Yorkshire Chess News





Chess in the Winter Air! - Calderdale vs Kirklees 06/01/24

(by Steve Westmoreland)


Calderdale (Club) 


Kirklees (Club) 

Richard Porter (Halifax) 


Steve Westmoreland (Holmfirth) capt.

Dave Patrick (Belgrave) 


Colin Frank (Huddersfield) 

Dave Colledge (Belgrave) capt.


Hamid Farham (Huddersfield / Meltham) 

Steve Harrington (Belgrave) 


Drew Batley (Holmfirth) 

Andrew Perkiss (Piece Hall) 


David Kilmartin (Holmfirth / Blue Club) 

Bob Gaunt (Piece Hall) 


Brendan Briggs (Meltham) 

Behrouz Youssefbeygi (Piece Hall) 


Tony Ryland (Holmfirth) 


The challenge was set by Dave Colledge, the Calderdale league Secretary, publicly on the Huddersfield League WhatsApp ‘Issuing a challenge and throwing down the gauntlet.  Calderdale v Kirklees’.  It was to occur outside ‘irrespective of conditions’.


As the new President of the Huddersfield & District Chess Association (which is basically Kirklees), I accepted.


Two men standing in a room

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Captains Dave Colledge (Calderdale Secretary) and Steve Westmoreland (HDCA President & YCA Deputy President)


The location chosen was the Wine Barrel at the Halifax Piece Hall.  Sadly, our first date fell through due to a sold-out event with Martin Kemp, so we flipped to Saturday 6th January.  Whilst it was cold, there were outdoor heaters, and the Piece Hall was busy with shoppers, eaters and drinkers.


Chess at the Wine Barrel started in the summer, with local Calderdale players who successfully attracted in new players (three of whom featured in the match) as a result.  Due to popularity, it continued into the winter on a Thursday 6pm-9pm.  The outdoor heating remains a life saver.


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Hats, scarves, gloves, coats, snoods and thick socks on, play is underway under the heaters.


The hosts want us to continue playing outside and have sets for patrons.  Discussions are underway for other Council teams to compete, as well as conversations with Guildford Chess on a summer North v South event.  The possibility of a Greater Manchester event was also held on the day, with two MCF players at the venue.


The match was played with good spirit and friendship, with players having known each other for a lot of years in competition within respective leagues and combined for Yorkshire.  Time control was 1 hour 20 minutes with 20 seconds increments.  Only one game finished early, so it worked well.


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Almost three hours in with three games left in play.  Finished players and spectators gather to watch the end.


Due to the cold, we had agreed that it was not a requirement to write moves down.  To encourage money behind the bar of the hosts, matches were unrated.  Personally, I enjoyed my cheeseburger, solitary beer and wine.  The burger was badly needed having rushed straight from my youngest son’s rugby training and dropped off by my wife who was taking my other son to play hockey (luckily) in Halifax.


Two men playing chess outside

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Drew and Steve do battle once more.


I played Richard Porter, who is an absolutely lovely gentleman who I have faced four times in the last few years with honours even.  The game was complicated and intense, requiring a high degree of accuracy between us, and left the spectators baffled.  I am absolutely sure that all the august readers here would have looked at our game and wondered what on earth we were doing.


I do recall looking up from the board at one point and realising it was dark.


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Who switched the lights off?


First to finish was Brendan within 30 minutes.  Happy with his victory, Brendan spent a few hours talking to interested shoppers and playing those interested.  A lot of people stopped to watch and ask questions.  Doing some nervous pacing waiting for Richard to move, I was able to pass on the details of Dewsbury Chess Club for a lady’s grandson who lived in Morley, also to meet Mick Norris of the MCF and his missus, who were passing through.  All players spoke to shoppers at various points.


As usual with chess there were triumphs and disaster.  Hamid managed to remove Dave’s queen from the board, Drew fell to Steve, and Tony got the most amazing checkmate, cheerfully declaring he had snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat.


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Tony’s incredible checkmate


In the end Kirklees won, which has some historical significance.  Double checking with Steve Mann from Yorkshire Chess News, we believe this is the first time Kirklees have put a team together against another district.  Previously it has gone under the Huddersfield & DCA tag.


We will do this again and a huge thanks to Dave and Calderdale for organising.