round of matches. Very welcome news that and so Hebden Bridge ‘D’ will host Huddersfield ‘C’ next week.

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Sep 162018
 
Today readers, we offer you the chess version of an amuse bouche as we prepare for the start of the new season tomorrow night. The image above is evidently an amuse bouche of raw milk, sea urchin and sea grapes (not sure that sounds awfully appetising!) The image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from City Foodsters Flickr photostream

Today readers, we offer you the chess version of an amuse bouche as we prepare for the start of the new season tomorrow night. The image above is evidently an amuse bouche of raw milk, sea urchin and sea grapes (not sure that sounds awfully appetising!) The image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from City Foodsters Flickr photostream

An amuse bouche, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to the art of cuisine. The term is French and literally means “mouth amuser”

The new Calderdale Evening Chess League season begins tomorrow night. So, on the eve of hostilities opening up once again, the time felt right to inspire, titilate and tantilise your chess senses with whatever the chess equivalent of an amuse bouche would be. This takes the form of a highly entertaining and very beautiful game that was played in the recent Korchnoi Memorial tournament.

Before that though, lets remind ourselves of the Calderdale League 1 fixtures taking place up and down the valley this week.

First of all on Monday 17th:

  • Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘C’
  • Hebden Bridge ‘A’ (A.K.A Golden Lion) vs. Halifax ‘A’
  • Belgrave ‘A’ vs. Belgrave ‘B’

And then on Wednesday:

  • Huddersfield ‘A’ vs. Huddersfield ‘B’

The shape of League 1 feels like it’s changed quite a lot compared to last season. Halifax ‘B’ and Brighouse have dropped down to League 2 to be replaced by Huddersfield ‘B’ and Belgrave ‘B’. Neither Huddersfield nor Belgrave have had two teams in the top tier for quite some time. Stay tuned to these web pages for a report on these matches later this week.

Next, we must report on the outcome of the Hebden Bridge Chess Club Lightning tournament which was advertised here a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a brief report from John Kerrane:

To round off the Summer Programme, we held our Annual Lightning Tournament on Monday the 3rd of September at the Golden Lion, Todmorden.

There were plenty of slip-ups and oversights as usual in Lightning Chess, making it a light-hearted way to end the summer. Eleven players entered the tournament, not a bad attendance at all considering the change in venue. Several of the regular Golden Lion players were there, which gave us the strongest field we’ve ever had.

Matthew Parsons led from the outset. Although he was closely challenged in all six rounds, he ended the outright winner on 4½/6, with Martyn Hamer, Andrew Clarkson, Dave Shapland and Martin Syrett all in second place with 4/6.

The individual scores of all eleven entrants were:

  • Matthew Parsons = 4½
  • Martyn Hamer, Andrew Clarkson , Dave Shapland, Martin Syrett = 4
  • Pete Leonard, Nick Sykes, Andy Swales = 3
  • John Allan = 2½
  • Terry Sullivan, John Kerrane = 2

Congratulation to Matthew for winning against some stiff competition.

D.Paravyan vs. S.Golubov, Korchnoi Memorial 2018 (Round 6). White to play his 23rd move. What would you do here?

D.Paravyan vs. S.Golubov, Korchnoi Memorial 2018 (Round 6). White to play his 23rd move. What would you do here?

Now, let’s turn our attention to the entertainment! Take a look at the position on the right. White is to play and has already invested a knight to draw the Black king out to the f6 square but now Black has just played 22… Kxf6 instating an attack on the White queen. See if you can find the idea that enabled White to crown the game with a stunning finish.

The whole game is well worth a closer look and there are a series of surprising and beautiful tactics that preclude this position. There are also a fair few afterwards! I’ve added the whole game into the viewer at the end of this post so that you can find the answer to this puzzle and also enjoy the whole game.

It’s not surprising that this game as been widely circulated and celebrated on the internet so I’ve also embedded a YouTube video to Agadmator’s channel where he covers the game and covers some of the key variations.

I hope that this will serve as an appetite whetter for the chess to come in Calderdale over the coming months.

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Aug 242018
 
This position from Shapland vs. Wells, Blackpool Congress was considered in our Analysis Evening earlier this summer. It's White to play. What would you do here? Find out the best move in the game viewer at the end of this post.

This position from Shapland vs. Wells, Blackpool Congress was considered in our Analysis Evening earlier this summer. It’s White to play. What would you do here? Find out the best move in the game viewer at the end of this post.

It’s been a little over three months since we last posted on this website and your editor has enjoyed something of a summer break. However, with a new season looming, it’s time to brush the cobwebs away from my keyboard start posting again. I thought it might be a good idea to briefly recap and reflect on some of things that have happened since our last post in May.

1.) Coming soon! Club Lightning Championship

The final chapter of this year’s summer programme will take place on Monday 3rd of September when our annual Lightning Championship will be staged. PLEASE NOTE, this is going to take place at The Golden Lion, Fielden Square, Todmorden as the Trades Club is unavailable.

Please do try and join us for what is always an enjoyable evening. Remember, Lightning Chess is played with a buzzer sounding every 10 seconds to regulate when each move must be played.

Round 1 will start as soon after 19.30 as possible so do try and arrive at The Golden Lion before then if you can.

2.) Calderdale Chess Roll of Honour 2017-18

Now that we have that out of the way lets quickly list the winners and losers from last season’s action.

Calderdale Chess League 1

  • Winners: Golden Lion – 26 points
  • Runners-up: Hebden Bridge ‘A’ – 22 points
  • Relegated: Halifax ‘B’ and Brighouse
  • Top scorer: Dave Shapland (Golden Lion) 12/13

Calderdale Chess League 2

  • Winners (promoted): Huddersfield ‘B’ – 18 points
  • Runners-up (promoted): Belgrave ‘B’ – 17 points
  • Top scorer: Les Johnson (Belgrave ‘B’) – 8½/9

Calderdale Chess Handicap League

  • Winners: Halifax

Calderdale Individual Championship

  • Winner: Phil Cook (Golden Lion) 4½/5
  • Second place: Pete Leonard (Hebden Bridge) and Mike Barnett (Belgrave) 4/5

Calderdale Team Lightning

  • Winners: Hebden Bridge

3.) Websites down

Eagle-eyed observers have noticed that the Yorkshire Chess website has disappeared. Is it ever to return they ask? It’s unlikely at this time we think. Essentially it had been operating on the good will of the webmaster (who was funding hosting costs out of his own pocket) and a small editorial team of volunteers. When the Yorkshire Chess Association either dithered, or declined, to cover ongoing costs it expired.

There is something of a replacement in the form of Steven Mann’s website about Yorkshire Chess which now includes a page for the Yorkshire Chess Association. (There is also a link to this site in the ‘Useful and interesting websites’ list on the right of this page.

Additionally, the YCA Grading website though still live now, is essentially being archived this year. Jon Griffiths, who has done sterling service, has retired as the Grading Officer for the Yorkshire Chess Association and with him goes the website. You can still go to the site to check you current rating which will be used as the starting rating for Calderdale fixtures this season. However, the ratings here will not be updated and no more league results will be added. The site will disappear completely in 12 month’s time once the English Chess Federation (ECF) ratings supplant the local ratings.

All this leads us nicely onto…

4.) Calderdale League 1 to be ECF graded next season

The situation with the Yorkshire grading website left all the leagues in Yorkshire with critical decisions to make at their AGMs over the summer. The only way to get games graded centrally now is via the ECF’s Grading Officer for Yorkshire and that means that all players in the league must become members of the ECF. The only alternative is to grade league games locally in order to avoid ECF membership fees.

At the Calderdale AGM this was considered and discussed at length with some of those present feeling that lower rated, occasional players only playing in the Calderdale League would be unwilling to spend £16 to join the ECF as Bronze Members. Others pointed out that regular participants in the Calderdale, Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Yorkshire Leagues would want all their games to go towards one single rating and may decide to play elsewhere if Calderdale didn’t follow the suit of the other Leagues, many of whom are already affiliated to the ECF.

Finally, it was agreed that Calderdale League 1 games would be rated by the ECF and that, for this season at least, League 2 and the Handicap League would not be ECF rated. This decision will be reviewed again at an EGM meeting next year.

5.) League 1 players need to become ECF members

The upshot off all of this discussion is that any player taking part in Calderdale League 1 matches this season must become an ECF Member. Bronze Membership costs £16 (£5 for Juniors) and you can join online via the new membership portal. The link has been added to the list of ‘Useful and interesting websites’ on the right.

If you plan on playing in Congresses as well this season then you should become a Silver member (£23.50 or £5 for Juniors) to have those games graded otherwise you will be charged an additional entry fee by the Congress organisers in order to get your games graded.

So, if you are playing in League 1 this season please join (or renew your membership with) the ECF at your earliest convenience. The membership year starts on September the 1st.

6.) Hebden Bridge Chess Club welcomes Golden Lion players

At our own club AGM this summer it was agreed that we would absorb the players of the Golden Lion team into our club. This was done primarily to allow the team to continue playing home matches in Todmorden whilst benefitting from the necessary organisational structure of Hebden Bridge Chess Club. It will also allow some of our other members who live in Todmorden to join this team if they wish to do so.

The Golden Lion will continue to be the base for the team but please note that it is now known as ‘Hebden Bridge ‘A’ on the new Calderdale League website were you can find all of the scheduled fixtures for this season.

7.) ‘Teamer’ now being used to help manage our League 1 teams

At the club AGM it was also agreed that the League 1 teams (Hebden Bridge ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’) will now be administrated in part by an online service called Teamer. If you are invited to play for any of these teams you will receive an invitation (by text or email) to join the club’s Teamer web pages. You will also be notified and invited to play in matches via the Teamer service and you will be able to accept or decline these invitations by text or email or by logging onto the website. There is also a smart phone app available that you can use and receive notifications this way.

We plan to trial this for a year and then gather feedback from members to see how they liked using it at the end of the season. It will hopefully reduce the time and effort needed for the Captains to organise their teams but it won’t entirely replace the need for phone calls. Basically, if you don’t respond to the invitations we’ll pester you by calling instead!

If you have any questions or concerns about how Teamer works please email us hebdenbridgechessclub@gmail.com or speak to Dave Shapland at the club sometime.

8.) Summer Programme: Analysis evening

Our summer programme of events and competitions has been continuing as usual over the last few months. In July, Dave Shapland presented a game from the Blackpool Chess Congress which he took part in back in March and came joint first in his section. The game was from the critical fourth round and several members have asked for it to be published here for further study and entertainment. You’ll find it in the game viewer at the end of this post.

9.) Summer Programme: Matthew Parsons Simultaneous

Last Monday we held a simultaneous match against our strongest player, Matthew Parsons. The turn out this year was excellent with 11 members coming along to try their luck against Matthew. Here’s a brief report from John Kerrane.

On Monday evening, Hebden Bridge Chess Club’s strongest player, Matthew Parsons, took on eleven other club members in a Simultaneous Exhibition, as part of the club’s Summer Programme, at the Trades Club, Holme Street.

Playing all eleven players at once, and making moves on each board in turn, Parsons seemed to have no trouble in establishing superior positions on most boards, but two stalwarts of the club’s C team, Andy Leatherbarrow and Martin Syrett, both fought back and eventually won their games. The rest of the company weren’t so successful, and Parsons finished the evening on 9 wins out of 11, a pretty impressive score line.

Parsons is a popular colleague, and members were relieved to hear that he has decided to continue playing for Hebden Bridge next season!

Considering how difficult it is to take on so many opponents at once, and having performed so well, it seems terribly unfair to only publish one of Matthew’s defeats from Monday night and yet, we have done so! Andy Leatherbarrow’s win can also be found in the game viewer at the end of the post.

10.) World Chess Championship Match in London

Magnus Carlsen will take on his latest challenger, Fabiano Caruana in a 12-game match in London this November. The venue and schedule was announced last month. This event offers a unique opportunity to sample the atmosphere and tension of a World Championship match. Your editor attended a game from the Kasparov vs. Kramnik match in London in 2000 and can heartily recommend it to anyone who’s got the inclination to take a day trip to London for it. Tickets and further information can be found on the World Chess website.

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