There was little change at the top with York RI A defeating Rose Forgrove A 5.5-2.5 and Sheffield A seeing off Calderdale A 6-2. Leeds CCCC A confidently dispatched Huddersfield to move up to third while Bradford A defeated Harrogate A 7-1 to take fourth. Sheffield B won big 7-1 against Alwoodley A to score their first victory and move out of the relegation zone at the expense of Harrogate A who are level with York RI C (who lost narrowly to Hull DCA A) but lag on game points.
Bradford Central took a perfect 8-0 against Bradford B to extend their lead at the top of the table. York RI B swept away Hull DCA B 7-1 but still fell a point behind in the game point battle. Wakefield A move third after edging out Sheffield C 4.5-3.5 but are three points adrift of the unbeaten top two. At the lower end Pontefract scored their first win against Dewsbury and engineer a straight swap in the relegation zone.
There was just one result in the Silver Rook; York RI D winning 6-2 against Wakefield B. Doncaster remain top with York RI D second.
On 4th February (cue drum roll) we have the biggie! York RI A host Sheffield A. Looking at the stats a win for York RI A would leave them in a strong position at the top of the table while a draw would keep the parity with four to play. Sheffield A’s path to the top of the table is less certain as they would need to win 7-1 to overturn the game point deficit but a victory by any score would lead to a nip tuck for game points in the final third. Elsewhere Leeds CCCC A vs Bradford might decide third place while Harrogate A vs York RI C will have a big bearing on the relegation battle. Finally with Huddersfield’s form this season their match against Calderdale A will be interesting.
The IM Brown is quieter in the next round although Bradford Central meet third placed Wakefield A. In the Silver Rook West Leeds have a reputation for being dark horses so look out for their match against York RI D.
With the 4NCL new year Congress in Harrogate over the focus turns to Doncaster Congress on the 17th-19th February. Doncaster has the interesting distinction of being the biggest congress in the country (one of the six biggest overall) which is NOT the biggest in its county. Doncaster also lacks a web presence but info is available on the ECF calendar and entry forms should be available locally.
The 4NCL have announced a congress in Wakefield in April. More details will follow nearer the time but can be found on their website.
The ECF have recently announced two consultation papers which seek to address issues that have been festering for too long. The most important one puts forward reforms to ECF Council that will either give direct members a greater influence or potentially replace council with One Member One Vote. Three different proposals have been put forward, all of which have advantages and drawbacks and the April Finance Council will vote on which option or options they will pursue.
I won’t dissect each proposal here but in April the YCA and other affiliation Yorkshire organisations within council will be casting YOUR votes so it is important that we know your views so we can represent them. ECF members should also contact their direct membership representative depending on their grade of membership. There is also an official ECF email for comments and replies to the board regarding consultation.
Gold Rob Thompson email@example.com
Silver Michael Farthing firstname.lastname@example.org
BRONZE Angus French email@example.com
The second paper concerns the British Championship and an overhaul of the qualification system that has led to a weak and much criticised `tail` at the end of the large swiss. This is perhaps of less relevance to those players such as myself who would be lucky to last ten moves against the `tail` but will affect county champion standard players. Again there is an official email for replies.
Report by Andrew Zigmond