Jun 102013

bridestones 2Bridestones Holme Brew Chess Challenge: Round 3

Last Monday’s third round games featured an outrageous miscarriage of chess justice and another smooth win for the top seed. An earlier version of this post featured an erroneous score for the game between Andy Leatherbarrow and Matthew Parsons which appeared to involve Matthew playing an awful combination and get away with it. As you’ll see from the comments to this post Andy played 27.Rfd1 and not 27.Rfc1 which meant that Matthew captured the rook rather than sacrificed the knight when he played 30… Nxd1+! This confused for your editor because 27… Qe6 still made sense even without the queen being threatened by the rook because it placed the White bishop under attack. Even more confusing was that the subsequent attack still almost worked aside from the fact that Andy ‘appeared’ to have missed a straightforward defence three moves in a row!

With Alastair Wright and Pete Leonard sitting out the action due to Pete’s holiday there were just two games being played, both of which were repeat encounters from this year’s Calderdale Individual Chess Championship. Matthew had beaten Andy Leatherbarrow with Black in round 3 and went on to win the title. Nick Sykes defeated Dave Shapland in round 4 and went on to finish in joint third place. Would the form books lead to repeat performances?

As I thought, just one perpetrator then! This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced from f4niko's Flickr photostream

Were there one or two perpetrators? We must check that our evidence is correct. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced from f4niko’s Flickr photostream

Nick was playing Black in his game with Dave (in their match from the CIC the colours were reversed) and bravely elected to venture the Sicilian Defence with which had lost to Dave in their only encounter prior to this season. At first it appeared that a sneaky move order trick would enable Dave to get exactly the kind of tactical mess he so enjoys as Nick, caught off guard by 2.Nc3, suddenly found himself playing a Classical Sicilian instead of the Najdorf and Schevenigan systems he prefers. This meant that Dave was able to put the dangerous and monstrously complex Velimirovic Attack into play and the game looked poised for pyrotechnics. However, Nick adjusted well and decided to delay castling in favour of taking immediate counter measures on the queen’s-side. Dave misplayed the resultant position and was then on the back foot as Nick targeted a weak looking White king having already gone a pawn up.

Although he overlooked a couple of chances to bury Dave in the middle game, Nick maintained a pawn’s advantage into a rook and minor piece ending. However, matters were complicated by Dave’s passed a-pawn which advanced rapidly to occupy Nick’s pieces. It still should have been winning for Black but then Nick captured the White f-pawn with his bishop overlooking that it was protected by Dave’s rook and all his hard work was undone at a stroke. All that remained was for Dave to patiently coax home his advantage as Nick fumed in frustration across the board his pocket well and truly picked.

Andy had also played White in his game with Matthew earlier in the year. In that game Andy had chosen a very unorthodox opening and was summarily executed. This time he played ‘normally’ and tackled Matthew’s favorite Sniper system head on. All appeared to be going well for Andy who was holding his own quite comfortably until his error on move 28 allowing Matthew to uncork a winning knight manouevre immediately.

As a result of his larceny Dave significantly improved his standing in the tournament. Matthew increased his lead to a point and a half and now has three points whilst Dave moved into second on one and a half. The two  play each other in round 4 whilst Alastair is due to play Nick an Pete plays Andy. Below are both games with commentary. There is a cross table on the dedicated tournament page.

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May 312013

bridestones 2Bridestones Holme Brew: Round 2

Fixtures from the second round of the inaugural Bridestones Holme Brew Chess Challenge took place at the Trades Club on Monday the 20th and 27th of May. Already the competition has begun to take the shape most of the particpant’s expected as top seed Matthew Parsons maintained a 100% record by beating Pete Leonard whilst Alastair Wright and Dave Shapland and Nick Sykes and Andy Leatherbarrow drew. It would appear that the competition for second place is already becoming the main point of interest as all the remaining competitors have now made a mark on the tournament cross table.

On current form it is hard to see anyone managing to do more than draw with Matthew and even that would be some achievement. He is a level up from everyone else. Playing a second consecutive game with White, Matthew this time abstained from playing the London System in favour of the Kings Indian Attack (1.Nf3, 2.d3, 3.g3 and 4.Bg2). He said he did this because he didn’t think Pete, a 1.e4 player down to his boots, would be familiar with all the ideas in the Kings Indian. Perhaps so but he may have forgotten that Pete himself employs the KIA set-up against the French Defence so that might just be psychology on Matthew’s part. Frankly it doesn’t really matter what openings he plays with White (unless he elects to take opponents on in their own theoretical territory which would be perverse in the extreme) because his middle game play is almost always superior enough to enable him to win from equal or even moderately worse opening positions.

No-one has been left on the start line as all 6 competitors have now opened their accounts. This o,age is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from jon-'s Flickr photostream

No-one has been left on the start line as all 6 competitors have now opened their accounts. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from jon-‘s Flickr photostream

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Matthew’s opponents might well take some crumbs of comfort from this encounter with Pete because in fact he got less than nothing from the opening and Pete was bold enough to take the initiative and even dream of the advantage at one point. Matthew’s games are usually strategically complex and sometimes tactically but rarely does one get the impression that the tactics may take over the game. In this instance they did threaten to and, had Pete had the courage to grab the material that was available at the end of a long tactical sequence he might have caused his opponent some real problems. As it was the fleeting opportunity was missed and Matthew counter attacked hard. Suddenly all of the Kings Indian type ideas he mentioned in the post-mortem came to fruition as the pressure on Pete’s king began to build. In the end Pete lost a piece and was compelled to resign shortly afterwards. At least he won his first round match and so is on 50% for the competition so far.

The game between Nick Sykes and Andy Leatherbarrow was a completely different matter. As Andy said afterwards it was…

… a cagey affair with neither one of us wanting to get a game in the other one’s area of interest.

A strange opening ensued with plenty of manoeuvring and jockeying for position in the middle game. Nick had lost in round 1 and Andy was playing his first game in the competition and so it was understandable that neither wanted to take any risks to try and win the game. In the end neither made any mistakes and so a draw was inevitable.

That just left Alastair Wright and Dave Shapland to decide their game. As the lowest rated player in the competition Dave risks becoming a target for all the other players and so it was important that he, also playing his first game of the tournament, got off to a positive start to avoid any rot setting in from the outset. Alastair as another player who had lost in round 1 also had an interest in getting safely off the mark. As it was Dave, playing Black, did make some provocative moves (no surprises there!) in the opening which was a Vienna Gambit. Perhaps wary of Dave’s love for chaotic and wild positions Alastair refused to be drawn into a tactical melee and therefore missed a couple of critical chances to put his opponent under the most pressure.

The middle game was pretty much non-existent as Dave, taking his bat home after being refused his favourite toys, changed his mindset from “provocative” to “turgid”. He took his chance to exchange the queens early and play a long ending. For a while it seemed that Alastair had some good winning chances because Dave had put his remaining knight offside on a5 and appeared to be having trouble reactivating it. However, he used the opportunity afforded by a temporarily weak White d-pawn to open the centre, exchange off the rooks and then manoeuvre his knight just in time to maintain equality. The complex knight versus bishop ending still seemed to be in White’s favour (and indeed the computer finds a clear cut win for White) but a few more active moves secured Dave a hard earned draw.

Next week Dave has White against Nick and Andy has White against Matthew whilst Alastair takes a breather due to Pete’s absence for a holiday. An up to date cross-table of the results so far can be found on the Bridestones Holme Brew Chess Challenge page. All of the games from round 2 are in the viewer below and all are extensively annotated.

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May 242013

Moliere wasn’t known to be a chess player but his famous quote is most apposite

“Unreasonable haste is the direct route to error”
– Moliere

This quote has appeared on this website before as an introduction to a post on zeintot or time trouble. Call it what you will. The point is that it’s impossible to play high quality chess when you have very little time to think, analyse and make fine judgements. While this may be true it must be said that poor quality chess can be a great deal of fun!

Last Monday night the chess players of Calderdale arrived at the Belgrave Social Club in Halifax for the traditional season ending event  — the Team Lightning Tournament. It’s a simple format. Teams of 5 players just like in the league; a buzzer that sounds every 10 seconds and compels the next player to move; the ability to capture the king and end the game if a check goes unnoticed. The tournament winners are decided on game points rather than match points and so every single game can make a difference towards the outcome. This frantic format nearly always throws up some amusing and unusual incidents and often it is more advisable to opt for sensible ‘no-frills’ moves over complicated tactical play. Here are a couple of examples from my own games on Monday.

Black to play. Hepworth vs. Shapland, Round 3

Black to play. Hepworth vs. Shapland, Round 3

White to play. Shapland vs. Nicholson, Round 5
White to play. Shapland vs. Nicholson, Round 5

In the first one Black is clear better materially but because his last remaining pawn is due to queen on a white square and is on the edge of the board it isn’t at all straight forward to see how to convert. Even at a classical time limit I think I’d be hard pushed to figure out the method. See if you can do any better. The correct way is given in the game viewer at the end of this post. As it was I’m afraid I had a total melt-down and even managed to lose from this overwhelming position by failing to move my king out of a check! Oh dear!

The second example illustrates a different point. White is clearly much better and it seems that there should be some tactical route to checkmate. I played instinctively (always a risky thing to do!) and everything turned out well in the end . However, I’d overlooked the most straightforward way to finish the game. Can you spot it in 10 seconds? No? Take a little longer and try and figure out White’s best move. The answer is in the viewer at the end of the post.

Ok, so now to the action. Eight teams entered the competition this year which was very ably organised by Bruce Bendall of Brighouse chess club. The strongest contenders at the outset looked like league champions Hebden Bridge ‘A’, runners up Huddersfield, third placed Todmorden ‘A’ and fourth placed Halifax ‘A’. Brighouse also entered a team and Hebden, Halifax and Todmorden entered second teams to make up the eight entries.

For Hebden Bridge ‘A’ the critical round was round 3 of the 5 played when they came up against a strong Huddersfield side. Hebden had already beaten a weakened Halifax ‘A’ squad who were without Bill Somerset but still fielded Darwin Ursal on board 1. There didn’t seem to be any reason why Hebden couldn’t do well against their old nemesis but as it turned out they had a complete aberration. Nick Sykes won quickly against Richard Boylan on board 3 but the rest of the side lost and the 4 — 1 defeat put them out of the running. They went on to lose in the next round as well. This time it was Todmorden ‘A’ who beat them by a more slender margin 3 — 2.

After 4 rounds then the two Hebden sides actually had the same number of game points and there was a chance they could have been drawn against each other. It didn’t happen. The ‘B’ team were drawn against Todmorden ‘A’ who beat them 3 — 2 and the ‘A’ team swept Halifax ‘B’ aside 4 — 1.

At the end of the evening it was Huddersfield who were victorious, scoring a magnificent 20½ out of 25! Todmorden ‘A’ pipped Hebden ‘A’ to second place by half a point and Brighouse did very well to finish a further point behind.
Final stands looked like this:

1st: Huddersfield — 20½
2nd: Todmorden ‘A’ — 15
3rd: Hebden Bridge ‘A’ — 14½
4th: Brighouse — 13½
5th: Hebden Bridge ‘B’ — 12½
6th: Halifax ‘A’ — 10½
7th: Halifax ‘B’ — 8
8th: Todmorden ‘C’ — 5½

Medals were awarded to the individuals who scored the most points on each board. The winners were:

Board 1: D.Ursal (Halifax ‘A’) — 5
Board 2: D.Tooley (Huddersfield) — 5
Board 3: N.Sykes (Hebden Bridge ‘A’) — 4
Board 4: A.Gonzalez (Brighouse) — 4½
Board 5: P.Hepworth (Huddersfield) — 5

Congratulations to Huddersfield who were tremendous on the night. Well done also to the individual winners. Special mention should go to Nick Sykes who topped off his wonderful season by going undefeated with 3 wins and 2 draws on board 3. And finally a hearty “Well played!” to Halifax’s Darwin Ursal who was perfect on board 1 and defeated very strong opposition in the form of Dave Keddie, Martin Hamer, Matthew Parsons and Robert Broadbent to achieve his result. He scored almost 50% of his team’s total score!

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May 162013

bridestones 2Bridestones Holme Brew Chess Challenge: Round 1

Last Monday the Bridestones Holme Brew Chess Challenge got underway at the Trades Club. With the two highest rated players and the third and fourth rated players meeting each other in round 1 the prospect of some close games was promised. That the two pairings had met each other in competitive games in the last few months only added to the interest.

Matthew Parsons is the highest rated player in the competition by over 10 rating points and he is therefore the strong favourite to win. If anyone could prevent him from making a winning start with White then Alastair Wright appeared to have (statistically at least) the best chance. The two had played only a few weeks before when Hebden Bridge ‘A’ beat Todmorden ‘B’ in the final round of Calderdale League 1. In that game Matthew had won but only after having been forced to slowly and remorselessly grind down some tough resistance from Alastair. In the end a bad bishop and a relatively passive position had cost him the game.

"There's many a slip twixt cup and lip". Alastair Wright's blunder cost him the game immediately whilst Nick Sykes' game slipped away gradually. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from fiordiferro's Flickr photostream

“There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip”. Alastair Wright’s blunder cost him the game immediately whilst Nick Sykes’ game slipped away gradually. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and sourced from fiordiferro’s Flickr photostream

Matthew had White again for this game and essayed the same opening line — his favourite London System. Alastair chose a completely different opening plan from the previous game and seemed to get himself a reasonable game. However, on move 18, and in a completely level position, Alastair blundered. Matthew immediately picked up a piece and the game was concluded swiftly and a little disappointingly from a spectator’s point of view.

In contrast the game between Pete Leonard and Nick Sykes went the full distance and would have provided any of their club colleagues following the game with plenty to think about. These two had met in the final round of the Calderdale Individual Championship in March. On that occasion Nick had the White pieces, got into trouble in the opening and suffered for a long time before Pete blundered into a mate in one.

Unfortunately for Nick, Caissa is a just and fair patron Goddess and she turned the tables in this game. Pete played 1.e4 and waited to see how Nick would respond. He might reasonably have expected the Sicilian Defence (1…c5), the Spanish (1…e5) or the Caro-Kann (1…c6). What Pete got was the Spanish whereupon he diverted into his new pet line, the Bishop’s Opening with 2.Bc4. There are many transpositional possibilities in this variation but there are also some very idiosyncratic lines. Pete chose 3.d3 (which seems fairly dubious) and Nick played the opening phase nicely to secure himself a comfortable advantage into the middle game.

Pete clung on and Nick was unable to find the best ways of converting his advantage. As the night wore on Nick’s old enemy, (and only real weakness this season) the clock, started to become a factor. The pair reached time control with only a minute or so each and by this stage a double rook ending had appeared on the board and Nick’s advantage had evaporated. Pete managed to establish a rook on the seventh rank and appeared to have gained genuine winning chances for the first time that evening.

Now it was Nick’s turn to buckle down to a gritty defensive task. Sadly the damage had been done and although Nick missed a few chances to improve his defence Pete played the rook and pawn ending well and slowly picked off Nick’s weak pawns before pushing his passed b-pawn home. Chess can be a cruel game.

Andy Leatherbarrow’s game with Dave Shapland was postponed until later on in the schedule which has several available slots for playing re-scheduled match-ups.

Both the first round matches mentioned in this report can be found in the game viewer below.

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May 102013
It's lightning time again on Monday the 13th at the Belgrave Social Club. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced form gleasonmj's Flickr photostream

It’s lightning time again on Monday the 13th at the Belgrave Social Club. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced form gleasonmj’s Flickr photostream

The Calderdale Evening Chess League Team Lightning tournament takes place on Monday the 13th of May. The competition will again take place at the Belgrave Social Club in Halifax. Anyone wishing to take part should be sure to arrive at the venue promptly for 7.30pm in order to enable team captains to organise their squads of 5. Any players not initially allocated to a team from their home club will be used to fill vacancies in other club sides or form ad hoc squads. In this way everyone who turns up will be able to take part.

If you’ve never played lightning chess before it’s great fun. Here is a quick explaination of the rules. Normal rules of chess except that a buzzer sounds every 10 seconds and players must move in turn on the buzzer. Persistent failiure to do this can result in forfeiting the game. Also check does not have to be announced and kings can be captured to end the game if a check is overlooked.

May 082013

This summer – alongside our usual schedule of events, competitions and classes (of which more to come) – 6 of the chess club’s strongest players will be competing in a double-round-robin contest. This is a friendly event that has been organised to provide the combatants with some serious and challenging action during the off-season. We’ve been fortunate enough to secure a local prize sponsor for the tournament. Bridestones Brewing are an award winning craft brewery based just up the hill at Blackshaw Head. This summer they have launched a brand new product that is available exclusively at the Trades Club. To celebrate the launch of the aptly named “Holme Brew” they will be providing a small prize for this event.

I’ll be posting a tournament cross table on a new page in due course and there will be round-by-round reports on the progress of the competition right here over the next few months. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, Nick Sykes has prepared some player profiles and assessed the chances of each of the competitors.

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ recently retained the Calderdale Division 1 title in some style. The core of the team were Matthew Parsons, Pete Leonard, Dave Shapland, Nick Sykes and Andy Leatherbarrow. This season they were team mates, but this summer they will by enemies.

The five key players of the title winning team will be joined by the Todmorden ‘B’ and former Hebden Bridge ‘A’ captain, Alastair Wright, in an all-play-all-double-round-robin series of games that will run over the summer during the chess off-season.

This is the first tournament of this type for Hebden Bridge players where the participants will know who they will be playing well before the games. This gives the opportunity for players to prepare for each other’s favourite opening systems and begs the question as to whether players will stick with their pet lines or try something different to catch their opponents off-guard. Whatever happens it promises to be a fascinating series of games all of which will be published right here after each round.

Player Profiles

Here is a profile of the players with the current live ratings taken just before the tournament began as well as each players’ favourite openings based on their preferences in recent games.

Matthew Parsons
Matthew ParsonsEnd of Season Rating: 174
Favourite Opening Systems: White – London System, Black – The Sniper (1…g6 2…Bg7 with 3…c5)
The clear favourite for this tournament Matthew has more than 10 rating points advantage over his next highest rated opponent and will fear no-one having beaten Dave, Andy and Pete already this season in the Calderdale Individual Championship. He also has a positive record against Nick and Alastair who he beat in the final round of this season’s league 1. Matthew is pretty loyal to his chosen openings which makes him a relatively easy opponent to prepare for. However, Matthew avoided his mainlines when playing team-mates in the individual and will be confident enough to be able to outplay his opponents in the middlegame whichever opening lines he chooses to deploy.

Alastair Wright
Alastair WrightEnd of Season Rating: 158
Favourite Opening Systems: White – 1.d4 2.c4, Black – Caro-Kann, Black Knights Tango
Alastair has been playing for Todmorden for the last two seasons but was previously the captain of Hebden Bridge ‘A’. He has not played a lot of chess this year but has had some impressive results, including a draw against the highly rated Bill Somerset and a win against David Patrick. He has played Nick (+0 =2 -0), Dave (+1 =0 -0) and Andy (+1 =0 -0) previously and has an excellent record having never lost to any of them. He has lost once to Matthew and has never faced Pete in a rated game. Alastair’s choice of openings seems to change week after week which makes him impossible to prepare for. His opponents simply have to be ready for anything!

Pete Leonard
Pete Leonard 02End of Season Rating: 157
Favourite Opening Systems: White – 1.e4 (2.c3 Sicilian, Bishop’s Opening), Black – Alekhine’s, Grunfeld
Pete is only in his third season in the Calderdale League but has already shown his pedigree as a high-quality First Division player. Pete has only played Matthew and Nick from players in tournament and has failed to register a point as yet, albeit he had a completely won game against Nick in the Calderdale Individual this season before blundering. Pete is another player loyal to his chosen openings and has demonstrated an ability to cook-up excellent home preparation in order to gain a significant opening advantage.

Nick Sykes
Nick SykesEnd of Season Rating: 155
Favourite Opening Systems: White – 1.c4 (English Opening transposing into specific 1.d4 openings), Black – Caro-Kann, Nimzo Indian Defence
Nick is having another good year that should see his grade improve for the third year running. He’s played all his opponents before Matthew (+0 =1 -3), Alastair (+0 =2 -0), Dave (+1 =0 -1), Pete (+1 =0 -0) and Andy (+1 =0 -2). Nick’s opening choices have been fairly diverse this year compared to previous years so he will not be so easy to prepare for. Whatever Nick plays you can be sure he will have a book on it!

Andy Leatherbarrow
Andy LeatherbarrowEnd of Season Rating: 154
Favourite Opening Systems: White – 1.e4 (Closed Sicilian, Scotch Game), Black: Scandinavian, Czech Benoni, Hedgehog System
Andy has had an excellent season and has made the biggest improvement in his rating out of all the other players in the tournament. He scored an outstanding victory against the highly rated Mitchell Burke in the Calderdale Individual Championship this year. Andy has played Matthew (+0 =0 -2), Nick (+2 =0 -1) and Alastair (+0 =0 -1) previously but has never met Dave or Pete in a rated game. Andy is pretty loyal to his chosen openings however he is well known to have outstanding theoretical knowledge and understanding in many  openings lines so it would be dangerous to prepare too much for his chosen openings as he could deploy many others equally as well.

Dave Shapland
Dave ShaplandEnd of Season Rating: 148
Favourite Opening Systems: White – 1.e4 (Open Sicilian, Italian Game, French Tarrasch), Black – Sicilian Dragon, Ruy Lopez, Semi-Slav, Budapest Gambit
The captain of the two-time Division 1 champions is known for his love of sharp unbalanced positions and is one of the most imaginative players in the Calderdale League. Dave has played Matthew (+0 =2 -2), Nick (+1 =0 -1) and Alastair (+0 =0 -1) previously but has never met Pete or Andy in a rated game. Dave’s opening choices are usually aimed to obtain dynamic positions with plenty of opportunity for tactical play. Dave is not quite as rigid with his opening repertoire as maybe Pete or Matthew and has shown a willingness to prepare for his opponents in any way that will help him drag the game onto his terms. He has played a handful of different openings over the last few seasons.

The first few games of this competition were played on Monday the 6th of May and we’ll be bringing you the results and annotated games very soon.

May 082013
The last lap of the season was full of apt scorelines and a fair few twists and turns although all the destiny's of all the Hebden Bridge teams had already been decided. This image is used under Creative Commons licence terms and sourced from tharrin's Flickr photstream

The last lap of the season was full of apt scorelines and a fair few twists and turns although all the destiny’s of all the Hebden Bridge teams had already been decided. This image is used under Creative Commons licence terms and sourced from tharrin’s Flickr photstream

Over the course of the last fortnight the 2012-13 Calderdale Evening Chess League has been drawing to a close. As we’ve already covered here in previous posts the destination of the championship trophies was already decided before the last rounds were played and this meant that there were only a few unfinished stories to tell.

In league 1 Hebden Bridge ‘A’ sealed the title in their penultimate round win over Courier ‘A’, Todmorden ‘B’ were confirmed relegated in the same round and that just left the question of who would be relegated to league 2 with them. Belgrave and Brighouse were meeting each other in the critical encounter to decide this. The equation was simple. Brighouse needed only a draw to stay up, Belgrave had to win. In the end it was Brighouse who survived by the skin of their teeth as they drew with their opponents to condemn Belgrave to the drop. Paul Whitehouse’s win on bottom board against Les Johnson was the decisive result.

Elsewhere in League 1 some familiar patterns were emerging. Todmorden ‘A’ finished the season at home to Halifax in a match that would decide who would finish in third position in the league. Todmorden are pretty dangerous at home when they have their strongest squad available and so it proved on this occasion as the their top two boards (Martin Hamer and Peter Mulleady) drew with Halifax’s terrible twosome (Ursal and Somerset) while the lower boards picked off their weaker opponents in an efficient fashion. Andrew Clarkson beat Carlos Velosa, Rob Tokeley beat Scott Gornall and Chris Edwards beat Adrain Dawson to complete a comprehensive 4 — 1 score line. This result secured Todmorden in third and Halifax in fourth.

At the same venues the relegation battle mentioned above Courier ‘A’ were taking on second placed Huddersfield. Aside from a horrendous run of four consecutive matches across the middle of the season when they lost three and drew one match Huddersfield have been very impressive and they underlined their position with a hard fought 2 — 3 victory against a Courier side that have probably underperformed a little bit this season and have been supplanted in the top half of the table by Halifax.

This just left the dead rubber between champions, Hebden ‘A’, and the already relegated bottom side Todmorden ‘B’. The match was played at the Trades Club and Hebden may have hoped to put on a bit of an exhibition to celebrate their title retention. Of course in the end it turned out to be a hard fought struggle ending in yet another 3 — 2 win for the hosts. Todmorden bought a strong side to the match and, unusually for this season, they actually outscored Hebden on the lower boards only to lose on both of the top two. Matthew Parsons ground down Alastair Wright and Pete Leonard defeated Andy Jacques to secure the victory. Further down the order Nick Sykes gained a creditable draw on board 3 against Neil Suttie, Andy Leatherbarrow suffered a rare defeat at the hands of David Innes on board 4 and on the bottom board Dave Shapland tortured Dave Milton right up until the end of the night but couldn’t convert his space advantage into the full point. The final match score card was:

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ vs. Todmorden ‘B’
M.Parsons 1 — 0 A.Wright
P.Leonard 1 — 0 A.Jacques
N.Sykes ½ — ½ N.Suttie
A.Leatherbarrow 0 — 1 D.Milton
D.Shapland ½ — ½ D.Milton
3 — 2

There will be time enough over the summer to dissect both team and individual performances but for the moment let’s just mention that Halifax’s Darwin Ursal was, once again the league 1 Most Valuable Player (MVP) with a score of 11½/14. He just pipped his partner in crime, Bill Somerset by a single point into second.

… and so to league 2. Hebden Bridge ‘B’ secured their title and promotion some time ago and have run riot through the division dropping only two draws to their ‘D’ team colleagues when they had significantly weakened lines ups. They also finished their season at home against the division’s bottom team which coincidently happened to be Todmorden ‘D’. In the reverse fixture before Christmas this match had been men against boys as Hebden handed out a whitewash. This time Todmorden’s cause was hardly assisted by two defaulted boards as they were once again overrun in short order. The match card was:

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Todmorden ‘D’
D.Shapland 1 — 0 J.P.Ellis
J.Blinkhorn 1 — 0 Default
D.Sugden 1 — 0 B.Joyce
M.Syrett 1 — 0 M.Pitt
S.Priest 1 — 0 Default
5 — 0

Hebden Bridge ‘D’s season ended in a dispiriting fashion when Danny Crampton was unable to raise a team to travel Halifax ‘B’ and was thus forced to default all boards. The loss of Craig and Kyle Sharpe halfway through this season has made life very difficult for Danny and consequently the side has performed well below the promising standards they showed earlier in the season.

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ also finished their season at home as they took on Courier ‘B’. It’s been a topsy-turvy year for John Kerrane’s side. They’ve had some great results and some poor ones and this one bordered on farcical.

“A home win looked likely until, three pieces ahead, James Todd on board 5 took his eye off the clock, and lost the game by not making the time control. The result was that the visitors were genuinely surprised to find that they had won by a score of 2 — 3.”
The individual results were:

Hebden Bridge ‘C’ vs. Courier ‘B’
J.Kerrane 0 — 1 D.Colledge
T. Sullivan ½ — ½ J.B.Smith
R.Deravairere ½ — ½ P.Jacobs
N.Bamford 1 — 0 Default
J.Todd 0 — 1 R.Bottomley
2 — 3

The final league standings underline the total dominance of Hebden ‘B’ as they topped the table by 6 points! The big question from the final round of fixtures was who would join them in division 1 next season. It was between Halifax ‘B’ and Todmorden ‘C’. Halifax, as I’ve already mentioned, were beneficiaries of Hebden ‘D’s all board default and that meant that Todmorden had to get a result at home against the Halifax ‘C’ team to secure their promotion. They almost blew it as Barry Wadsworth and Brian Donkersley beat Dave Milton and Paul Logan on boards 1 and 2 respectively to make life very uncomfortable for their hosts. Fortunately, Tom Webster and Bob Pratt won their games for Tod on 3 and 4 and board 5 was drawn. All this meant that Tod ‘C’ (by just a single point from Halifax) swap leagues with Tod ‘B’ next season.

Tom Webster’s win also meant that he secured the MVP prize for league 2 as he pipped Hebden Bridge ‘B’s Dave Sugden and Martin Syrett by half a point with an excellent personal score of 12½/14. Congratulations to Tom whose grade is surely going to shoot up next season.

There are a number of games from the final round of fixtures in the game viewer below. Next week we’ll be posting news of the clubs summer programme and a reminder about the Club Lightning Tournament which takes place at the Belgrave Club again this year on Monday the 13th of May.

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May 022013
Martin Syrett has had plenty to smile about this season as his team collected both the league 2 and the Summer Team Knockout titles

Martin Syrett has had plenty to smile about this season as his team collected both the league 2 and the Summer Team Knockout titles

A couple of weeks ago we covered the story of the Hebden Bridge ‘A’ team’s successful defence of their league 1 title. This week we focus on Martin Syrett’s ‘B’ team who have utterly dominated league 2 and secured their triumph some time ago. A few weeks back they added to their league glory by finally overcoming their ‘A’ team colleagues in the final of an interminable Summer Team Knockout 2012 (!!!)

This competition has been going on so long that neither Captain could remember who had appeared in their line-ups in previous rounds. To my eyes there are two issues with the current format (and this includes the individual competition as well):

  1. Rounds are not scheduled. The draw is made and then captains (or individual players) are left to agree on when to schedule their next match. This has a draw back in that most Captains will quite naturally try to postpone a fixture until such time as they can get their best team out.
  2. Replays! In the event of a tied match teams are expected to replay. This has to end as replays can significantly hold up the progress of the competition and it is particularly acute in the Individual competition where a draw outcome is much more likely than the team contest.

In my view if this competition is to survive then a means of breaking a tie must be agreed by the league committee and a schedule for the competition should be drawn up by the league secretary in order to ensure the competition is completed before the new league season starts

Part of the problem with playing the final this year was that with Hebden ‘A’ playing a league match one week and Hebden ‘B’ playing the next it wasn’t possible to schedule a Monday night within the bounds of the league season and that meant the match had to be played on a Wednesday night — much harder to arrange.

In the end a date was agreed but Hebden Bridge ‘A’ weren’t able to get a full side together and turned up without Nick Sykes and with Josh Blinkhorn in for their usual league player Andy Leatherbarrow (who instead had already played board 1 for the ‘B’s!) This, in addition to the usual time-handicap system that is part of the competition, gave the ‘B’ team a really good fighting chance on the night and, indeed, it turned out to be decisive.

The first game to finish was board 3 where Pete Leonard (Hebden Bridge ‘A’) played John Kerrane and took on John’s favourite French Defence with a fianchetto variation. John is well versed in the French and took everything Pete could throw at him in his stride — including a pawn! As time trouble started to loom for Pete, John calmly maintained his advantage, snubbed out counter play and showed excellent technique in a rook and pawn ending to steer the full point home. Hebden ‘B’ were 2 — 0 up with the default.
The other three games appeared to be going well for the ‘A’ team. Josh Blinkhorn seemed to have an excellent attack against Neil Bamford, Dave Shapland was behind on his clock but also had a promising attack against Dave Sugden and Matthew Parsons maintained a small but lingering advantage against Andy Leatherbarrow.

The Calderdale League 1 champions couldn’t sustain the effort however. Josh almost faltered after blundering material against Neil but recovered somehow to win the game. Dave Sugden defended tenaciously and resourcefully against Dave Shapland and staved off the attack. The game remained complicated and Shapland got into terrible time trouble. Eventually he simply ran out of time in an even rook and pawn ending and the ‘B’s had snatched the title from their colleagues.

This just left the ever-impressive Matthew Parsons to round off the match with a further consolation point by defeating Andy Leatherbarrow for the second time this season in a testing single piece and pawns endgame. The final scorecard was:

Hebden Bridge ‘A’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘B’
M.Parsons 1 — 0 A.Leatherbarrow
D.Shapland 0 — 1 D.Sugden
P.Leonard 0 — 1 J.Kerrane
J.Blinkhorn 1 — 0 N.Bamford
Default 0 — 1 M.Syrett
2 — 3

Meanwhile in League 2, Hebden Bridge ‘B’ secured the title long ago at something of a canter. Their last two matches of the season were against the weakest sides in the league and they amply demonstrated their dominance by beating Halifax ‘C’ with only three players last week. The scorecard was:

Halifax ‘C’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘B’
G.Cash 0 — 1 D.Shapland
G.Roper 0 — 1 D.Sugden
M.Roper 0 — 1 M.Syrett
M.Randawa 1 — 0 Default
J.Nicholson 1 — 0 Default
2 — 3

John Kerrane’s ‘C’ team travelled to Todmorden to take on the bottom side, Todmorden ‘D’.

The match was notable for the re-appearance of Chris Harris who last played in Calderdale 20 years ago. He showed he had lost none of his fire by beating Hebden’s Terry Sullivan on board 3. Unfortunately for Todmorden, his was their only win, and the match finished quite quickly with a 4 — 1 win to Hebden. The individual results were:

Todmorden ‘D’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘C’
J.P.Ellis 0 — 1 J.Kerrane
B.Joyce 0 — 1 S.Priest
C.Harris 1 — 0 T.Sullivan
R.Fuller 0 — 1 N.Bamford
Default 0 — 1 R.Deravairere
1 — 4

Meanwhile the corresponding fixture at the Trades Club, Todmorden ‘C’ were busy beating Hebden Bridge ‘D’ by the same score line, the match featuring a fine endgame win by Graham Bowker against the much higher-rated Robert Murray on board 1. The individual results were:

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ vs. Todmorden ‘C’
R.P.D.Murray 0 — 1 G.Bowker
Default 0 — 1 D.Milton
D.Crampton 0 — 1 P.Logan
D.Leggett 0 — 1 T.Webster
D.J.Leggett 1 — 0 B.Pratt
1 — 4

Next time we’ll be covering the final round of fixtures in both divisions. In the meantime, the viewer below contains a number of games from the above fixtures.

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Apr 152013

It’s been the story of the league 1 championship this season — Hebden Bridge ‘A’ winning 3 — 2! On Monday night they notched up their sixth ‘3 — 2’ win from their last seven matches to edge past Courier ‘A’ and retain their title. In honour of Hebden’s achievement the teams involved in the other three fixtures also contrived to deliver 3 — 2 results as Todmorden ‘B’ were confirmed as relegated and Huddersfield ‘A’ took sole possession of second place in the division.

photo (1)

Nick Sykes (left) was the victim of a most unusual defensive move from Courier’s Dave Patrick. After the match the ‘Syko’ was pretty furious with his result and the manner of it but the truth is he’s been the top performer for his team throughout this season. Thanks to Todmorden’s Andrew Clarkson for sending us this photo.

At the Belgrave Social Club in Halifax, Hebden rolled up to face the team they drew with away in the last round of the 2011-12 season to secure the title by the narrowest margin — 1 board point. For this year’s match-up they were slightly weaker (Darwin Ursal went back to Halifax for this season and Pete Leonard was on holiday) whilst Courier looked a tiny bit stronger on boards 4 and 5.

In 2012 the nerves were plain to see as Hebden almost chucked their title away at the final fence. This time the 3 — 2 score line did not do justice to the relatively straightforward nature of the victory. Indeed, on another evening Courier could have been on the end of a hammering as a couple of Hebden players agreed to draws in advantageous positions to secure the victory.

The night began badly for the hosts when their board 5 did not make an appearance and Hebden collected their fourth defaulted board point since Christmas. Some might say this is fortuitous. That maybe so but the basic requirement of any title winning team is to be able to field five players and Hebden have done that relentlessly all season where some of their rivals have failed at crucial moments.

The other four games went on well into the evening before finally, Hebden also took a full point on board 4 to put themselves 0 — 2 clear. Andy Leatherbarrow beat Pete Hughes in a lugubrious Czech Benoni were the pawns were locked together and the active play channeled onto the king’s side of the board. Pete got himself into time trouble and Andy won a pawn which, with such a sterile position at hand, really was a death knell.

By this stage Dave Shapland had recovered from a dreadful opening error on board 3 against Robert Clegg to fight his way to an equal if not slightly superior position. It looked like these two would engage in yet another cutting-edge-of-opening-theory fire fight until Dave uncharacteristically chose to deviate from the monstrous complexities of the Botvinnik Semi-Slav to steer the game into a Moscow Variation. However, he fluffed his move order and just ended up miles behind in development and with a very cramped position — albeit quite a solid one.

Fortunately for Dave the resulting position was very easy for him to play (he needed to get his pieces out) whilst Robert was searching for the best possible way of pursuing his advantage. Slowly but surely Dave equalised and then broke open the queen’s side. Robert sensed the tide was turning and offered a draw. Dave waited for 5 minutes to see Andy win on board 4 and then accepted knowing that his team now had at least a draw.

By that point neither of the top two boards looked like they would go against Hebden. Matthew Parsons had the exchange for a pawn in his game with John Morgan and shrewdly took full advantage of the match situation by offering John a draw right after the time control. Knowing that this outcome would hand Hebden the title John dutifully sat and searched in vain for a way to play for a win. However, after taking up much of his remaining time to consider this he decided he had to accept and Hebden could start to celebrate.

This just left Hebden’s Nick Sykes and Courier’s Dave Patrick playing on board two. This had been a complicated game in the exchange Caro-Kann where Nick had gained a significant advantage from the opening only to be thrown off course by a very strange and unusual incident. Dave defended himself with an illegal move that neither player noticed until long after the game had finished. It was left to the kibitzing Matthew Parsons to point this out to Nick after the game had finished. You can see all the details of this in the game viewer below. The game is in two fragments because of course chess engines won’t let you enter an illegal move!

Despite Dave’s unorthodox defensive techniques Nick still held a decent advantage but he couldn’t find the right way to bring it home and slowly Dave dug himself out of the worst of the trouble and the players entered a rook and pawn ending. At this point Nick’s acute time shortage started to play a roll as he missed a few more opportunities to win and, ultimately, blundered into exchanging off rooks into a dead lost king and pawn ending. Dave duly converted one of the most fortuitous points he is likely to ever score and Nick chastised himself for his profligacy.

In the end it didn’t matter. Another 3 — 2 win in the bag and Hebden had retained their title. This is a huge and genuinely surprising achievement for a team of players who weren’t expecting to do so well this year being weaker on paper than the side who won the title last season.

The final match scorecard was:

Courier ‘A’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘A’
J.Morgan ½ — ½ M.Parsons
D.Patrick 1 — 0 N.Sykes
R.Clegg ½ — ½ D.Shapland
P.Hughes 0 — 1 A.Leatherbarrow
Default 0 — 1 M.Wedge-Roberts
2 — 3

Elsewhere the relegation battle had reached a critical moment as Brighouse, Todmorden ‘B’ and Belgrave fought it out to avoid the drop. Two of them had to go and on Monday Brighouse travelled to Todmorden for a loser-gets-relegated show down. There were draws on the top two boards and a win on board 5 from the home team but Bruce Bendall and Nick Hudson both won on boards 3 and 4 to clinch a golden victory for Brighouse who now have another sudden death shoot out at Belgrave on April the 22nd to decide who joins Todmorden in division 2.

Meanwhile back at the Belgrave Club Todmorden ‘A’ had travelled to Belgrave knowing that a win for them could help their ‘B’ team survive to fight another day. The top four boards were all drawn before Chris Edwards finally uprooted Les Johnson at the end of the evening to secure a narrow win for Todmorden.

On Wednesday night second placed Huddersfield defended their position against third placed Halifax ‘A’. This should have been an epic encounter with Halifax desperate to win to retain any slim chance they might have had to overhaul their hosts. However, they only succeeded in getting four players to the match and the missing man was one half of their terrible twosome, Bill Somerset. Add to that a weakened bottom half of the team and it was a recipe for disaster. Only another heroic victory from Darwin Ursal preserved Halifax’s modesty as he beat Mitchell Burke to limit the damage to… you guessed it… 3 — 2!

All four games from the Hebden Bridge match can be found in the viewer below.

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Apr 112013

A rather lengthy period of radio silence (for which please accept your editors apologies) means that there is rather a lot to catch up on this week.

It was pop guns at dusk as Hebden Bridge ‘A’ and Halifax ‘A’ faced off in League 1.

I make no apologies for starting with Hebden Bridge ‘A’s re-scheduled match with Halifax ‘A’. This should have taken place in January but was postponed due to snow. Ironic then that it snowed even more heavily on the weekend before this re-arranged encounter. Thankfully there was only one player unable to travel but the bad news for Hebden was that this was their board 2 stand in Andy Bak. Icy roads in Andy’s neighbourhood prevented him from participating and so Hebden’s Captain was forced to resort to a tried and tested resource, namely plundering the club’s ‘B’ team. Normally this would have been straight forward but the ‘B’ team were also playing a match (of which more later) and regular first teamer Andy Leatherbarrow was committed to transporting his kids to play in that fixture. Fortunately for the ‘A’s Josh Blinkhorn was made available and they fielded a full (if slightly weakened) team.

Halifax on the other hand had beefed up for the occasion. Everyone knows about the ferocious strength of their top two boards but in previous rounds their weaker lower boards have proved to be their undoing. Then, a few weeks ago, they successfully fielded a debutant, Jamie Kubiza, on board 4 and for this match he played on board 5 to accommodate the returning Scott Gornall to the ranks. This provided a much more solid looking line-up on their boards 3 to 5.

Without Andy Bak Hebden were left to decide on who should play board 2. Pete Leonard has been a regular on board 2 this season but from a grading perspective Andy Leatherbarrow, Dave Shapland and Nick Sykes are pretty much on a level with him and Pete had prepared for his likely board 3 opponent so Nick Sykes took his chance to step up to board 2. He’s been on excellent form this year (unbeaten in the league) and has beaten both Leonard and Shapland in the Calderdale Individual Championship so he deserved his chance to take a shot at Darwin Ursal.

Indeed, Nick acquitted himself extremely well and sensibly selected a Nimzo-Indian Defence to open with and this yielded him comfortable equality. It appeared that he might even be doing better in the middle game at one point but then Darwin did what Darwin does best and created complexity and imbalance where there seemed to be none. Nick got into difficulties on the clock and Darwin pounced to give Halifax the early lead.

On board 5, Josh Blinkhorn equalised against Jamie’s London System and then went on the attack. He sacrificed one pawn and then another but his attack stalled and Jamie defended sensibly. In a rook and minor piece ending it even looked like Josh might lose but in the end his active pieces and ingenious play allowed him to regain the material deficit and steer the game to a draw which was a fair result.

Hebden Captain, Dave Shapland got into a terrible mess against Scott Gornall on board 4. He also faced a London System and had convincingly beaten Scott in the same opening line earlier in the season when the two ‘B’ teams played at Halifax in League 2. This time it was different. Fatefully, Dave made a poor positional decision that saddled him with a bad bishop in a closed position. As he desperately tried to extricate himself from the mess he got into horrendous time trouble and suddenly found that he needed to make his last 6 moves in just 8 seconds!

Thank goodness then for Halifax’s new digital clocks, which allowed Dave to see exactly what he had to do, for a loss due to a time forfeit in this match would have been utterly criminal. Dave made it to move 36 with just a single second left on his clock and may even have missed some chance to gain an advantage in these final few moves before the control was reached. Instead the queens came off and left the players in a same coloured bishops ending which Black was never going to win due to his prelate being on the same coloured squares as most of his pawns. Scott tried to manoeuvre for a win but Dave just held the position together and they agreed a draw.

Pete Leonard sacrificed a pawn in the opening against Halifax’s Captain, Carlos Velosa. He seemed to have plenty of compensation for it as Carlos’s king was displaced and left in the centre of the board. It seemed that Pete’s attack must break through but somehow it didn’t. Carlos gave back his extra pawn to leave the players with a rook and queen and four pawns each. Carlos offered a draw which Pete would probably have taken were it not for the situation in the match. He had to decline and play for victory. It turned out that Carlos’ attempts to reach a draw would be more difficult than he might have imagined because his pieces were passively placed and Pete’s very active. A hurtling passed a-pawn flew up the board and as Carlos blockaded Pete’s queen was able to infiltrate and secure a desperately needed win. It was 2-2.

Time and again Hebden have won and saved matches from 2-2 this season. This time the pressure was on Matthew Parsons to at least hold out against the league’s top performer this season, Bill Somerset. Matthew had sacrificed the exchange and managed to grab two pawns for it but the queens were still on and the position was complicated. Two factors swung the game in Matthews favour in the end. First of all, Bill had to play for a win and it was a position that was harder to play for White. Also, both players had just 4 minutes to complete the game and Matthew is an excellent blitz chess player. He switched into blitz mode and started moving very quickly, forcing Bill to do the same. First Matthew managed to force off the queens and created two connected passed pawns in the process. Bill had to give up his rook for these two and this just left Matthew to figure out how to shepherd home his last remaining pawn with only his knight and king. He did this faultlessly and secured a golden victory with 90 seconds left on his clock.

A collective sigh of joy and relief emanated from the Hebden players who now find themselves 3 points clear at the top of the table with just two matches left to play. The match scorecard looked like this:

Halifax ‘A’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘A’
W.Somerset 0 — 1 M.Parsons
D.Ursal 1 — 0 N.Sykes
C.Velosa 0 — 1 P.Leonard
S.Gornall ½ — ½ D.Shapland
J.Kubiza ½ — ½ J.Blinkhorn
2 — 3

Meanwhile, back at the Trades Club… League 2 champions elect, Hebden Bridge ‘B’, were locked into a struggle with their own ‘D’ team and, as they had done in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, found themselves with a much depleted line up and in some kind of dynastic feud! This was because the ‘B’s fielded all three of the Leatherbarrow clan whilst the ‘D’ team played two Leggett’s on boards 4 and 5. Sadly for the ‘B’ team the Leggett’s won the dynastic struggle comprehensively with Dave and Dylan Leggett beating Spike and Hephzi Leatherbarrow. At the other end of the fixture the ‘B’ team’s regulars ensured that disaster was averted and Martin Syrett won his battle of the Captains against Danny Crampton on board 3 and Dave Sugden beat Chris Greaves on board 2. This left the match hanging on the result between Andy Leatherbarrow and Robert Murray on board 1. This ended in a draw and therefore so did the match. Oddly the reverse fixture was also a draw and these two points are the only ones that the ‘B’ team have conceded all season long.

The match scorecard was:

Hebden Bridge ‘B’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘D’
A.Leatherbarrow ½ — ½ R.P.D.Murray
D.Sugden 1 — 0 C.Greaves
M.Syrett 1 — 0 D.Crampton
S.Leatherbarrow 0 — 1 D.J.Leggett
H.Leatherbarrow 0 — 1 D.Leggett
2½ — 2½

The previous week had seen all three League 2 teams in action. Two of them went to Halifax’s Lee Mount Club to take on Halifax ‘C’ and Courier’ B’.

Hebden ‘B’ faced a strong Courier line up and found the going tough although they came through in the end. On board 1 Dave Shapland’s 100% record for the ‘B’ team was expunged by Pete Hughes who played very accurately under some pressure after having won a piece. Courier’s team also performed well on boards 3 and 4 where Paul Jacobs and John Whitehead drew with Josh Blinkhorn and Dave Sugden respectively. That left Andy Leatherbarrow and Martin Syrett to defeat John Smith and Richard Bottomley on boards 2 and 5 to secure the match by a single point.

Here is the scorecard:

Courier ‘B’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘B’
P.Hughes 1 — 0 D.Shapland
J.Smith 0 — 1 A.Leatherbarrow
P.Jacobs ½ — ½ J.Blinkhorn
J.Whitehead ½ — ½ D.Sugden
R.Bottomley 0 — 1 M.Syrett
2 — 3

John Kerrane’s ‘C’ team were also away at Halifax ‘C’.

Halifax ‘C’ vs. Hebden Bridge ‘C’
G.Cash 0 — 1 J.Kerrane
G.Roper 0 — 1 S.Priest
D.Summerskill 1 — 0 N.Bamford
J.Nicholson 0 — 1 R.Deravairere
M.Randawa 1 — 0 J.Todd
2 — 3

Finally, Danny Crampton’s ‘D’ team were at home playing the league’s bottom side Todmorden ‘D’. Their hopes of securing a rare victory were thwarted however. A side mostly comprising junior players did their best and John Tate and Hephzi Leatherbarrow did particularly well but the top three boards all made mistakes as the team slumped to defeat.

Hebden Bridge ‘D’ vs. Todmorden ‘D’
D.Crampton 0 — 1 J.P.Ellis
S.Leatherbarrow 0 — 1 M.Grayson
D.Leggett 0 — 1 B.Joyce
H.Leatherbarrow ½ — ½ M.Pitt
J.Tate 1 — 0 R.Fuller
1½ — 3½

There is a veritable cornucopia of games from these matches in the viewer below.

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