Yorkshire Chess Association Year Book




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Event Calendar 2017-18



Harrogate “Stars Barred” Congress, 2017


See also (from results supplied by Noel Boustred)

Major Results

Minor Results


Two photographs at foot of page


This year’s Harrogate Chess Congress was the 7th in the present series, which is run by Noel Boustred of Wallsend, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


Since there was a 4NCL congress held in Harrogate a couple of years ago, Noel has at times adopted for his own congress the name “Original Harrogate Chess Congress”.  Noel is perhaps a bit too young to remember the true original Harrogate Chess Congress!


Back in the 1960s, there was an annual Yorkshire (Easter) Chess Congress.  Its location varied from year to year.  Then, in 1972, the Harrogate congress became the geographically fixed “Yorkshire Congress” in name, which status it held until the demise of that first series of Harrogate congresses, which was thus the demise of the “Yorkshire Congress”.


Back to the present, the 7th not-strictly-original Harrogate Chess Congress was held from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October, at Harrogate Chess Club’s venue, Apley Grange, 35 Oatlands Drive, Harrogate, HG2 8JT (not the widely published HG2 8PU).


It was a “stars barred” event with two sections.  The under-170 (Major) had 17 participants, while the under-135 (Minor) had 14 participants.  Eligibility for entry to sections was determined by the ECF January grading list, not the later July list.  The grades shown on the cross-tables are those listed by the organiser, and are difficult to explain, at the top of the Major section.


In the past, Noel has roped in Nick Mahoney of Doncaster to control such events, but on this occasion Noel was doing the pairings using a computer (no pairing cards or wallcharts in sight), printing off the A4 pairing sheets and A4 end-of-round points charts round by round.


There were problems, with a number of attempts at the round 3 pairings.  It helps if you include all results from round 2 before you do the pairings for round 3!  (“Garbage in, garbage out.” – to quote John Brooke, sage of Bradford.)  Noel got the hang of it eventually.  Players took these hiccups with good humour, and appeared to be enjoying the event.


Noel’s congresses - other ones include Calderdale and Whitby - though small in number of players, have their supporters, and provide extra congress chess for those who enjoy these cosy affairs.  Anyone who takes the trouble to lay on such events deserves encouragement and support.


The playing area just before the start of round 3.


Top board in round 3 of the minor saw Paul Gelder (Alwoodley) with White against Sri Sriharan (York).