Yorkshire Chess News





Harrogate Reserves v Holmfirth Reserves


The Silver Rook match Harrogate C v Holmfirth B was extended by a 4-board “reserves” match giving graded games to eight more players:













Henry Saunders 


 Harley Townsend


Ethan Gaffney


 Sam Hough


Pranay Sharma


 Thomas Arrowsmith


Zac Maunder


 Leo Stefanakis


Such games could not have been incorporated within the rules as additional boards in the Silver Rook match.  Interestingly, however, the lowest division of the Sheffield winter league allows for the minimum four boards of that division to be increased by mutual agreement between the teams to 5 or 6 boards, the next-higher division being of 6 boards per team.  By analogy, the Silver Rook (as lowest division, with less prescribed boards than the division above), could under revised rules be extended by such mutual agreement to allow teams of 7 or 8 boards - or more.


A side-effect of such rule flexibility is that in the event of a tie on match points, teams having fielded larger teams would be more likely to win the tie-break on game points.  That potentially perceived problem is partly mitigated by considering game points only in the matches between the teams in the tie-break, though a team sticking to the 4-player minimum could still lose out unfairly in a tie with teams fielding 6-player teams.  A game-point tie-break could be based on only the top prescribed minimum number of boards, to avoid such potential problems.


Since this report was originally posted, Steve Westmoreland of Holmfirth has added the following text along with a photograph:


Harrogate and Holmfirth are very keen to promote and develop juniors.  Whilst the six official boards determined the match, Andrew's suggestion to add more in as a reserve match is very valuable. 


Please note parents drove up to an hour and a half to get to Harrogate from Holmfirth. 


Holmfirth had 8 juniors and 2 adults playing on Saturday and for me the more standard play the better.  With the extra places, we had a good environment to blood new players in without team winning pressure.  Lessons were learned with the new players (time control!!) and I asked for all junior players to write down their clock times every 5 mins and to take back to club coaches. 


We have some very serious junior players now and invested a lot of time and effort.  Also, chess is coming back in the schools and this is spring-boarding into clubs.  We must cater for this after decades of decline.


I want to see this practice of offering more places (outside of match results) continuing. It can only benefit us all.