Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Sheffield & District Chess Association, held on Tuesday 5th September 2017 at The Red Lion, 653 London Road, Sheffield S2 4HT, 7.30pm


1. Apologies for absence: Tony Perry (Doncaster AGM), John Mercy, Phill Beckett (both on holiday)

2. Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting were read and approved 

3. Matters arising: none. 

4. Treasurer's Report. John had sent copies of the accounts, which showed a balance of over £1900. President Geoff Frost expressed disappointment that most of the Sheffield captains hadn’t submitted accounts in time.

There were two potential clouds on the horizon: 1) the ECF situation, and whether any of the possible solutions will draw on our funds; 2) possible discontent from Woodseats Working Men’s Club, to the effect that they wanted home players to join as members. Jeremy will check out the lie of the land there: our treasurer had indicated he thought we should be good for £200. We also looked to buy more equipment for the Saturday teams, and settled on buying 3 clocks from Steve Mann, whose generosity in lending them thus far, is much appreciated. 

5. Secretaries' and captains’ Reports

Divisional:
(Phill Beckett).League Division 1 There were several close matches at the top, but Chesterfield emerged as worthy winners as they seemed to be able to field a more settled team than their rivals. At the bottom the three candidates were closely matched and Woodseats held their nerve in crucial matches and ended with a two point cushion over both Barnsley and D & H. As usual there were virtually no issues.

(Steve Bracey). League Division 2 Steve described a close struggle, “very competitive”, Worksop A winning, ahead of a tie between Rotherham A and Chesterfield B. The latter conceded after arranging a play off proved problematic. SASCA/RJ B and Barnsley B were relegated.
(Tony Perry). League Division 3 Runaway win for University, who had a very strong side. Worksop B headed the distant chasing pack, with Ecclesall C facing relegation alongside SASCA/RJ C, who folded. (Full text below.)
(Phill Beckett). League Division 4 A closely contested division with a play off for the second promotion place being necessary (eventually it did not happen as Barnsley went silent!). Sheffield Deaf and SASCA were well adrift at the bottom. A worry trend was the default of forty individual games. Few communication issues with some teams but results rolled in mainly on time.
(Tony Perry). League Division 5 Congrats to Ravenfield Bishops who won clearly. Worksop C were their nearest rivals.  (Full text below.)
(Phill Beckett). Richardson Cup and Plate The belated replay of the previous season took place over 4 boards (due to player availability and dates etc, but this was agreed by both teams). Nomads emerged as narrow winners. It was ironic that the same teams contested the final with a reversed result where some fighting chess was played. A well contested final of the plate saw Stannington edge out D&H by a narrow margin. Both finals were played at Woodseats venue and the usual excellent buffet was enjoyed by all
Summer League: Alan McIntosh reported that this had succeeded in its mission of providing chess for those who want to play through the Summer. He regretted that the rules had pushed him into reassigning two teams, resulting in one dropping out; also, there were a few mismatches. The three divisional titles went to SASCA , Clay Cross (both ahead of Chesterfield teams, and Woodseats Camelot ahead of Nomads.
400 league: Pete Willoughby reported that this had met its intention of providing an intro to competitive chess. Stannington (now to be Hillsborough) won a three horse race; we look to review rules to avoid dispute as best we may. Otherwise, lots of chess played and hopefully enjoyed by participants. He urged people to consider applying for an association team, so that if your club can’t find enough players of the requisite strength you can still play. So “not perfect but hopefully does a job”.
Woodhouse Cup: Jeremy Hamm reported on a thrilling season for Sheffield A, including an epic 5.5-2.5 victory over York. Very strong sides were put out, led regularly by Andrew Ledger, Jon Nelson and Oskar Hackner. A slip up early on was salvaged by that win v York, but we lost the title narrowly on tie break after a long string of victories. A very creditable 13 points secured by Sheffield B to finish in the top half of the table. Initial default and defeat was reversed and the team went on a fine run to come 5th. Already got a team for the first match of this year so better than at the same stage last season. Thanks to all who played.
Yorkshire Division Two. Our C team put in a performance described as “did very well considering the average strength of the side”, playing above their gradings against strong opposition and finishing 4th equal with 13 points.
The D team got a very good 9 points. Pete said that only the illness of two players stopped them equalling the C team’s points total. They did “fantastically well”, Pete saying that he was grateful for the support of the Clay Cross club. Pete steps down but said he was available to help the new captain.
Individual: 18 participants, a welcome increase. C Shephard won, taking the Bruce trophy yet again; K Marshall the Holroyd and G Ngandu the Shapiro. Thanks to all: it was easy to run.
(Phill Beckett). Correspondence teams As usual there was an immense amount of activity with Individual and team events taking place.
The Sheffield Individual event is closely contested
Teams from Stannington, Woodseats and Worksop played in the Avison Shield (teams of 4) but they were unable to match the reigning champions Yorkshire Puddings (who included Joe Primrose). Sheffield players played in the Yorkshire teams which won the Inter Counties event and were runners up this year
6. Election of Officers, Auditors, Archivist & Match Captains Elected as follows: President - Geoff Frost. Vice Presidents - as before - JL Coe, BH England, SJ Mann, KM Hogan, RS Hughes, A Perry, PG Swanson, PJ Beckett, JA Fryer, G Barnes, S Bessell, W Ward, GD Brown, CC Williams, J Hamm, M Brumby, A Hards, AS McIntosh, P Blackman. General Secretary - Dave Latham. Treasurer - John Mercy. Auditors - Geoff Brown, Steve Mann. Webmaster – Brian Lever, who was thanked for “an exceptional job”. Bulletins, Archivist: Steve Mann. Tournament Controller -Geoff Brown. University Supervisor: as far as we know, still Mark Kirkham. Divisional Secretaries: 1 . Phill Beckett. 2. Steve Bracey. 3 . Tony Perry. 4. -Phill Beckett. 5. Tony Perry. Summer League: Alan McIntosh. Team Captains: A – Jeremy Hamm. B – Andrew Hards. C – Barry Williams. D – Andrew Hards. Thanks to Pete Willoughby who stands down from the captain’s role. Postal – Phill Beckett. Steve Mann offered to organise the Crabb or Gurnhill if someone could offer venue and equipment; Bill Ward indicated he could do that. A volunteer for the Hope Valley? Geoff put it that effectively we have two weeks’ notice for people to come up with a package for the Fixtures meet.
7. Election of Chairman of the Executive: Andrew Hards
8. Election of members to serve on the Executive: Alan Taylor, Alan Coupe, Pete Swanson, Steve Mann.
9. Fixing of fees and subscriptions. To remain as before.
10. Proposed amendments to the Constitution & Rules – see below.
11. Approval of Clubs seeking membership to the league : none.
12. Organisation of teams into Divisions:
Div 1: Chesterfield A, Nomads A, SASCA/RJ A, Ecclesall A, Hillsborough A, Woodseats A, Barnsley A, Darnall & Handsworth A.
Div 2: Worksop A, Rotherham A, Chesterfield A, Nomads B, Hillsborough B, Ecclesall B, SASCA/RJ A, University A.
Div 3: Barnsley B, Worksop B, Clay Cross, Aughton A, Nomads C, Hillsborough C, Rotherham B, Woodseats B
Div 4: Barnsley C, Chesterfield C, Aughton B, Ecclesall C, Ecclesall D, Sheffield Deaf, Ravenfield A, Worksop C.
Div 5: Nomads D, Darnall & Handsworth B, SASCA /RJ C, Woodseats C, University B. Accepted under 10 “Proposed amendments”. 

Proposed amendments to the Constitution & Rules
Proposed (by Mike Smith): Rule 20 (b) to read: In all team matches, each player shall have 75 minutes in which to complete the game. MOTION CARRIED 

Proposed (by Brian Lever): Rule 20 (b) to read: In all team matches, each player shall have 90 minutes in which to complete the e game. Either team may claim the right to reduce this, in which case all players in the match shall have 75 minutes in which to complete the game. MOTION NOT CARRIED

Proposed (by Mike Smith, see 2 above) changes/new wording to: Rule 23 (LEAGUE POINTS, PROMOTION AND RELEGATION) :
(a) unchanged
(b) The team scoring most match points in each division shall be declared Champions; shall hold the appropriate trophy until the end of the following season; and shall be entitled to play in the next higher division in the following season unless disqualified under Rule15(e).
(c) The team scoring least match points in each division shall be relegated in the following season to the next lower division unless there is a vacancy in their present division, in which case it may be considered for re-election.
(d) If there is a tie on match points in any division for the Champion or the team to be relegated, the teams involved shall play off at a neutral venue unless either team agrees to play at the premises of its opponent. Only players who have played at least three times previously during the season in the same competition, and have not become registered for a club higher team, shall be eligible to take part. Play-offs, when required to decide promotion or relegation between three or more teams, shall take the form of a single match at an agreed venue between all teams involved; the boards to be arranged according to Jamboree rules; in the event of a tie, a repeat of the match shall follow at 10 minutes time limits between three teams, or a match between two teams if so required.
(e) unchanged. NOT ACCEPTED.
15-10 in favour but 2/3 majority needed. 

Proposed by Alan Taylor.
Rule 23a. Teams shall be awarded two match points for each match won, and one match point for each match drawn. If a match is played for double points, then double the totals of match points and game points from that match are added into the teams’ point totals. The teams in a given division shall be placed, first to last, in descending order of their respective totals of match points.
Rule 23 (d) to read:
(i) If in any division a tie occurs such that match points fail to determine the winner, or the teams eligible for promotion, or the teams due for relegation, then the teams involved in the tie shall be placed in descending order of their respective totals of game points awarded for the matches played between those teams.
(ii) If that still leaves a tie to be resolved, then the teams involved in that tie shall be placed in descending order of their respective totals of game points awarded for the matches played between those still-tying teams after excluding the bottom board of each match. If that still leaves a tie to be resolved, then the next bottom board shall also be excluded and so on until the tie is resolved.
(iii) In the unlikely event that a tie remains, then the teams involved shall play off at a neutral venue unless either club agrees to play at the premises of its opponent. In a play-off, only players who have played at least three times previously during the season in the same competition shall be eligible to take part. Play-offs, when required to decide issues of promotion, relegation or championship between three or more teams, shall take the form of a single match at an agreed venue between all teams involved; the boards to be arranged according to Jamboree rules; in the event of a tie, a repeat of the match shall follow at 10 minutes time limits between three teams, or a match between two teams if so required. MOTION CARRIED.

PROPOSED RULES FOR ADOPTION AT AGM. Note: not submitted to the membership in the required time. These rules will be used as a voluntary code for the league and we welcome a proposal at the next AGM:

400 LEAGUE.
The aim of this competition is to provide more opportunities for lower graded players to play chess. Normal Evening League rules will apply except as follows:
a) Teams shall comprise four boards, with grades totalling a maximum of 400 with no player to be graded over 120.
The minimum individual grade is 80. (Players below 80 can play, but count as 80 towards the team total).
Ungraded players are counted as having a grade of 80.
Defaulted boards are counted as 80 towards the team total
b) The grade in use shall be the lower of a players Chessnuts current grade or their grade at the end of the last season they competed in. A new player on Chessnuts is regarded as ungraded until they have 3 match results recorded in any competition. After this their current grade on Chessnuts will be used.
c) The 400 League is expected to consist of one division with each team playing two matches (home and away) with each other team.
d) If the 400 League exceeds 7 teams they shall be split into two (or more) divisions either geographically or otherwise as felt fit by the Executive (or the AGM).
f) A team shall consist of 4 boards.
g) Applications for election to the 400 League will normally be made at the AGM.
i) Once a player has represented a team in the 400 League s/he is ineligible to represent another team in the 400 League in the same season unless officially transferred by the Executive. A player may however represent one club in the 400 League and a different club in any other League/Competition run by S&DCA.
j) PENALTIES: If a team total of grades exceeds the defined limit or they play an ineligible player the match is defaulted. Individual player results remain unchanged for grading purposes.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Chessnuts: Jon Griffith has indicated his intention to retire, after many years of providing this excellent service. Geoff Frost and others made clear that we need to plan for this event now – it would be prreferable to know what direction to take before Christmas - as opposed to waiting a year and, in the worst case, having a last minute debate to which we come ill-informed and then fail to agree a way forward.
Geoff will circulate a paper, and looks to convene a group to plan our response. We ask people to discuss this one in their clubs. There should be an exec meet within six months on this issue, and an EGM after the exec.
Early thoughts as to the directions we might take included: 1) rejoining the ECF, with the corollary that anyone playing in our matches would have to be a member of the ECF, or else we – at club, association or individual level – plan how we pay the necessary game fee. (free for 3 games, £16 and potentially £25 if a person plays four times) 2) requiring ECF membership / game for the top division(s) only. 3) playing as a league without games being graded. 4) continuing with Chessnuts if a successor to Jon can be found. 5) having some separate system of our own.
It was further noted that Chessnuts is not only the source of the Yorkshire grades, but our principal record of results and league tables. Much to discuss.
Fixtures Meeting: Geoff wanted a volunteer to chair this. September 19th, 7 30; same venue. Volunteer to Geoff or Dave asap.
Trophies were collected and will be presented at this meeting. If any team hasn’t yet told Dave their needs, e.g. number of teams to play on same night – please do so by Sunday 10 09 17. dmlatham59@gmail.com. 

President Geoff Frost declared the meeting closed at 10 15 pm. 

Appendix 1: Divisional Secretary's Report: Sheffield Division 3 - BATLEY MEEK

First and foremost it’s congratulations to the University Chess Club who romped away to the
title losing just the one game out of twelve, amassing a total of 53 game points! Some
congratulations must also go to Clay Cross the only team to overturn them 3.5 – 2.5 despite
being greatly out graded by 161 points, 780 to 941.
University have had strength in depth over the season which proved to be far too strong for
the other Batley Meek contenders. Four points separated the chasing pack, consisting of five
teams, which was topped by Worksop ‘B’ finishing on 13 points. Perhaps it might be ‘food
for thought’ at the AGM for the Uni to be considered for Division 1 when so many other
teams appear to be reluctant to accept promotion; whether they are in attendance at the
AGM or not. Certainly, I feel the University would not be out of place in the Davy.
Commiserations must go to Ecclesall ‘C’, finishing with just 4 points, and also to the demise
of SASCA/RJ ‘C’ who tragically suffered the result of Alan Coupe’s personal problems and
had to withdraw from the league.
Please note: all detailed results can be found on the Association’s website.

Tony Perry

Appendix 2: Divisional Secretary's Report:Sheffield Division 5 – CHARLES TROPHY
Congratulations to Ravenfield Bishops on winning the Division 5 trophy with 18 points!
Members will know that clubs in this division may play either 2 or 3 matches against
opponents; thus there may be an imbalance on the number of matches played betwixt
individual clubs. Notwithstanding this ‘anomaly’ in that Bishops played one more match
than their nearest rivals, Worksop ‘C’, they managed to finish with a clear 4 points in front.
As League Secretary I feel it is only fitting that when our game appears to be on the decline,
compared to yesteryears, to not underestimate the achievement made by the Ravenfield
club. They are not a team of youngsters nurtured by the sterling work of the likes of John
Fryer, Ian Hemmingway and Alan Coupe etc but have only recently joined our Association
over the past 3/4 years. It is all due credit to them!
Other than SASCA ‘E’, finishing with just 4 points and only 2 defaults no other team had any
defaults and none were not particularly all that far behind the eventual champions. I cannot
praise enough the players both in this division and the 400 League for persevering with and
hopefully enjoying this game/sport we all love! Well done to you all and hopefully I’ll be
recording your wins in the forthcoming season.
Finally, it gives me much pleasure to state that I have received no upset or argument for
either the Charles or Batley Meek divisions……..long may it continue!
Again, please note: all detailed results can be found on the Association’s website.

Tony Perry

Appendix 3: Treasurer's Accounts







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