Sheffield Chess Teams in the Yorkshire League

Below are the details of Sheffield's team captains. In general they are always looking for more Sheffield players to join the squads. If you would like to play Saturday chess get in touch with them today.

Home matches are played at Woodseats Working Mens Club, The Dale, Woodseats S8 0PS

Sheffield A: Jeremy Hamm;Tel: O114 275 5934: jeremyhamm(at)

Sheffield B: Andrew Hards; O7772 547 496; ahards(at); 

Sheffield C: Barry Williams; Tel: O114 251 3298; email: b1952williams(at)

Sheffield D: Pete Willoughby; Tel: O1246 769 511; pete1willoughby(at)

Fixtures/Results: Division 1Division 2; Division 3

Sheffield teams doing well in Yorkshire League
(Mid-season report by Jeremy Hamm)

To now at least, it’s been a very good year for Sheffield in the Yorkshire League. See below for the latest on the A team dramas. Earlier in the season, it looked like the B team – also in the first division, with Andrew Hards only taking on the captaincy just a week before the first match – were dead and buried. With an 8-0 default against York A at the start of the season, followed by two more defeats, it wasn’t the easiest of starts! But fortunes started to change in December as they drew with front-runners Bradford A. Then after Christmas, they hammered Alwoodley 7-1 and beat Rose Forgrove 6-2 – their latest victims on 25th February were Harrogate A (5-3 was the scoreline). So already, the B team have almost certainly reached safety: and perhaps we haven’t seen the last of their points.

Sheffield C, under the steady hand of captain Barry Williams, are also doing well in the second division. They’re currently lying third, with 5 wins and 3 losses. (I presume the consensus is that they don’t want to be doing any better than this – we’d struggle to support 3 teams in the Woodhouse…)

And Pete Willoughby’s D team – newly promoted from the I M Brown - are doing magnificently in the same division, winning 3 matches and losing 5. I assume a win against bottom-placed Dewsbury on 25th March will secure them safety, even if York B and Calderdale B are tougher propositions.

Sheffield A: quest for the championship!
Right now, at least until 25th March when the next matches are due, the tension at the top of the first division of the Yorkshire League (the Woodhouse Cup) could hardly be greater. Sheffield A and York A are poised on the same number of match points (each team having lost just one game and won all the others), with York ahead by one game point:

Yorkshire League Division One : 2016 / 2017

 Team   P   W   D   L   F   Def   Pts 
York RI A 8 7 0 1 46½ 0 14
Sheffield A 8 7 0 1 45½ 0 14
Bradford A 8 4 3 1 37½ 0 11
Leeds CCCC A 8 4 2 2 32½ 0 10
Hull DCA A 8 3 3 2 32 0 9
Calderdale A 8 4 0 4 34 0 8
Sheffield B 8 3 2 3 31½ 0 8
Rose Forgrove A 8 3 2 3 31 0 8
York RI C 8 2 1 5 27½ 0 5
Huddersfield 8 2 1 5 25½ 0 5
Harrogate A 8 1 1 6 22½ 0 3
Alwoodley A 8 0 1 7 18 0 1

A few weeks ago, it looked like York A were cruising – we (Sheffield A) had lost to Bradford A in early October and York were racking up the points with big wins. But we were also starting to notch up some good wins, including 6-2 against old rivals Calderdale. And then came the York-Sheffield match on 4th February. We had a good team but York outgraded us, even though they weren’t of last year’s strength. As the afternoon wore on, it looked like the match would go to form: while Rob on board 5 had drawn with Dave Adams (York!), the only real bright spots for Sheffield were the games of Oskar on board 3, who was beating Chris Ross in a Kings Indian (see game below), and Deji on board 6, who was up in his game against Gavyn Cooper. Maybe too pessimistic but it looked to me like we were struggling on all the other boards. I’d seen it all before – this didn’t end well! 

But somehow we stayed in the match. By the last half hour of the 4 hour session, positions were improving radically and the wins started rolling in: Oskar first, then Andrew, Jon, Martin and Deji. 6-2 was the final score, an astonishing turn-around for us:

Match Card
Yorkshire League Division One
      York RI A   2 6 Sheffield A      
233 Richard J D Palliser B 0 1 Andrew Ledger 228
206 M Paul Townsend W 0 1 Jonathan Nelson 207
214 Chris N Ross B 0 1 Oskar Hackner 205
192 Detlef Plump W 1 0 Paul Cumbers 194
192 David M Adams B ½ ½ Rob Woodford 185
190 Gavyn Cooper W 0 1 Deji Jeje 187
179 Martin Carpenter B ½ ½ Michael D Johnson 177
189 Jim W R Nicholson W 0 1 D Martin Howard 172

The very latest: following a 7-1 win against York C on 25th February, the position now is that York A are effectively just half a game point ahead of us - technically, it’s one game point: but if the teams tie, Sheffield win the championship because of the outcome of the individual encounter. In our favour is the fact that at least on paper we have the easier run-in for the remaining three matches (eg York still have to play Bradford). But it’s incredibly tight.
Above are two of our wins from the York-Sheffield match: a smooth performance from Oskar and a resolute defensive effort from Martin that led to an eventual blunder from opponent Jim Nicholson.

And here is Jon Nelson’s entertaining game from the 25th February York C match:

Jeremy Hamm

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