Yorkshire Chess Association





YCA AGM 2022


What follows is in no way “official”, but is the webmaster’s own take on things, to supply information.


The YCA AGM was duly held on 18th June 2022 at the Chess Centre, Ilkley, attracting roughly 17 attenders, and probably less than the 20 attending the last meeting, that of 2019 in Huddersfield.  It was about the same number as attended the 2018 AGM in Hull, but more than attended the inquorate meeting of 2017 in Leeds.


The accommodation was “cosey”, and A. G. Sunderland, who held the AGM annually at the Wellesley Hotel, Wellington Street, Leeds, would be turning in his grave, but for the fact that he was probably cremated.


However, it is more the output from the meeting that counts!


Increasingly, over decades, it has been a problem getting people to do things, and this is nothing new, as the same problem was lamented over 100 years ago: “No young men coming through.”  This means that posts tend to get filled by those not necessarily eager to fill them but happen to be present at the AGM, to avert a vacancy.


A welcome turn of events over the past year or so, therefore, has been the appearance over the top of the parapet of a number of pre-pension individuals realising it is their turn to branch out beyond the purely local.  As one who has been organising chess at various levels, club to national, for upwards of 46 years, the writer feels qualified to say, “and not before time!”


Presentation of Trophies


Apart from the obvious ones, the Hardcastle Shield was presented to long-standing YCA treasurer Stephen Burton, who is of course also a long-standing member of the team running the British Rapidplay.


Election of Officers


We now have an eager new President in the form of Andrew Wainwright of the aforementioned Chess Centre, Ilkley, and an eager new Vice-President in the form of Steve Westmoreland (yes, “e” before “land”, and not as in the former county) of Holmfirth.  Both of these are keen to promote junior chess, which is good.  There is an ever-growing network of junior organisers around the county, nevertheless, pre-meeting attempts to find somebody to take over a coordinating role as YCA Secretary for Junior Chess had failed, but that post has been left to be filled in due course.  Meanwhile, Steve Westmoreland and Andrew Wainwright between them are acting as caretakers for Junior Chess.


Other YCA Officers were re-elected except that the post of YCA Grader was not filled with a view to discontinuing that post with its removal from the Constitution.  (If you used to make use of the services of the former YCA Grader, worry not, nothing has changed on that front.)


Appointment of Match Captains


Both Peter Ackley (Open) and Dave Patrick (U-2050) had indicated they wished to step down.  Andrew Wainwright took on the Under-2050 captaincy, but the hunt for an Open captain is still ongoing, though the new President assures us there will be an Open team next season.


Other Appointments


This relates to various jobs etc not attracting separate “Officer” status, and, apart from Auditor and HLMs, are ones normally filled by Officers.  (Arguably Website Manager ought to be accorded Officer status.)


Steve Westmoreland replaced David Mills as one of the two YCA delegates to the NCCU, alongside Rupert Jones.  (It is appropriate that these two posts are filled by county captains.)  Andrew Wainwright is the new YCA delegate to the ECF, having expressed interest.  (It is appropriate this post is filled by a principal YCA officer, though one hopes Andrew realises he will quite likely have to duck out of a Yorkshire league match or two!)


Jim Burnett and Peter Ackley were added to the list of YCA Honorary Life Members.


It was decided to discontinue the hard-copy Year Book, and so nobody was appointed as its editor.


Fees and Subscriptions


 - remained unchanged


Proposed Amendments to the Rules


 - were all passed albeit with refinements to the wording.


Format of the League


Settle was accepted into the YCA as a new Constituent Member.


The meeting chose to adopt a structure of 10 teams in the Woodhouse Cup and 10 teams in the I. M. Brown, leaving 6 teams in the Silver Rook at present, though there are possible further entries from Wakefield (outcome of their AGM awaited) and from Leeds (ongoing deliberations).


This necessitated the relegation of a team from last season’s Woodhouse Cup, and Leo Keeley, with mixed feelings on the subject, graciously accepted Huddersfield’s fate.


Competitions Controller Andrew Zigmond had preferred avoiding relegation, but it is of course as much a prescribed non-optional liability as is a team’s option of promotion.  (Rule A10 does in fact need revising to encompass the impact of Promotion and relegation in the context of a change in the number of teams in a division, when things would take care of themselves.)


The change to 10 teams per higher division from 11 teams (which for pairing purposes counts as 12 teams, the 12th being “bye”), means 2 less match weekends are required, so the Competitions Controller removed 19th November and 15th April from his proposed list of fixture dates, at least as regards the Woodhouse and I. M. Brown.


The format of the Silver Rook was delegated to the Competitions Controller to determine (after consultation with those involved) once the number of teams was known.


Yorkshire Individual Championship


The incoming President cherishes the idea of running the Yorkshire championship as an 8-player all-play-all event rather than embedding it in a weekend congress.  The meeting took the view that it would allow the President to have a stab at this alternative approach.


These days, very many organisations run their Championship as something embedded in a congress, having found over the years that more-popular approaches adopted in the past have become progressively less-well supported.  However, many, such as the present writer, have long regarded this as unsatisfactory “cop out”, so we shall see what materialises.


Junior Chess Development


By the time this item popped up, its requester felt there had already been sufficient coverage in earlier agenda items.  Plans were afoot to organise something on a junior basis for which the A. G. Sunderland Cup could be deployed.  Enthusiasm for the NCCU Under-16 team evident (Pennine Cup) was expressed.  (Those involved did not seem to realise it was incumbent on people in the counties, such as themselves, to step forward to volunteer to organise the event.  It would cycle round the counties year by year, like other things, but few counties are anywhere near able to do it.)


No reference seemed to be made to resurrecting the Yorkshire Junior age-band Championships, but that perhaps would be addressed by the new Secretary for Junior Chess, when found.



Steve Mann