John Kerrane reports on the latest Junior event to take place at our club. The development of youngsters is a really important aspect of our club as Hebden Bridge is the only club in the Calderdale League that currently caters actively for juniors.
On Saturday morning, Hebden Bridge Chess Club held the July meeting of its twice-a-year junior congress, the Upper Calder Valley Chess Challenge at the Trades Club, Holme Street. The event is intended as a follow-up to the UK Chess Challenge, held earlier in the year, and gives the young players a chance to try their skills against a wide range of opponents.
Nineteen youngsters of a wide range of abilities took part from four local clubs and the five-round event proceeded very smoothly. To no-one’s surprise, the winner was 10-year-old Kyle Sharpe of Hebden Bridge with 5/5, who showed just why he has been selected for the England under-11s squad, as he dealt with all his challengers without a great deal of trouble. Second prize went to Spike Leatherbarrow (4/5), also of Hebden Bridge, on a tie-break from his sister Hephzi (4/5) of Riverside. Grading prizes went to Owen Buchan (Hebden Bridge, 4/5), Jacob Entwistle (Riverside, 3/5), Dylan Leggett (Hebden Bridge, 4/5) and Martha Leggett (Hebden Bridge, 2/5)
Hebden Bridge Chess Club’s junior organiser, John Kerrane, commented,
This was a pleasant, friendly event, and we were all impressed with the attitude of the young players, especially those new to this type of event. We look forward to running the next congress in November, when they will have that much more experience under their belts, and the competition will be even sharper. We are grateful to the committee of Trades Club who made their facilities available to the youngsters free of charge, and helped everything to run so smoothly.”