Sheffield & District Chess Association

e-Newsletter, May 2021




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There is both good news and bad news.  First the bad news . . .


Death of Peter Ballard of Rotherham


Peter Ballard of Rotherham died on Sunday, 16/05/2021.  He had been admitted to hospital for a further operation connected with problems he had been having for a number of years, and seemed to be recovering okay, yet suffered a setback, and died.  John Peter Ballard, to give him his full name, appears to have been aged 77.  Peter had been on the Sheffield chess scene for nigh on 50 years.


An obituary, which includes some games played by Peter, has been put on the S&DCA website at  This is currently “work in progress”, as it is likely to be expanded in due course.


Those with long-enough memories – apart from myself, I can think only of Geoff Frost – may recall Ernie Little of Harrogate.  He died peacefully at his home in Pannal, Harrogate, on the 07/05/2021, aged 89.  An obituary appears on the YCA website at


And now the good news . . .


Chess at Kelham Island


Geoff Brown has announced details of the second session of “Chess at Kelham Island” outdoor individual over-the-board competitions, taking place on Sunday, 23/05/2021 at four venues.  There are 6 participants at one venue, and 4 at each of the other three:


at the Millowners Arms, next to Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield S3 8RY,

Ian Barker, Mariana Ferriera, Samual Rathjen, Jamie Woodhouse, Geoff Brown, Geoff Frost;


at the Saw Grinders Union, Globe Works, Penistone Road, Sheffield S6 3AE,

Stuart Crosthwaite, Jonathan Arnott, Nathabiel Holroyd-Doveton, Tom Hails;


at the Yellow Arch Studio, 30-36 Burton Road, Neepsend, Sheffield S3 8BX,

Mattiangelo D'Agnese, Jeremy Hamm, Andrew Nettleship, Andrew Birtwhistle;


and at the Fat Cat, 23 Alma Street, Sheffield S3 8SA,

Oliver Brennan, Brian Stephenson, Craig Chatterton, Edouardos Ter Gevorkian.


The comprehensive guidance issued includes:

I'll make sure there are chess sets, clocks, wipes, spray and hand gel for each group but please bring your own facemasks and any other PPE you want.  Masks must be worn during your matches and when moving about the venues, e.g. when going to the toilets.  You will need to book into whichever venue you're based at, either by using the NHS Covid app or by leaving your contact details with the staff.  Such details will only be kept for 21 days.


As soon as each game is finished the pieces and clock should be immediately reset and sanitised.  They should not be touched any more until the start of the next game. Used wipes and any other rubbish should be placed in the rubbish bag that I'll provide.


Results are expected to appear on ECF LMS, and on the S&DCA website, and with any luck there will be photographs.


Mini U-1650 rating (U-130 grade) Standardplay Chess Tournament


Jonathan Arnott advises that he is organising an over-the-board tournament for U-1650 rating (U-130 grade) or new/junior unrated players, with a connection to S&DCA member clubs (e.g. membership of a club, playing for a team in the league).  It aims to give beginners and juniors the chance to play some proper over-the-board chess before in-person leagues resume, and (assuming there are enough players entering who already have grades) it should help to get some grading data in the system for those who don't already have any.  There is also the aim to provide an introduction to over-the-board chess to new players who have taken up the game initially on line.



2nd and 3rd July, 2021




Spa View Community Church, Spa View Road, Birley Spa, Sheffield, S12 4HD.


Parking available at/outside the venue.

There is a public playing field next door.



Time control:

All moves in 45 minutes, with a 15-second increment from move 1.




Minimum guaranteed prize fund (provided that they have 30+ players)


1st - £125


2nd - £60


3rd - £30



Entry fee:

£20 (adult), £15 (junior)


You can enter online - and to find the full competition details - at

(You can take a peek to read details without actually entering!)


You can also read more on the S&DCA website at


Forward Look to Sheffield League 2021-22


General Secretary Geoff Brown announces:

Assuming the release from lockdown continues as hoped, with the steps on 17th May and 21st June being successful, then we're going to have to start thinking about starting up our otb league again.  I guess we're aiming for a restart at the end of September for the 2021/22 season.  That will mean an AGM in early September, in which case I'll be sending out more information around the start of August.  Maybe now is the time for you to start looking at the situation at your own clubs.  Darnall & Handsworth, by the way, have their first club night this coming Monday, 17th May.


Clubs Emerge from Lock-Down


Things are of course still very tentative.  Optimism is running riot among some chess organisers, while many players retain a more cautious lock-down mentality and wait to see what actually happens.


Darnall & Handsworth, had their first club night on Monday, 17th May.


Sheffield Nomads’ website surprisingly shows no announcement of impending club nights.


Further afield . . . .


The (Bradford) Chess Centre in Ilkley (not the same as Ilkley Chess Club) reopened on 20th May, and has announced a schedule of events for May and early June.  This is a new enterprise, as yet largely untested by the locals.


Eagle & Child, in York, were to have a club night also on Thursday, 20/05/2021, one table booked inside, one outside, hoping no more than 12 turned up, due to the rule of 6!  Hitherto they had had a couple of gatherings each week of six players in members' gardens and other pub gardens.


Holme Firth has acquired six new players during lockdown; people inspired through the Queen's Gambit series and is looking to resume activity, and aims to enter the YCA’s Silver Rook as Huddersfield & Holme Firth.


4NCL Finals, 18/05/2021


Although no Sheffield-based teams reached the final stages of the 4NCL, Chessable White Rose 3 was in the final of Division 5.  As Jonathan Arnott had been playing for that team, the hope was that the team would win, and that a crucial win by Jonathan could be published here.  Alas, this was not to be!  The team lost “convincingly” 1-3 to Charlton Cobras A, and Jonathan lost “instructively” on board 2.  For anyone interested, Jonathan’s game can be played through, on screen, on the Yorkshire CA website, at


Nevertheless, there was some success for Yorkshire, as Hull & Beverley Romans 1 won the Division 2 final.  Details, and links to all games involved in both matches, can be found on the YCA website at





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