AGM – Minutes and more

Minutes to Yorkshire Chess Association AGM

West Riding Pub, Leeds, Saturday 20th June 1pm

1) Attendees:

R White, A Zigmond, I Lewyk, S Burton, J Hamm, B Pinder, J Burnett, S Mann, D Hirst, M Round, P Clarke, P Shaw

2) Apologies for absence:

P Gelder, D Mills, P Cloudsdale, P Beckett, J Griffith, A Hards

3) Minutes to AGM June 2014

The Minutes to the June 2014 AGM were read and approved with no matters arising.

4) Officers’ Reports

President’s – report

I find Yorkshrie chess is in a strange position at the moment. A number of organisers are leaving roles for various reasons and they are not being readily replaced. Yet the county chess scene is as vibrant as ever and we have a programme that should suit everyone but not enough organisers to implement them.

After the success of our Open and U160 teams in the county championships last season we were eager to see if either team could repeat this success. The open team have reached the national final again but he U160 had a huge win over their quarter final reversed over an infringement. It seems Yorkshire ended up being penalised harsher than the infringement warrants. It caused outrage from the committee and captains alike and we need to take a long hard look to see if we have the appettite to continue taking part in the county championships in future.

The Saturday league programme has been exciting again this season with healthy competition in all divisions. The only down side is that there have been an increase in the number of defaulted matches.

Its not all doom and gloom. Yorkshire based teams have had success in 4NCL, especially White Rose who again qualified for the European Club Cup but also managed to ge their second team promoted to the top flight for the first time. I’ve touched on the success of the county teams we are running but we have also dominated the national correspondence chess scene. The website has once again been a terrific source of news and information.

We will once again be running a Champions Challenge for the top local club teams in Yorkshire. I hope you can support this event.

I think the main tasks for the committee this coming year is to prioritise what we can achieve and to keep a positive outlook.

Secretary – report submitted

R White thanked Peter Mason and David Hirst for their assistance in arranging thw venue for the AGM and Jeremy Hamm for his work in editing the Year Book.

Having given notice of his intention to stand down as Secretary Richard thanked all club officials and committee members for their support over the past six years. Personal highlights of Richard’s time on the YCA Committee included initiatives including the Champions Challenge and Bradford “Chesstival,” reaching the semi-final of the County Championships in 2011 with the U120 team and the revival of the Avision Shield Correspondence Chess competition, with two Harrogate teams participating in the inaugural five-team league.

The meeting thanked Richard for his contribution to Yorkshire chess.


The accounts were circulated in advance of and at the meeting and will be published on the website once audited.

S Burton stated that the Year Book costs had not been included and R White provided details after the meeting.

Competitions Controller – report submitted

A Zigmond noted that following the exciting conclusion to the previous season the 2014-2015 edition was also keenly contested. Sheffield A came through to win the Woodhouse Cup, boosted by York RI A’s shock defeat at the hands of Sheffield D. In the lower divisions two of the relegated teams from the previous season Bradford Central and Harrogate C bounced back to win the IM Brown and Silver Rook divisions respectively. It is worth noting that the IM Brown competition celebrated its centenary year in 2014.

Regretably there were seven defaulted matches across the three divisions. Whilst most were due to operational issues one of these concessions arose from the travelling team feeling that the home team’s venue was unsuitable for junior players. The AG Sunderland competition was not staged during the 2014-2015 season owing to limited take up the previous season and other commitents.

Following discussions arising from the match between Sheffield A and Calderdale A proposals were submitted to the AGM to resolve any ambiguities around the determination of board order (see Section 8).

Andrew also outlined the challenges facing the Competitions Controller in scheduling YCA matches owing to the congestion of the chess calendar. A number of requests are received to avoid schedule clashes with various local and regional congresses, national competitions and club events. The concensus at the meeting was that the Competitions Controller cannot be expected to guarantee that no YCA rounds are scheduled to coincide with club or regional events, however, discretion can be exercised in allowing impacted teams to play the corresponding fixtures on an alternative date.

Match Captains

Having secured the NCCU title the Open team have reached the County Championship Final, where they will take on Kent.

The U160 team exited the County Championships in contentious circumstances, seeing a comprehensive Quarter Final victory over Warwickshire overturned following a board order infringement. An unsuccessful appeal against the ruling was lodged, although the panel acknowledged that the penalty applied against Yorkshire had been excessively harsh.

Following criticism of the ruling a number of YCA members the call for a boycott of the ECF County Championships was discussed. The Meeting felt that a mandated withdrawal from the County Championships would hinder attempts to influence and improve the workings of the County Championships and the ECF and would not be compatible with the YCA’s objective “to encourage and foster the playing of chess.”

Junior Chess:

I Lewyk to contact John Hipshon (Yorkshire Junior Chess Association) for an update on junior chess developments.

Correspondence Chess - report submitted

Yorkshire continues to have a varied and well supported series of events winners are as follows

Individual Kitchin Memorial Shane Frith (Sheffield)

Avison Shield Yorkshire Puddings

Chess 960 Mel Suffield

Yorkshire were runners up in the British Team Final and managed to won the Ward-Higgs County Championship with Yorkshire A first and Yorkshire B team second. The Yorkshire third team managed won the second division but declined promotion.

Yorkshire also defeated Cumbria to retain the 2014 NCCU title.

Correspondence chess continue to thrive but new players are always welcome!

Grading Officer - report to be submitted

NCCU Delegate

The last NCCU meeting was attended by Rupert Jones on behalf of the YCA. Some dissatisfaction with the County Chess Championships from other counties was noted in addition to Yorkshire.

I Lewyk commented that Bradford have entered the NCCU Club Championships including the Seniors event with some success, however entries remain very low.

ECF Delegate

I Lewyk pointed out that a number of eligible organisations in Yorkshire e.g. congresses are not taking advantage of their voting capablitlies in ECF decision making process and called for a more cohesive approach to enable the county’s voice to be heard more effectively.


The website continues to provide an excellent source of information and stimulation for debate on chess matters. Some concerns were raised with regard to administration including out of date rules and contact details and the AGM details not being provided. I Lewyk to feed back to the Website Editorial team.

5) Presentation of trophies

Woodhouse Cup:       Sheffield A

IM Brown:                  Bradford Central

Silver Rook:               Harrogate C

Hardcastle Trophy:    Richard White

Avison Shield:                        Yorkshire Puddings

Kitchen Memorial:    Shane Frith

6) Election of Officers

President:                                                       J Burnett

Deputy President                                           J Griffith

Secretary/Minutes Secretary                                   I Lewyk

Year Book Editors                                          J Hamm, J Griffith, I Lewyk

Website Editorial Team                                I Lewyk, A Bak, M Webb, D Shapland

Treasurer and Registrations Secretary:      S Burton

Competitions Controller                                A Zigmond

Secretary for Junior Chess                           Vacant

Secretary for Correspondence Chess:                     P Beckett

Grader:                                                           J Griffith

Auditor:                                                          S Watson

Delegates to NCCU:                                      I Lewyk, R Jones, J Burnett

Delegate to ECF                                             I Lewyk

7) County Captains

Open:  I Lewyk

U180:  Vacant

U160   R Jones

U140:  Vacant

U120:  Vacant

U100:  Vacant

8) Amendements to rules and constitution

  1. a) League Rule A12

Proposer: Andrew Hards   Seconder: Daniel Sullivan

Proposal to remove subsection (a) only of rule A12 – current text is given below:
A12 Ties

In the event of a tie (dual or multiple) in the places affecting either championship or promotion/relegation issues, the following tie-break procedures will be used: (a) The game points of the teams will decide. If this does not resolve the tie then: 1) With a dual tie, the individual match result between the teams concerned decides. 2) With a multiple tie, the game points gained in the matches between the tied teams shall decide. (b) If the teams are still tied then the Principal Officers shall, after consultation with the affected CMs, decide on a suitable tie break.
The proposal was rejected by at the meeting.

(b) League Rule A17 and new rule A18

Proposer: Andrew Zigmond Seconder:       Richard White Rule A 17 from:

Before the start of play the opposing captains shall exchange lists of their respective team members; arranged in order of playing strength. The list shall include the most recently published YCA Year Book grade. If unavailable another grade, for example ECF, ELO or YCA live grade shall be used. No player should play on a higher board than a player with a YCA grade that is greater by twenty or more points. If this occurs without an explanation being put forward this will be deemed a violation. If no explanation is put forward or the explanation is deemed unsatisfactory by the controller it will be deemed a violation. If a captain declares he has insufficient players at his disposal and so must default one or more boards, then the opposing captain may insist the lowest boards or boards are those defaulted. The penalty for any proven infringement of this rule shall be the loss of the board concerned, one game point being awarded to the opposing team. For this purpose any player considered to be stronger than a higher placed player shall be penalised.



At the start of each match captains shall exchange lists of their respective team members, arranged in order of playing strength determined by the grade issued by the YCA in July of the year in which the season commences. This grade will be recorded on the match card. A tolerance of up to twenty points will be allowed and grades in the relevant July list will be binding. The penalty for infringement of this rule will be the deduction of a game point .

New Rule A18 with all subsequent rules being renumbered.

“If a player is not graded in the relevant July list captains shall place that player in their team list according to their estimatedplaying strength. The penalty for any proven infringement of this rule shall be as defined in Rule A17. When considering whether this rule has been infringed the controller may consider information such as ECF grades and YCA live grades.”


The above proposals were carried at the meeting


Rule A6 – to add the following

In the event of a match being postponed the team requesting the postponement must agree a rescheduled date with the other team within two weeks of the original date of the match. If this is not possible they must provide a satisfactory explanation to the controller within two weeks together with a timescale within which they will be able to agree a suitable date. If the match is not rescheduled within two weeks and no satisfactory explanation is received the other team will be given the option of claiming the points.

The above proposal was carried at the meeting

10) Fees and subscriptions (unchanged)


CM affiliation                         £10 per club/association

League Entry                         £10 per team

Adult Player Registration      No charge ECF Members/ £2 per game non-ECF members

Junior Player registration     No charge ECF Members/ £2 per game non-ECF members

Sunderland Cup                    £7.50 per team plus £5 fee for non-affiliated clubs

County Board fee                   £4 waged/ £2 unwaged player. Petrol allowance 20p/mile

Kitchin Memorial                   £2 per player

Avison Shield                         £5 per team

11) Dates for calendar

1st/2nd August Champions Challenge

12th/13th September 4NCL Congress (Wakefield?)

19th/20th September Bradford Congress

26th/27th September Hull Congress

10th/11th October Harrogate Congress

24th/25th October Scarborough Congress

31st October/1st November British Rapidplay

7th November Hull Simultaneous

14th/15th November 4NCL

21st/22nd November Preston Congress

9th/10th January 4NCL Congress (Wetherby?)

16th/17th January 4NCL Div 3

23rd/24th January 4NCL Divs 1 & 2

30th/31st January York Rapidplay?

13th/14th February 4NCL

27th/28th February Doncaster Congress?

12th/13th March Blackpool Congress?

19th/20th March 4NCL

2nd/3rd April National Club Championship

12) League programme

Bradford Central and Alwoodley A promoted to the Woodhouse Cup competition

Sheffield B and Sheffield D relegated to IM Brown competition

Harrogate B and York RI promoted to IM Brown competition

Dewsbury and Sheffield F relegated to Silver Rook competition


Sheffield to rename Sheffield D as Sheffield B

Sheffield to rename Sheffield B as Sheffield C

Sheffield to rename Sheffiled E as Sheffield D

Sheffield to rename Sheffield F as Sheffield E

However, J Hamm advised that Sheffield are considering withdrawing one team from the IM Brown competition. Under current policy any vacancy in the IM Brown would be offered to the third placed team in the 2014/2015 Silver Rook Competition in the first instance (Harrogate C), followed by the highest ranked of the relegated IM Brown teams (Dewsbury) in the event promotion is declined. Sheffield to advise the Competitions Controller of their decision by the end of July.

The possibility of a return to the League by Scarborough Chess Club is unconfirmed and I Lewyk will follow up. In the event of a Sheffield team withdrawing and no new teams entering the League the Silver Rook division would revert to a double round all-play-all event.

A directive was presented to the AGM by M Round and carried at the meeting stating that there should be no obligation on the Competitions Controller to arrange fixtures in any particular order, for example with the specific intention of ensuring the leading contenders always meet at the end of the season. The directive is subject to Rule A13 which stipulates “In the event of a Constituent Member having more than one team in the same division they are to be paired against each other before Christmas” and other legitimate considerations such as the alternation of home and away fixtures and venue restrictions preventing clubs with multiple teams playing at home on the same day.

13) ECF/NCCU proposals

Concern was expressed at the meeting around the proposed ECF game fee increases as it was felt this would not encourage members to take part in ECF competitions.

A proposal is expected from within the NCCU for a return to the previous five grading bandings in the County Championships (Open, U175, U150, U125, U100). The reasoning behind the proposals was understood during discussion at the YCA AGM, however, no change to the present structure (six bandings) was advocated.

14) Any Other Business

  1. a) D Hirst outlined a vision to create a Yorkshire Chess Exhibition in Leeds in the summer of 2016, building on the success of the recent Bradford “Chesstival” events. The Meeting welcomed the initiative.
  2. b) The Yorkshire Individual Championships to be awarded by calendar year as follows:

2015    Bradford

2016    Leeds

The above noting that both Sheffield and Doncaster have been awarded the event in recent years and that the York Congress is not anticipated to return until at least 2017.


Meeting closed 16:45



Former Yorkshire Chess Association President and Secretary. I'm not the brains of the editorial team but I can live with being a glorified typist as well as the resident grammar pedant. I have captained Bradford A in the Woodhouse cup for over 30 years. I'm fairly easy going, sometimes diplomatic and I think my enthusiasm is infectious but not life threatening. The English chess world needs to wake up and smell the coffee before league chess collapses altogether.


7 Responses to “AGM – Minutes and more”

  1. Ihor Lewyk

    Jul 03. 2015

    We welcome Jim Burnett to the committee as our new figurehead and President. I’ve switched role to take over as secretary, which is something I’ve done before when we’ve been without a secretary. I’m certain Jim will be a great addition to the committee and he has a lot of experience as a player and organiser as well as being highly respected. Jim has always been a great supporter of Yorkshire chess.

    There were a few interesting discussions in the meeting and I can briefly touch on them here.
    Some of the rule proposals prompted discussion.
    I felt the rule proposal on the tie breaks would have been supported but for the omission of the game points as a second tie break after the head to head.

    There was a healthy discussion about ordering the team by grade. A tolerance of 20 points will be followed next season and I suggest if you are a captain and still in doubt about a couple of your players then you should consult with the competition controller well in advance.

    Postponements. If you ask for a postponement of a match you need to try and agree a date as soon as possible. You need to agree a suitable date within two weeks of the original scheduled match. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be played within 2 weeks of the postponement but the date needs to be agreed by then.

    I have agreed to put my name as contact and ensure the Open team at least plays a fixture against Lancashire in the NCCU. I will ask players then if they wish to continue to play in the ECF National stage of the county championship and if somebody is willing to run with it. There are a lot of vacancies in the county teams at various levels. If anybody is interested in helping to run any of the teams please get in touch. If nobody does then that particular team will not be running.

    So what can you do to help Yorkshire chess?
    If you are a captain or secretary of one of the teams playing in the Yorkshire leagues you need to confirm details for the yearbook as soon as possible and certainly by 20 July. Don’t leave it for someone else to do. Also if your club hasn’t decided on a captain yet because you haven’t had a meeting then let us know when you are likely to know or give us an alternative contact.

    I’m really excited about the possibility of running a Yorkshire Chesstival in Leeds. It takes a lot of planning to make it happen but if you are interested in taking part or volunteering your services in any way then we want to hear from you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jul 03. 2015

      Glad you filled the positions :) I’ll have to be careful where I play Gavyn next season it seems.

      One modest idea related to county chess – is there any reason we can’t play Greater Manchester in a 12/16 board friendly?

      Not an official match of course, but then we’re playing the NCCU qualifiers more for fun than anything else nowadays anyway. Maybe there isn’t space.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Martin Carpenter

    Jul 03. 2015

    Just looking at that calendar – don’t envy the Yorkshire league fitting in there!

    Have we lost September entirely or are we going for the first week?

    Reply to this comment
  3. Eric Gardiner

    Jul 04. 2015

    Thanks for the report Ihor. Yes, the calendar does look very healthy although the emergence of possible 4NCL Yorkshire congresses (which aren’t mentioned on the 4NCL website yet as far as I can see) are going to make clashes inevitable. There is also the Jorvik congress at the beginning of September – surprised Martin didn’t mention that :) !

    Reply to this comment
  4. Ihor Lewyk

    Jul 06. 2015

    Martin I would love to see Yorkshire play Greater Manchester in county competition. However, I have already mentioned how stretched the Yorkshire committee are, we don’t even have county captains for our teams.
    Once the new ECF ratings are published I will see if there is any potential for people to take over as county captains.
    Unless of course you are volunteering to captain said team and arrange a match?
    We really need volunteers to help the county run teams and run the association.
    In terms of the calendar, Andrew Zigmond has prepared a draft for the dates. He will look at the actual fixtures as soon as captains and secretaries reply to let us know what teams they are fielding.

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jul 06. 2015

      Could play for Manchester too you know ;)

      Hate to say it but I am a bit worried for bits of the county competition in general, let alone in Yorkshire. The open competition still has a huge history of course but its running horribly short of teams nowadays. U180’s a little short maybe too.

      The one thing I do think would be a mistake would be reading any active sentiment into the U160 ‘result’. That was principally people finding out that writing sensible rules is actually really very hard in practice :(

      Reply to this comment


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