Yorkshire AGM

Yorkshire AGM

The Yorkshire AGM will be held at the West Riding bar home of Leeds CCCC on Saturday 18 June.

Below you will find the agenda and last year’s minutes are on the website. http://yorkshirechess.org/agm-minutes-and-more/

The YCA are pleased to announce that Mike Truran, the CEO of the English Chess Federation will be attending the meeting on Saturday 18th June as our guest. For those unaware of Mike’s background; he took on the role of CEO earlier this season having held several positions within the ECF over the years, most recently as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He is also well known on the national chess scene as the head of the 4NCL for many years.

Obviously Mike will be taking questions from the floor; however he has asked for advance notice of what questions are likely to be asked. Therefore I would like to invite YCA members to submit their questions either to Ihor Lewyk or myself or even post them I nthe comments below. It is possible that we may be able to ask questions on behalf of non attendees and publish the answers; at the same time priority will be given to questions from those attending the meeting.

Obviously the English Chess Federation has experienced challenges dating back many years and there is still work to be done. While I’m sure many members will have robust questions to ask (and rightly so), at the same time Mike will have travelled some distance to attend the meeting and I hope the questioning will reflect that.



Agenda Yorkshire Chess Association AGM

West Riding Pub, Leeds, Saturday 18th June 1pm


1) Apologies for absence:

2) Minutes to AGM June 2015

3) Matters Arising

4) ECF CEO address

5) Officers’ Reports

President Secretary Treasurer Competitions Controller Match Captains Junior Chess Correspondence Chess Grading Officer NCCU Delegate ECF Delegate Website

6) Presentation of trophies

Woodhouse Cup: IM Brown:       Silver Rook:   Hardcastle Trophy: Avison Shield:                       Kitchen Memorial:

7) Election of Officers

President Deputy President      Secretary/Minutes Secretary           Year Book Editors    Website Editorial Team Treasurer and Registrations Secretary Competitions Controller Secretary for Junior Chess  Secretary for Correspondence Chess Grader Auditor Delegates to NCCU Delegate to ECF

8) County Captains

Open:  U180:  U160   U140: U120:  U100:


9) Amendements to rules and constitution


All fees must be paid in full by 31st May of the season. The AGM reserves the right to remove any CMs with outstanding fees from the league structure for the following season.

This change is cosmetic and intended to bring the rules in line with existing practice. There is currently no affiliation fee charged.



There haven’t been registration forms as long as I have been involved with the league. The rest of this rule is now covered by the new Rule A3



There shall be a maximum of twelve teams in each division with teams playing each other once in a round robin format. If there are fewer than eight teams in the lowest division then each team will play each other twice in a round robin format.

REASON FOR PROPOSAL; This has been existing practice for many years but has never been written into the rules. The key point is that it clarifies the point at which the lower division (presently the Silver Rook) becomes a double round event.



If there are fewer than eight teams in the lowest division then each team will play each other once in a round robin event accelerated across the first fixture dates of the season. After this is completed the division will be split into two according to the current placings with teams playing one further match against every team in their half of the draw. All game and match points will be carried across into the second part of the competition. At the end of the season the top two teams in the top half of the draw will be eligible for promotion under Rule A11. The teams in the bottom half of the competition will compete for a supplementary prize defined by the Controller at the start of the season.

If there is an odd numbers of teams the majority of teams will be in the top half of the draw.

All matches in the first part of the season must be completed by a date determined by the Controller at the start of the season.

The main practical problem is that the draw for the second part of the season won’t be known  until late February which could make booking of venues difficult. That said, by Christmas we will probably have an idea of how the season is shaping up and this might allow a sketch of how the second part of the competition may look. The exact round by round format will probably see the first stage run concurrent with the first seven rounds of the Woodhouse/ IM Brown and the second stage follow rounds 9,10 & 11.



If a captain declares he has insufficient players at his disposal and will have to default one or more boards, the opposing captain will nominate players from his team to claim the default. All defaults will be placed on the bottom boards and rules A17 and A18 will only apply to the played boards.

REASON FOR PROPOSAL The rules used to allow the opposing captain to choose the boards being defaulted; so if their boards 2&4 (for example) had opted to sit out the defaults could be placed on those boards. However after the coin toss rule was replaced this could potentially allow a team to organise their board order so they had four whites (in the coin toss era they could have ended up with four blacks). The rule change is fairly cosmetic but the anomaly was pointed out to me.



Mobile phones and other electronic devices should be switched off prior to the start of the match. If such a device makes a sound while the match is in play the player concerned shall be warned. If the device then sounds for a second time the opponent will have the right to claim the game. Dispensation from this rule can be agreed by the controller or by mutual agreement between the captains prior to the start of the match. The controller reserves the right to apply a more severe penalty for gross breaches of this rule.

REASON FOR PROPOSAL As many will be aware there was a dispute after a mobile phone rang during a game. I distinctly remember Stuart introducing a `two strikes` rule many years ago but neither he or I were able to trace it. The rule will always be a contentious one; there is no question that electronic devices should be turned off during play but at the same time there are reasons why a player might need to be contactable during a match and I know many players would prefer to enjoy a game of chess rather than winning the game on a technicality. I certainly don’t want the Yorkshire League to have an incident similar to one that happened in a county match some years back.



That a sub committee is set up to consider changes to the YCA constitution that will bring it into line with existing practice.`


10) Fees and subscriptions


11) Dates for calendar


12) ECF/NCCU proposals


13) Any Other Business

AG Sunderland competition



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.


14 Responses to “Yorkshire AGM”

  1. Adrian Dawson

    Jun 04. 2016

    I would like to ask the CEO of the English Chess Federation, the question I have been asking many times over a long period of time: “Who is the Publicity Officer for the Federation?”
    It seems to me that this position is very important. The ECF, quite rightly, complains about its lack of funding but if it does not publicise itself to the media, how on earth can the ECF expect to make our beloved game popular with the general public?
    We had a Publicity Officer, a Mr. Macklin, who I remember telling at an BCF AGM that if it wasn’t for the fact his name and post were not advertised in the BCF Yearbook, I would not have thought we had one. Surely there is somebody in the ECF who has contacts with the BBC or other media outlets!
    I will not be attending the AGM.

    Reply to this comment
  2. AMZ1981

    Jun 05. 2016

    Adrian – the current publicity officer is Mark Jordan who was appointed a few months ago and has already made considerable progress in terms of presentation; he is the one behind the E Newsletter you should have received and has also made the website and social media more interactive.

    Mark has also been active on the EC Forum and has shown himself willing to engage with members and discuss ideas constructively. He can be contacted via the list of officers Eric linked to above.

    Since becoming ECF President in 2014 Dominic Lawson has kept out of politics and concentrated in raising the profile of the game in the media.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Adrian Dawson

    Jun 07. 2016

    So eventually the ECF have got round to appointing a Publicity Officer. HURRAY! This is the problem with the ECF i.e it takes them so long to do the blindingly obvious and NO I have not received the ENewsletter, probably because I rfefuse to be a member of such an inept Federation. I have been an officer of said Federation; when Yorkshire left the then BCF I argued against the likes of Tony Miles and a group of drunken Yorkshire players that if we wanted to change the BCF, we should do it from within. I was the only voice who argued against coming out and lost. When it came to voting to return, I argued to stay out because we had acheived nothing except to have save a bit of brass (in the old Levy System). I lost that vote too because good old Yorkshireman, Angus Dunnington, argued in favour of retujrning because he could earn some “hard-earned” cash via the 4NCL. The weaker players like myself would simply stump up the Game Fee and receive nothing at all. The two BCF/ECF AGMs I attended had Robin Macklin as Publicity Officer, who did absolutely zilch! The last one I attended had nobody and the Meeting suggested that I do the job….. what a joke. So now you have a Mr. Mark Jordan, let us see how successful he is. I remember when Dominic Lawson stood for “President” and thinking, the other guy who was standing against him sounds better. I bet my boots that nothing changes under him. Isn’t he the son of a former Tory Chancellor? At least the title will sound good in his ears!

    Reply to this comment
  4. AMZ1981

    Jun 08. 2016

    Well obviously I’m not going to change your mind but some facts need correcting. Robin Mackley (not Macklin) has not been involved with the BCF/ ECF since around the turn of the century (in fact there’s very little evidence to suggest he’s still alive). The ECF has had other publicity officers in the interim – granted they didn’t achieve very much but sometimes with volunteer led organisations you do get what you pay for. Mark Jordan has only been in the post for a few months but the general impression so far is one of confidence.

    The ECF itself arguably reached its nadir around 2008 and has been making slow progress since. Dominic Lawson has won two terms as President and has never been opposed in any election – he is indeed the son of a former Tory Chancellor but also the brother of a famous TV Chef!

    As for what the average chess player gets out of the ECF, that is a fair question. I suppose the retort is what do they want out of the federation and are they prepared to stand up and ask for it?

    The reason Yorkshire has made such great strides as a County Association in recent years is that we are no longer holding interminable AGMs to discuss twenty year old disputes (the rest of the North haven’t moved on – the NCCU are still squabbling over whether Greater Manchester should be admitted forty years on, oblivious to how stupid it makes them look).

    If the game of chess is going to endure in the 21st century we need a national federation fit for the 21st century. That’s why I for one will look to the future, not to the past.

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jun 16. 2016

      The absolute baseline reason for the ECF is self esteem for chess in general. We’d look very, very silly/disorganised if we didn’t have a national body.

      We often manage to anyway of course!

      That all applies whether you regard the ECF as hopelessly disorganised or not – obviously huge problems at times, and it isn’t ever going to work wonderfully given its nature. Still not that bad I think.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Adrian Dawson

    Jun 14. 2016

    Until I see evidence to the contrarty I will stick to what I know and believe.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Adrian Dawson

    Jun 14. 2016

    Incidentalyy, AMZ1981, I presume the handle you give yourself suggest a certain Mr. Zigmund. It would be nice if you had the coutesy of giving your name like I and others who contribute to this debate do!

    Reply to this comment
  7. zorro

    Jun 14. 2016

    Adrian, I don’t mind Andrew using an alias, but there’s no need to brag about his bloody age!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Andrew Zigmond

    Jun 14. 2016

    Adrian; you are correct that AMZ1981 suggests Mr Zigmond (not Zigmund). To be fair I have been using that handle on here since the days (five years ago) when the forum was more widely used and most did so under some sort of pseudonym. Force of habit I suppose and I’ve used it to comment on Yorkshire League matters for some time without objection.

    I think we’ll just have to beg to differ on the ECF. I will continue to work with the national body and hopefully the day may come when you see the direct benefit.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Owen Robson

    Jun 17. 2016

    Re : the rule change about mobile phones.

    I still maintain that anyone’s mobile phone making any noise should allow the opponent to claim the game. Everyone knows they should be switched off, so why not do it? I don’t believe anyone would play chess if they knew that they could be called urgently.

    The main problem is that not only does a phone ringing disturb that players’ opponent, but everybody else in the room is inconvenienced as well. My opponent in my last game let it go off three times before switching it off, and the other players had to stop playing for about two minutes.

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jun 17. 2016

      That doesn’t sound fun!

      All phones entirely off isn’t *that* obvious in an evening league though – people like doctors/some other professions on call have very sound reasons to keep a phone on. People with sick children/relatives too perhaps.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Adrian Dawson

    Jun 19. 2016

    Re: mobile phones – set them to vibrate seems obvious tome if the owner has a necessity to repond to an emergency call. Re: ECF – we will see. I hope you are right Andrew because I believe in unity but having seen what I have seen in the past, I am not very optimistic. With my track record (I was once a BCF Officer, a President of the NCCU, etc, etc) I think it only fair that I need some proof. I would dearly like to see some positive publicity because that is the only route to the ECF obtaining more funding from the goverment, should they prove to deserve it. I also hope that before I die, chess will become a sport like it is in many other countries around the world.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Owen Robson

    Jun 20. 2016

    Re Mobiles

    This is my point. Would anyone play chess if there was a possibility that they may be required urgently? Would anyone play chess if on call?

    Reply to this comment

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