Kirklees Library Chess: The House of Kings Tournament
by Steve Westmoreland
Chess is becoming more popular, with clubs benefiting from an influx of juniors and new adults. Within the Huddersfield & District Chess Association (HDCA) covering Kirklees, we have seen new clubs appear at Holmfirth and Meltham. Dewsbury are rebuilding and Huddersfield have several new adults in. Enthusiasm is growing.
Chess in schools is on the rise and now in Libraries.
A mix of chess enthusiasts gather at the Huddersfield Library
Huddersfield Library Chess Club (HLCC) previously had a small, isolated meet on the old library building October 2021 – December 2022. A change of venue into a more visible public space saw number more than double to between 12 and 18 per week on a Saturday.
Venu wanders past Hamid and Will (backs to us), hot drink in hand.
Rob Mitchell and Brendan Briggs from the newly-formed Meltham Chess Club have recently started to attend HLCC, supporting the organiser, Luke Haslam. Luke in turn brought in additional resource such as puzzles and resource sheets to the club, before attending Meltham on a Monday night. He also runs a mobile chess book library service for Meltham players.
Luke then decided that he wanted to run a tournament and spoke with Rob and Brendan about how to do this. The House of Kings Tournament was born, with the first friendly event held 19th August 2023.
Players deep in thought, especially Steve and Alex with head in hands about to create utter chaos on the board.
Numbers exploded with 30 people in attendance, including players from Holmfirth, Huddersfield and of course Meltham. Many players were not rated, with the strongest at 1800 (myself) standard. It was a fantastic three-round team event, with a good mix of juniors and adults. A lot of interest was generated from the watching Library members, especially the live board to chess.com where people could play games on a touch screen.
Between rounds on chess.com with Alex and Isaac of the England County Champions Yorkshire u1650 squad, centre
Congratulations to Huddersfield Library for hosting their first chess event. From here Luke wants to promote more Library events throughout Kirklees. We wish him all the best and have offered support. Such initiatives only make the game grow and benefit local clubs.
Meltham took the trophy 17½ to 12½.
Dylan accepts the Trophy from Luke on behalf of Meltham, with the new HDCA President clapping to the side.
(This article, received a while ago, was also sent to ECF’s ChessMoves, which goes to ECF members. Publication here for ECF non-members was held back so as not to pre-empt publication by Chessmoves.)