Minutes of 6th AGM of Austin Friars /Carlisle Chess Club

Held on 31st August 2017 in the clubroom.

Attended by George Glover, Ian Mackay, Mike Hodgkinson, Alan Hiatt, Dave Siddall, Mike Byrne, John Lydon and Bill Hardwick (8).

1 Apologies – were received from Alan Little and Phil Walters.

2 Chairman’s Address (GG)
George said that the club had operated very satisfactorily during the year and successfully too. This was down to everyone; the players, team captains and BH for organising matters. We are set fair for the coming season and everyone is encouraged to get involved and contribute and they will be fully supported by the club.

3 Minutes of the 2016 AGM (no 5). The minutes have been circulated and are in order.

4 Secretary’s Report (BH)
Undoubtedly an excellent year for the club. Having entered three teams in the Cumbria League our A team won the League for the first time since 1990. Of our three teams in the Whitaker Cup Ian Mackay’s team won the trophy this year. In the South Tyne League our Friars and Austins finished first and second and to round things off we retained the Eden trophy and only narrowly missed out on the Borders Cup.

The Club Championship was won by Tammy Jones ahead of Mike Byrne and Dave Siddall won the Knockout Cup final against John Lydon. Drew Millar also kindly ran two separate Blitz events for us, at Christmas and then at the end of the season, both of which went to Tammy. To round things off John Kelly again laid on a Quiz night for us at the Redfern which was a great success.

We didn’t manage to fit in any of the “coaching evenings” which we had last year and I hope we can continue them from time to time. We did have a chess session in the Library, arranged by Paul Rivers and have been asked to do it again September. The library seem to be happy with it and it is a chance to attract new members.

5 Treasurer’s Report (BH)
I have circulated the latest accounts together with a copy of those for last year. This year we managed a surplus of £84.69 compared with a shortfall of £16.59 last year. I would propose that we should leave the membership fees unchanged at £5.00 (Juniors £2.00).

Cumbria Chess have kept their fees the same at £6.00(Juniors £1.00) but ECF fees have risen slightly;-

Gold £34.00 (£32.00

Silver £23.50 (£22.00)

Bronze £16.00 (£15.00)

I asked if subs could possibly be paid to me in cash, or by direct credit to the club bank account (HSBC, Carlisle Chess Club a/c 22323214 (40-16-22). It is just that Kingstown branch which was convenient for paying in has closed now which means going into town, parking etc.

6 Membership Secretary’s Report (BH)
Our membership numbers actually fell a little from 21 to 19 this year. All adults, still no Junior members at present. We’ve had a number of enquiries and people who began playing at the end of last season who may join as members this year. I did take a call from someone whose son was interested and he is a pupil at Austin Friars. I think it would be a big step forward if we could generate some interest from the school

7 Website Organiser’s report (DB)
Dave Bogle wasn’t at the meeting. We are delighted to have the club website now but recognise that information is being loaded on in bits and pieces rather than as a regular pattern. We should be making better use of the facility. Alan Hiatt suggested regularly adding club members games onto the site which we all agreed would be a good idea. No-one was sure how this can be done but Alan is to see if he can get it to work and will be in touch with DB about it and perhaps contact Andy MacAtear because it is something that features on the Penrith website.
John Lydon suggested opening a club Facebook page which could also store lots of information. This seems very practical so John is going to go ahead with that and will update us in due course.

8 Election of Officers :-
Chairman (GG)
Secretary (BH)
Membership Secretary (BH)
Treasurer (BH)
Website Organiser (DB)
All of these positions were confirmed.

9 How many teams should we enter in the Cumbria League, the Whitaker Cup and the South Tyne League this season?
We were in full agreement that we should continue entering three teams in the Cumbria League and in the Whitaker Cup and also our Austins and Friars teams in the South Tyne league

10 Election of Team Captains;-
“A Team” – (PR)
“B” Team – (AH)
“C” Team – (BH)
Austins – (BH)
Friars – (MB & DM)
Whitaker Cup “A” Team (JL)
Whitaker Cup “B” Team (IM)
Whitaker Cup “C” Team (AH) Now Bill Hardwick
All captains were confirmed as before except that Alan wanted to stand down from the Whitaker C team and will be replaced by BH.

11 Club Championship 2016;- Winner Tammy Jones
Club Knockout Cup 2016;- Winner Dave Siddall
Both trophies have already been presented to the winners.

12 Proposals;
I) We need to decide on the format for our Club Championship this season. Should it be all play all twice as now? If so, should we have major and minor Sections? An alternative would be to revert to all playing all but only once. Would a separate rapidplay event be worth considering?

ii) Proposal from George Glover,

That in the Club Championship we should revert to 0, 1/2 and 1 point in keeping with ECF and FIDE.

This was discussed at some length and a vote was then taken which was 6-2 in favour of retaining the present 3-points for a win system.

Points for discussion from Mike Byrne,

iii) Club Championship Format;-


More, serious competition games
Playing as both black and white.


Less welcoming environment for new members than when we had lots of “friendly” games being played.

If you don’t have a match arranged is worth going to a club night?

Only three players played 20 games last season

Less chance for experimenting with new openings or ideas..

iv) General;-

In the light of Ian’s analysis of club games most players scored badly with the black pieces. Would a format where one game each is played and and the player with the higher previous placing or grade played as black, encourage us to improve this aspect? If that was combined with a separate rapidplay competition running concurrently there would be more possibility of coming on a club night with no pre-arranged match and being able to play friendlies and/or a competitive rapidplay game.

Ian Mackay;-

Have a monthly rapidplay.

Alan Little;-

Unplayed games are due to increased number of matches scheduled and lack of enthusiasm after losing a couple of games.

Split it into two sections, random or north & south of the Eden. Two mini-leagues play all as black and as white and then the top 2 from each section play a knockout for the championship.
There were a number of related issues here to be resolved and lots of ideas and variations were considered. We were however fully in agreement that the Club Knockout should continue as before, that the Club Championship format of all play all twice leading to 22 games each at present is simply too many and that we should endeavour to have more social games. We wish to create a better atmosphere for any new players and also make it worthwhile for players to come along even if they don’t have a pre-arranged game.
A vote was taken as to whether the club Championship should be all-play-all once only or to split it into two sections and we were unanimously in favour of all-play-all once.
In conjunction with this we were also in full agreement that there should be a separate “Rapidplay”
games at around 8pm to help to avoid the problem of new players or members with no arranged games turning up and finding no-one available to play.

13 Next AGM – Date and venue

George Glover suggested and it was agreed that from now on, unless there is a reason not to, that our AGMs should be on the last Thursday of August and the first day of the season will be the first Thursday in September. So the next AM will be on Thursday 30th August 2018 and the club will start on Thursday 6th September 2018.

14 Any other business

Ian Mackay said that we really should try to contact the local press to ask them to publicise the great success we have had this season. Paul Rivers had been in touch with them but nothing definite has been arranged yet. I think we have now gathered together the various trophies we have accumulated so a photo session could be set up if the paper was agreeable to that. We agreed there is no harm in Ian contacting the paper (perhaps with an article for submission?) as long as he lets Paul know of any arrangements made. If there were to be a photo session then Saturday 16th September when our A and B teams are both at home might be a possibility.

Thanks to everyone for attending and meeting closed.

Bill Hardwick