Feb 022020

The votes have been cast, polling is now closed and we have a winner! The game between Dennis Breen and Matthew Parsons was the overwhelming favorite in our poll  with more than 69% of the votes. Firth vs. Wedge was second and Gormally vs. Morgan came in third. The full results can be seen in the table below.

Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions for this poll and to everyone who voted. Congratulations to the winners!

Jan 242020

This way to the polling station! Time for you to decide on your ‘Game of the Decade’. Photo: kcivey

We’ve reached the end of our short series covering some of the best, most interesting, exciting and memorable chess games played in Hebden Bridge or by Hebden Bridge Chess Club players. Now it’s time for us to reveal our short list and for readers to decide which one they think is their ‘Game of the Decade’.

Just as with the long list I really agonised over which games to select. There are so many factors to weight up and, in the end, the selection is subjective. The least I can do is explain the criteria that I used to weigh up the long list candidates so that readers can understand how I reached this short list of five games, even if they don’t agree with my choice.

  • How accurate was the play in general?: although there were some games on the long list in which the general standard of the play was not that high, I felt they merited inclusion because of one interesting moment or because they were particularly dramatic. However, those games have not been carried forward to the shortlist as I felt the games here should be considered as being ‘well played’ by the majority of our readership. All of the games on this short list would be torn to shreds by chess engine’s but we aren’t computers and so the engine’s assessment didn’t come into my thinking so much. It’s also fair to say that really complicated games tend to contain more moves that engines would class as ‘inaccurate’ but that, for us mere mortals, would be hard to criticize. So the complexity of the game was considered in conjunction with the standard of play.
  • Was the game was a genuine contest?: I eliminated some games from my consideration because I felt they were too one-sided. Sometimes even games that were well played by one player were ruled out because the defender had capitulated too easily or missed an obvious improvement
  • Was the game exciting or unusual in any outstanding way?: I felt all the games on this shortlist should have some exciting or interesting moments in them. That didn’t mean they had to be sacrificial, tactical or complicated but I felt they needed to have some kind of ‘X-factor’ in them.

Here then is my shortlist for readers to vote on:

[polldaddy poll=10495561]


In the game viewer below I have published the five shortlisted games again for those who wish to refresh their memory before making their decision.

This poll will be open for 1 week only. Everyone is welcome to vote (you don’t have to be a Hebden Bridge Chess Club member or even a UK resident!) Voting is anonymous and please note that you’ll only be allowed to vote once by the poll, so choose carefully! I’d also very much like to hear from any readers who would like to share the reasons for why they chose a particular game and whether or not they thought the right games made both the longlist and the shortlist. Do please leave comments at the end of this post and let everyone hear your opinions. You can post comments anonymously if you wish to.

May 082012

This image was sourced from Martyn @ Negaro's Flickr photostream

Today I offer readers something a little different. A poll! The subject, “How many points should a match win score in a chess league?” I was prompted to put this up when I saw a recent article in the Halifax Courier by our friend and colleague Adrian Dawson of Halifax Chess Club who said this:

There may be a motion going forward to the forthcoming AGM that, instead of receiving 2 points for a win, a team may be awarded 3 points (like in football), which may be an interesting concept, as it may discourage the draw aspect of the game. If it had been in place this season Todmorden ‘A’ would be sitting at the top of Division one at this stage of the season. (In fact they would have won the championship had this rule been in place — Ed.) It often happens that the top boards tend to draw and the decision of the match hangs on the result of the bottom boards.”

Adrian goes on to encourage any and all players who are interested in this idea to attend the AGM and have their say in the debate.

Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from attending the AGM which is an important event in our local chess calendar. However, I know that there will be plenty of folks (not just at Hebden Bridge Chess Club) who have a view on this but won’t be able to attend the AGM. That’s why I’m running the poll below. The question is a simple one and I’d be interested in getting the views of all our readers and visitors whether they are from Calderdale or not. I’ve taken the liberty of adding in a third answer option as well the one Adrian has proposed. This highlights an alternate approach (used in Calderdale’s annual Team Lightning tournament) which would be to place teams based on their board results and not their match results. This rule change would certainly discourage draws on individual boards in league matches. If this third option had been in place this season then Huddersfield ‘A’ would have won the League 1 title by half a board point!

Please take part and register your opinion on this topic. If you’d like to leave a comment against this post as well to expand on your point of view then that would all be useful grist to the mill for the AGM to consider. If you aren’t a Calderdale player then maybe tell us how it works in your local league and whether or not you think your scoring system is fair.
[polldaddy poll=6207387]