Just for a change, today we publish some news that is less than a month old! Your editor promises to bring the Calderdale League reporting to a conclusion later this week. Until then, we bring reports on the Calderdale Team Lightning and Junior Pennine Gigafinal events.
On Monday 30th April, Belgrave Chess Club hosted the league’s Annual Lightning Competition at the Belgrave Club, Halifax. Pete Leonard reports on the event which ended in a resounding success for Hebden Bridge:
The last fixture of the season in the Calderdale Evening Chess League is traditionally a Team Lightning Tournament, held in the Belgrave Club, in Halifax. This format gives each player precisely ten seconds in which to make each move, leading to occasionally humorous outcomes, as the rules permit a player to capture their opponent’s king. A total of 24 players enabled six teams of four to contest a five-round, all-play-all competition.
On paper, Hebden Bridge had by far the strongest team, but little is certain in lightning chess. In the event, the form book proved true, and Hebden Bridge swept the board, scoring 19½ out of a possible 20 points. Belgrave A were second, on 12 points.
With such a result, it was no surprise that Hebden Bridge’s team of Matthew Parsons, Pete Leonard, Nick Sykes and Martin Syrett won all four of the individual board prizes. A light-hearted evening was enjoyed by all who took part.
Then, last Saturday, nine of our young chess players from Hebden Bridge and Todmorden travelled to Saddleworth Secondary School, Oldham, to play in the Pennine Megafinal (the area final) of the 2018 UK Chess Challenge. john Kerrane reports on this event:
Players from the Upper Calder Valley have a good record in this event, and this year was no exception. After a slow start, most of the players scored well, and five of them qualified to progress to the Gigafinal (the northern regional final) which takes place in Manchester on July 14th and 15th. So, congratulations to Eira Watson (Girls U-7) of Hebden Royd School Chess Club, and Gwilym Hughes (Boys U-13) of Hebden Bridge Chess Club, who both won their sections, and to qualifiers Luca Curry (Boys U-15), also of Hebden Bridge Chess Club, and Freya Birch (Girls U-11) and Eric Guest (Boys U-9) of Castle Hill School, Todmorden.
The individual scores for all our participants were: Dan Crowley (U11B, 2½/6), Ben Crowley (U8B, 2½/6), Freya Birch (U11G, 4/6), Gwilym Hughes (U13B, 4/6), Martha Kidd (U11G, ½ /6), Luca Curry (U13B, 3/6), Eira Watson (U7G, 2/6), Art Watson (U7B, ½/6), Eric Guest (U9B, 3½/6).
Although the entry to the Megafinal was a little down or previous years, the standard was still high, and we acquitted ourselves very creditably. Several of the youngsters were a bit disappointed at just missing out on qualifying to progress to the next round, but they all bore it well, and for all the players, it was great experience, and makes a good platform to build on for the future. We wish Eira, Luca, Gwilym, Freya and Eric all the best in the Gigafinal, which will be quite a challenge for them all.
Thanks to Pete and John for these updates. Stay tuned for a final round of reporting on the outcome of the Calderdale Leagues.