Minutes of HDCA General Committee Meeting

Tuesday 6th March at the White Hart, Holmfirth

1. Apologies Apologies received from John Newsome, Roger Keely, Bill Lumley [President]. Shane Inglis.

In attendance David Firth [treasurer], Edgar Priestley [Vice President], Peter Shaw [Netherton], Alec Ward [David Browns/ Vice President], Roger Tuddenham [Chartist/ Vice President], Mark Shelmerdine [Wakefield], Bruce Bendall [Brighouse], Robert Sutcliffe [Huddersfield].

Mr Peake thanked everyone for attending, and explained that the aim of this meeting was to bring members together to see how best to respond to challenging issues, overcome problems, seek people’s opinions/ views, improve organisation and make possible recommendations to the A.G.M. He noted that the powers of a General meeting did not allow changes to Constitution & Rules, but did allow recommendations to the A.G.M, and the setting up of Sub Committees if desired.

2. The two Huddersfield Dragon defaults.

In one of these defaults [ v Chartist] Huddersfield Dragons had failed to turn up without alerting the opposing Captain. This was not acceptable. The very same thing had happened in the 2005-6 season when the Huddersfield Dragons failed to turn up against the Huddersfield Rooks, on a date that had been arranged and booked by the Huddersfield Dragons’ captain, Nigel Hepworth.

Mr Shelmerdine said that Nigel Hepworth had tried to postpone the Dagons match v Wakefield at very short notice [8 days notice must be given], then stated that he would be bringing 4 players, but turned up with 6 players.

Mr Peake said that Nigel Hepworth had also postponed the match v Holme Valley at very short notice.

Mr Peake stated that Mr Hepworth had failed to meet the deadline for checking fixtures at the start of the season, which meant that fixtures had to be changed, republished at very short notice.

Mr Peake reported that Huddersfield Dragons had played an ineligible player v Netherton A.

Mr Hepworth had changed the dates for the Huddersfield Congress / Rapidplay several times, and leaflets had been published with incorrect dates. There were also incorrect dates on the Huddersfield website leading to confusion.

Mr Peake stated that the morality of any act is in its intent, and that no-one is suggesting that Mr Hepworth defaulted deliberately. Mr Peake noted Mr Hepworth’s fine work for Huddersfield Chess Club such as introducing a Huddersfield team in to the Calderdale league, starting the congresses and Rapidplays, starting a junior chess club, adding a new handicap team [Dragons] and his fine work on the Huddersfield Chess Club website. They were all done with the interests of chess. However when Mr Hepworth’s job had changed he had encountered difficult demands upon his time.

Mr Tuddenham said that he himself had once forgotten about a match.

Mr Peake said that he welcomed new teams entering the league, {especially those with young players, and pointed to the success of the new Wakefield team} but only if they were able to fulfil their fixtures.

Mr Hepworth had sent emails accepting full responsibility for the defaults, and apologised unreservedly to all who had been upset by the default, and hoped that no lasting damage had been caused.

Mr Sutcliffe stressed the importance of team captains, whose role was vital to the smooth running of the league. They had to take responsibility for turning a full team out and fulfilling fixtures, and hopefully this would be recognised and the captains strongly supported by colleagues {vice captains?}.

It was pointed out that Mr Peake sent emails every week with up to date results / tables etc and reminders of the following week’s program.

It was noted that there was, at present, no appropriate “punishment” for such defaults,. The recommendation to the AGM was firstly to deduct a point from the offending team, though this would have no effect in a Team KO match, secondly to ask Clubs to take care in their choice of Captains, and ensure that they were well supported {vice captains?}, thirdly to provide full telephone and mobile contact details of Captains, Vice-Captains before the start of the season to improve communication, fourthly to ask Captains to sort out teams the week before or as early as possible, - telephoning the night before a match is very poor practice [unless a player has dropped out at the last minute], and fifthly to ensure that as many members as possible add their email address to Mr Peake’s chess distribution list, and are aware of Mr Peake’s website.

Mr Peake was sad to report that Netherton B had defaulted the night before against Brighouse in the Team KO without alerting their opponents.

Mr Sutcliffe reported that Mr Hepworth had resigned as Huddersfield secretary with immediate effect.

3. Other defaults

Mr Peake supplied a list showing the defaults in the HDCA leagues. He reported that the HDCA compared unfavourably with the Calderdale league. In this league, NO matches had been defaulted. The Calderdale league had 3 individual defaults in the 1st div, one in the second division. In the HDCA leagues 8 matches had been defaulted [2 without informing opponents], and there had been 12 individual defaults.

Bruce Bendall explained there were differences between the HDCA and Calderdale leagues such as only 5 boards and everyone played the same night. There were greater traveling distances involved and people were very careful about match fixtures. Mr Bendall explained Brighouse’s two defaults by pointing out that Brighouse had a Calderdale match those weeks and he had simply been unable to raise a team, as members did not want to play two matches in one week.

The pool of players available to Netherton had shrunk this season. They had defaulted a Yorkshire league game because of lack of players available. When Netherton A had a match on the same date as the B team, players had occasionally been taken from the B team to fill the A team. This had caused the B team to default.

Individual defaults

Known defaults before the match - These should be on board 6 [5] NOT on higher boards, and the opposing team should be contacted as early as possible if unable to take a full team. It was hoped that if the other team did not have a full team as well this would be disclosed.

4. Future Fixtures

Mr Peake asked if there were any problems with the fixtures format, pointing out that the Calderdale league went on until the 16th April. HDCA finished mid March. Were any changes needed ?

It was agreed to keep the current format, but Mr Shelmerdine requested that we avoid matches in the Valentine’s week.

Mr Peake explained there was a problem with the Huddersfield Lindley venue. In many weeks the venue was unavailable which caused a fixture headache, and caused many Huddersfield home games to be switched to away games. Also it was not possible to book the venue post Xmas until the new year.

5. Constitution & Rules

Mr Peake presented a document of the Constitution & Rules with his notes raising various issues.

Constitution 8 Attendance and voting at General Committee meeting not clear.

Constitution 11 Need to make clear that “General meeting” does not include General Committee meeting.


(B) Player Registration

It was felt that players above 150 grade should have to play a minimum of two league games to be eligible for play-off games.

Two or more teams in the Scratch. Mr Peake suggested that if a player has played on the top four boards for the A team he should not be eligible to play for the B team [this rule is used in Yorkshire matches]. Also the reverse - a player who has played for the B team would then not be eligible for the first four boards of the A team.

(E) Match Rules

Matches seemed to be starting later and later [most after 7:40 pm]. It was pointed out that clocks could be started at 7:30 pm. Mr Priestley observed that at 7:35 pm he did the toss for colours and started clocks when he was arbiter in the Individual KO. Mr Peake favoured a start time for clocks being recommended to members such as 7:35pm, 7:40 pm or 7:45 pm, with the away side being deemed to have lost the toss. Mr Tuddenham said that a start time after 7:30 pm encouraged lateness.

If the home side were not ready to start by the recommended time, [clocks not available to be started] then time could be deducted from their clocks when the game was eventually ready to start. It was noted that Dewsbury were unable to use their venue until 7:30 pm. Mr Sutcliffe did not think there was problem with the start of matches.

{F} Ineligible / unregistered players

In one match an incorrect rating had been entered. After discussion of the implications of this [possible wrong points start, possibly leading to wrong result, players mistakenly agreeing draws/ playing on for wins ] it was agreed to recommend to the AGM that it was the individual captain’s responsibility to ensure correct ratings for his team. Failing this, the errors to be corrected and a one point deduction applied to the offending team. Note that the wrong board order rule could also apply here.

Mistake in the rating adjustment calculation [this had not happened so far this season]. It is the responsibility of BOTH captains to ensure the rating adjustment calculation is correct. It was felt that if a mistake was made on the night [by both captains] the result should stand.

Points added up incorrectly [Chartist v Brighouse, both teams went away from the match believing that Brighouse had won the match when, in fact it was a draw] What if ratings and rating adjustments were correct, but the points score had been added up incorrectly ? The committee were divided on this, some believing that the score should simply be corrected, others believing the result on the night should stand.

[K}Rules applicable to Individual KO

Mr Peake pointed out rules 5 and 6 repeated themselves and should be re-worded.

6. The future of the HDCA

There was a short discussion of the decline of chess. Netherton used to have 6 teams, for example. Mr Shaw remarked that it was a similar story with Yorkshire teams. This could be related to the rise of computer chess, rise of on-line internet chess/ email chess, transport costs, lack of time, late finishing, demands of family life. There was a decline of “normal” league chess, though Rapidplay events seemed to be on the increase. Publicity was needed for chess in general, and local chess in particular.

7. HDCA Rapidplay

Mr Peake said that this would be held on Saturday 5th May 2007 at West Bretton Institute {for the FW Brown trophy}, and gave out leaflets.

8. A.O.B

Mr Peake reminded members of the 7:15 pm start in the Rapidplay Finals, Wed 14th March at West Bretton Institute.

The David Woodhead Trophy

Barry Brian wrote about his proposed David Woodhead Trophy.


Having the Dave Woodhead trophy hand made. Would ask that I am consulted before any decision made on this. Dave felt strongly that players with a grade of his level, varying between 90 and 110, got treated as second class citizens and the number of games available for them was reducing and reducing. I agree and this is why we both started to play in other midweek leagues.

I suggest as a possibility some competition where all or a certain number of the team are below say 110 or 100 grade.

Look at the number of players in the league with a grade below 110 . It is very high.

Dave felt possibly sides should play each other more than once as in the Doncaster league and that the Individual Trophy should be revamped and tightened up in two areas. Firstly players entering should be available to play on the dates predetermined before they enter. My experience over the last 3 years makes me agree he is right. Secondly he felt the gradings for the Sections should be reviewed as there is a large entry in the middle and few in the top and virtually nobody in the bottom.

I mention these various points as I know you have a meeting tonight.

Barry Brian

At the moment Section 1 is Above 125 grade. Section 2 75-125. Section 3 Below 75 grade

Mr Peake felt that we should look at these bands as a 50 gap in Section 2 is too wide. Mr Priestley remarked that they were started before grading came into being and used to stand for strong players, intermediate players, weaker players / beginners.

Mr Peake suggested the bands be amended to

135+ [the top section could also be made “open” if players below 135 wished to play in the top section].

110-134 Section IIa,

85 - 109 Section IIb [The David Woodhead trophy]

Players below 85 Section III.

This would give a 25 gap instead of 50.

The treasurer David Firth suggested that we should not collect fees next season, but just have one registration fee, as we had money in hand on the account. This did not receive much support. Members were more interested in spending money to promote chess in some way.

It was decided that we should look into ways to use any spare money to promote chess in the Huddersfield & District area.

Mr Peake was pleased that the attendance at the meeting was excellent, and thanked everyone for attending.