INTRODUCTION TO THE WEB SITE
Hi - so here's how we've arranged the website:
Want to know our results? Go To "Fixtures".
Want to read match reports for Chesterfield A in the Sheffield League? Go to Results A Team".
Want to read match reports for Chesterfield B in the Sheffield League? Go to "B Team".
Want to read match reports on either of our Derbyshire League teams, or the Derbyshire county side? Go to "Derbyshire".
Want to know how the combined Sheffield team is getting on in the Woodhouse? Maybe in "News", otherwise go to the Yorkshire Chess Association website.
Go to "Results B Team" or, indeed, "A Team" and you won't get much at all! Hope that's all clear!
We play a team of eight in the top division of the Sheffield & District Chess Association, and six boards in the Richardson Cup. See - and enjoy - the brilliant S&DCA website.
'A' TEAM 2007-8
Here's how it went in 2007 -8:
Sheffield A Division was the usual terrific competition. Normally one team's a bit ahead of the others, and so it proved again, but it's always fiercely contested and we certainly put in our tuppence worth this time. Nomads were the team to beat; they dropped points early on and gave us all a chance. Andy Mort got the team out very well, and scored wins on many a far flung battlefield - well, it's a long way back from Barnsley or Barnby Dun if you get beat. There were great tussles with Ecclesall and Woodseats, and then our memorable match at the Spital v Nomads. Everybody there plus a couple of occasionals, lots of blood on the floor. We can just about handle the trauma of the 3.5-4.5 defeat when we recall the strength of the opposition, it was a great match. Couldn't equal it in the return at their place, but the beer was excellent. Statistically we were well in there before the first Nomads match, and not quite out of it before the second; but realistically it was likely to be Woodseats or Nomads, probably the latter, and so it proved.
Who's to say what might have happened had it not been for Mike Alcock's ill health? He's led us heroically against the top guns for some years now; I did my best like Aragorn without Gandalf, and thanks to the folks for their support. Good results again for Mike Johnson, Andy Mort, Martin Howard and Dave Andrews; this was a team nobody could take lightly. Steve Bracey remains a dangerous opponent for anyone, and Steve Housley really made a breakthrough; his new grade of 165 represents a rise of 20 in recent seasons and the winning percentage was Kasparovian. The bottom end was too tough for most as usual, with George helped out by a variety of players; I recall Tim scoring the vital point at Barnby Dun.
The semi and final of the Richardson were both nail biters well worth comment. In the semifinal at The Abbey, Woodseats correctly figured that IM Ledger was a fair bet on board one and took a voluntary Black. This left them needing to lose by one on the remaining five to go through on board count. Martin Howard was our lone winner 'til the last seconds, when, at the end of a thrilling game, Geoff Frost's flag fell as he was about to demonstrate that Steve Housley's rook pawn and wrong coloured bishop were only going to draw. This looked good for a cause celebre, but Woodseats at once took the view that you have to demonstrate before the flag falls that you know this easiest of defences, and conceded; a memorable piece of sportsmanship. The final was almost as close, Rotherham Juniors being the opposition. Wins for Steve Housley and Martin again; the third point from Steve Bracey; but, repeating my semi final exploit, I was outplayed in the ending by Peter Shaw and Andy went down to rising star Xi Yang Guo. Cue Mike Johnson's first ever win against Paul Blackman, after many years of trying; and a good win too - looked a cert early on, Paul wouldn't lie down; the advantage seemed to vanish and then Mike came through in the ending. It's not easy to win anything in Sheffield these days; we should be really proud of the Richardson Cup.
The Association's combined team has been one of the very strongest in Yorkshire for a long time now. Recently we've missed out on the Woodhouse Cup by narrow margins, to Hull and York. This time stellar teams were put out: IM Ledger and numerous Nomads: Nelson, O'Driscoll, Hamm, the brilliant junior Vasli; names to remember in years to come. Jeremy Hamm was captain and organiser, and found time to score 11/11 OTB; he's plugged away for some years now in this competition and thoroughly deserves this historic trophy and the thanks of our club and the whole association.
As a regular member of this winning outfit, our club president Mike Johnson, and filling in occasionally, Andy Mort and Dave Latham. Obviously lots of folk have won this trophy in its history of more than a century, but I can't imagine any of them finding our current team easy meat.
Couple of pleasant social events: the celebration dinner for the winning of the Woodhouse and the Sheffield - Manchester match, which we play every few decades.
For updates on how we're getting on in 2008/9, see "Results A Team"; the Fixtures list is almost complete and will be updated when our last fixture clash (March 23rd) is disentangled.