S&DCA Newsletter

There is a S&DCA Newsletter, emailed approximately monthly, associated with this website. If you wish to receive it , email the message "Please add my name and email address to the S&DCA Newsletter email list", to brianlever33(at)hotmail.com

(You may not have got the June and later newsletters, having previously been a recipient, if you've not done this.)

Hope Valley Tournament - Monday Evening 28th May 2018

Report by Bill Ward:

After John Fryer stepped down last year from presenting this long loved, iconic tournament, it seemed a real shame to let this occasion  pass into history, and with this in mind I volunteered to take it over. I am indebted to my old friend (and 'Ashleigh Boy!) Nigel Carpino, who had agreed to take on the onerous task of doing the pairings, a real challenge in the chaotic atmosphere of the Hope Valley!

With the tournament scheduled for a Bank Holiday, and possibly not enough pre-event publicity, I was a little concerned that we might be short of numbers, but thankfully a healthy turnout of eighteen players ensured quantity, and a few of Sheffield's elite also gave us quality.

As is tradition, the tournament started with a seven round Swiss, after which the standings were:

6 points: A.Ledger        5: D.Jeje, J.Nelson, P.Fjetcher, X-Y Guo             4.5: M.Allison           4: P.Hempson, J.Mercy, G.Fletcher

3.5: C.Shephard           3: M.Mullin, S.Lee, C.Willey, P.Sharpe, A.Allen   2.5: P.Cheshire         1: N.Holroyd-Doveton   0: T.Moore

At this stage, we were able to award the U120 prize, £5 which went to Michael Mullin 

We then had to determine the 4 semi-Finalists, which would be Andrew Ledger,(6/7) and three of the four players on 5/7. After applying 'sum of opponents scores' as the tie break (and having to work to two decimal places!) it was determined that Xi-Yang Guo would be the unlucky player to drop out, and the Semi-Finals were:

A.Ledger 1-0 P.Fletcher            and           D.Jeje  1-0 J.Nelson

The 3rd/4th play-off between Jon and Paul was won by Paul Fletcher, who collected £5

The FINAL was an absolutely THRILLING  match which was won by Deje , after Andrew's clock ran out, with literally ONE SECOND  on Deje's clock!!

Andrew Ledger collected the Runner-up prize of £15, while Deje Jeje deservedly took away £26 and the Champion's famous trophy!

My thanks again to Nigel, and also to Pam, who laid on yet another of her SPLENDIFEROUS buffets! but mainly to all the players who turned out and turned up to make the whole event such a memorable success! Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!!

Bill Ward  

The Decision!

Beyond Chessnuts

The Special General Meeting went ahead as planned on Monday, 21st May. About 25 S&DCA players attended, of whom 21 had a voting right either for their club or as an officer. 4 clubs, SASCA, University, Rotherham and Sheffield Deaf, were not represented.
Quite a number of issues were raised and not clearly resolved on the night, but the proposal was passed unanimously (21 for/0 against), that S&DCA send league and cup match results to ECF for grading.
Concerns included:
  • whether this meant we were "joining" ECF;
  • who would pass results to ECF: would we use the ECF's League Management System (for match results and league tables) and who would enter the results;
  • whether there could be a separate section of Sheffield Chess (similar to the 400 league) where club players who didn't want to join/pay ECF could continue to play match chess;
  • how would we cope with the interim period, during which some players had to achieve enough results to get an ECF-calculated grade?
Several speakers re-emphasised that ECF is a much improved organisation doing far more these days for ordinary players, so it's important to recognise that membership fees we would be paying are not simply sucked into a black hole for the luxury of a few, a perception of the past. (See link "What the ECF does" below.)
General Secretary Dave Latham has now contacted ECF to inform them of our wish, resolve some of the above questions and discuss the implementation of the decision, and hopefully these and other matters will be clarified in the coming days.

Dave also emphasises: If you are new to ECF and plan to join in readiness for the 2018-19 season, don't rush!! At the moment the ECF website only allows you to join for the current year Sept 2017- Aug 18, which is rather pointless as you will be paying £16 for very few benefits. Wait until at least August when the system will be set up for you to join for the 2018-19 season. In fact you don't have to join before September; any time over the winter season will do, but joining in Aug/Sept will mean you receive all the ECF newsletters, etc. your membership entitles you to.

Clay Cross CC departs S&DCA

Clay Cross Chess Club announce that they will regretfully withdraw their team from Sheffield League Division 3 for the 2018-19 season.

The club’s landmark AGM, where its 40th vibrant* year was appreciated, at the same time discussed difficulties in 2018-19 which led to several defaulted boards in away matches, and a postponed match. The club has always prided itself on fulfilling its league and cup commitments with full squads, but 2017-18 saw a sad failure to maintain its own standards. The main problem is not always so much a shortage of players - though this is becoming an issue, too - but the lack of two regular willing drivers who can transport teams of 6.

The possibility of entering a 4-board team was considered, but some of the players involved, strong enough to finish 3rd in Division 3 last season, would not expect to be welcome or accepted to either Division 5 or the 400 League.

*While experiencing the same aging demographic as many other clubs, and inability to attract new blood, Clay Cross is not yet teetering on the brink of total collapse! Clay Cross “A” will compete for its 4th successive year in the top flight of Derby and District League, and Clay Cross “B” won promotion to Division 2 of the same organisation in 2018. 2018-19 will see the club put a 3rd team into “Derbyshire”.

So why Derbyshire rather than Sheffield? 
The answer lies in travel arrangements and team sizes, of course. Being ½ way between the two cities, all away matches involve whole-team organisation of transport. It's 52 miles to Barnsley and 60 miles to Lichfield! In these difficult times Derbyshire wins because all matches are 4-board, often one-car affairs.
Many know that Clay Cross has been an advocate of smaller Sheffield teams for some years, and has proposed or supported proposals for reductions from 8 to 6 boards in Sheffield Division 1, and an extension of the 4-board option from Division 5 upwards. If the latter proposal had succeeded at last season’s AGM, Clay Cross would probably have been able to continue in Sheffield League. (But history is history!)   (BL)

Data Protection & Privacy Policy

Sheffield & District Chess Association collects and displays some personal information on this web site, namely the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of the associations officers, club secretaries, captains and other club officers, in order to facilitate the running of the activities of the S&DCA . Similar data is also collected and stored in email contact lists, of anyone who wishes to receive Sheffield & District Chess Association newsletters or bulletins.

Soon after 25th May 2018 (when the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 came into force) all such personal information will be removed from this site and the contact lists, except that of those whose information it is having expressed consent for the information to continue to be used for the purposes intended. Personal information will only be replaced on, or added to the website or contact lists after the individuals concerned have given their consent by emailing the webmaster whose email address is at the top of this page.

Except by using the personal information as above stated, no such data will be passed to any third parties.

The association's full Data Protection & Privacy Policy can be found here: http://sheffieldchess.btck.co.uk/RulesLawsConductetc/PrivacyPolicy

Where have all the juniors gone?

The page Sheffield Central Chess Club : How do we rejuvenate S&DCA? was started 18 months ago as a focus for significant interest in the problem of declining numbers of young newcomers to the Sheffield chess scene.

As the title of the web page implies a proposal was "kicked around" involving the concept of a chess venue separate from our league clubs, devoted to attracting and developing the skills of new, particularly younger people to the game. For a short time it seemed that such a flagship might be launched, but alas no skipper, no helmsperson, no crew materialised.

Almost two seasons later the issues relating to an aging and disappearing chess community have not been addressed. Will chess in Sheffield just continue to dwindle away?

In January this year a brief flurry of thoughts were added (in blue) to the same web page, in which Phill Beckett, Deputy National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator and Safeguarding Officer at ECF, reiterated the fundamental requirement for all chess development: "The situation in several areas of the country is different with vibrant schools chess leagues.The Key is staff involvement! (or parental)". The initiative and driving force don't necessarily have to arise in schools, of course, so perhaps we should add "or anybody keen and willing to do it tirelessly". Therein, surely, lies the rub. Andy Mort recently asked an old friend, Phil Adams, who is in Andy's words "the dynamo behind the most successful junior chess club in the country", the 3Cs in Oldham, for "a few key principles you could outline which might release the phoenix from the ashes". Phil's reply is copied to the top of the discussion page.


S&DCA Newsletter

There is a S&DCA Newsletter, emailed approximately monthly, associated with this website. If you wish to receive it, email the message "Please add my name and email address to the S&DCA Newsletter email list", to brianlever33(at)hotmail.com

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