Club Update 13


As we are coming out of lockdown the club can physically meet as Under 18’s activities are exempt from tier 3 restrictions.

So we will revert back to our arrangements for meeting before half term.

This Sunday 6th December:

Group 1 at 5.30pm-6.30pm

Group 2 at 6.45pm -7.45pm

Groups 3/4/newcomers online chess at 6pm.

Next Sunday 13th December:

Group 3 at 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Group 4 at 6.45pm -7.45pm

Groups 1, 2 and newcomers online chess at 6pm.

I have e-mailed a list of groups as we have some new members joining.

Sorry newcomers there is insufficient capacity for you to start attending physically at the moment.

Please could all children wear face coverings unless there is a good reason not to. All social distancing measures will be in place as before. Parents please drop off at the tennis court end door of the Community Centre and pick up at the main door. You can’t come in to the chess room but if you want to wait in the building use the main hall (entry through main door) and maintain social distance. Do not use the bar/lounge area if it happens to be open.

If you cannot attend please inform us in advance so we can arrange seating accordingly.

If you have any questions about arrangements don’t hesitate to ask (you can use the Whatsap group as well).



Some more notable performances in the Grand Prix tournament 3: Jael 1st in the Major again, Varun 2nd.  Sahil 1st in the Intermediate and George 3rd in the starter. Well done to everyone who took part – 28 from our club!

New Competition coming up:

Monday night on the lichess Yorkshire Junior Chess Page there is a county competition (ie Yorkshire against other counties) at 6 – 7.30pm. Everyone whatever standard can take part. This means that Monday night coaching on Zoom will be moving – will let you know when to asap.


Last Sunday:

First many thanks to those who sent their games for talking about during coaching. Let’s have more please, and this now extends to Groups 3 and 4 – if you have a game that’s interesting for any reason let us have the link (you can message it to me on lichess). It doesn’t have to be a win – you can learn more from your losses.

Thank you to the 20 youngsters who took ;part on the Tornelo platform on Sunday. Sorry it went on too late – I am well aware of this and I should not have used increments, but it was useful for getting familiar with this platform which offers much more flexibility than lichess. I know it takes a bit of getting used to. There were actually some great games!

Also thanks for attendance – 84% at coaching and 82% playing. Much better!

Monday night coaching now moving to Wednesday at 7pm from 9th December.

Zoom link:





Club Update 12


Sunday Meetings

Lockdown ends December 2nd and I expect Leeds to be in tier 3 restrictions. I will ascertain if it possible to hold physical meetings on 6th and 13th December and let you know. Last week only 64% attended Zoom coaching. If people are having problems with this please can you let me know what they are. We should be having higher attendances than this.

Please could you ensure we can see all names displayed on Zoom coaching for two reasons. Firstly so Nick can identify who is speaking. Secondly so I can tell who is attending and that they are legitimate attendees. So having parents’ names is not helpful, particularly as there are some youngsters who have joined us who we have never seen. We may cut off anyone we can’t identify. Please can you also mute if not speaking.


Many thanks to those who took part in the Sunday tournament on Tornelo. It was really useful to explore this platform. Thanks also to the two players so far who have given me some feedback (which was asked for). Any more would be appreciated.

Well done to the girls who took part in the county U18 championship last Saturday  - Sara, Joshini, Angelica and Samiksha – Yorkshire finished 4th of 12 counties which was a really sound performance.


Events coming up

It is Grand Prix Tournament 3 this Saturday! Good luck to everyone and let’s hope we can repeat our amazing performances on last tournament when we won all 3 sections.

Starting Monday December 7th Yorkshire players are invited to play for the Yorkshire team in a county arena on lichess from 6-7.30pm. Anyone can play – you just need to be a member of the Yorkshire Junior Chess team page on lichess. Monday night coaching will therefore be moved to another day.


Important this Sunday

The group 1 and 2 club tournament will be held on Tornelo as we further explore this platform. It would be useful of everyone in groups 1 and 2 could take part starting 7pm after coaching. Here is the link – I will resend it again on Friday with further instructions.. All you need to do is sign up on Tornelo and register for the tournament. If you signed up last Saturday then just register.

Link here




Club Update 11

Sunday Night Coaching and play

Sorry about the last minute change of link for Groups 1 and 2. Most people managed to pick this up via e-mail or Watsap. The Watsap group is good for these last minute changes  - if you are not on it here is a link:

I have asked Nick to keep all participants on mute unless they want to speak as we had some problems with background noise last week. Also in the Group3/4/newcomer session one child kept drawing on the screen. I have asked Nick to simply stop the meeting if this happens again – please can you advise participants not to do this please. Please also attend the appropriate session – the later session is for Groups 1 and 2.

Please join the right section for playing. Two youngsters joined the wrong session and did not withdraw, so two players were left with a game hanging in the first round. If anyone does this again I will remove them from the playing group entirely.

Events to come

This Sunday there is a trial tournament on the Tornelo platform. I could still accommodate one or two more players if anyone wants to play – starts at 1pm and is 5 rounds at 15 minutes per player. Here is the link if you want to sign up directly:

Grand Prix T3 is fast approaching on Saturday week at 1pm and the tournament is now visible on Lichess.  All games on the Grand Prix are now online ECF graded.

County Arena: From December 7th Yorkshire will have a team in the county Arena tournament from 6-7.30pm. Everyone can join this but you need to be a member of the Yorkshire Junior Chess Association team page (not the Grand Prix page).


In the junior 4NCL last Thursday team 1 beat East Kilbride Elephants 8-0 and team 2 beat Eden Primary Bishops 7-1. Well played all. The junior 4NCL returns after Christmas where we will get a full season at it, so hopefully both teams can challenge at the top of the division, and it would be great to have a third team. All players are welcome to become members of the squad.

Parents – have you watched The Queen’s Gambit yet? I have written a blog on this if you would like to read:



Club Update 10

We had out first zoom sessions last Sunday with 64% of members attending. 86% played online though – so a quick reminder club night is both Zoom and online tournament. So reminder of the timings: Group 3 and 4 and newcomers Zoom is 5-5.40pm with play at 6pm online. Groups 1 and 2 Zoom is 6 – 6.40pm with play at 6.50 -8.10pm.

Events to come:

Junior 4NCL teams play at 6pm on Thursday – team 1 take on East Kilbride Elephants and team 2 play Eden Primary Bishops.

I would like to enter a third team after Christmas so have a think about this – I could do with about 5 more players (any standard) to make this happen – it is just an hour at the most on a Thursday evening at 6pm.

The next Grand Prix event is November 28th at 1pm.

Volunteers to play on a new platform.

I am going to trial tournaments on a new platform called Tornelo. It is more purpose built than lichess and long term will serve the Grand Prix better, and maybe even the club. To this end I am looking for some players to play in a trial tournament on Sunday November 22nd in a 5 round rapidplay (15 mind per player) from 1-3.30pm.

If interested please let me know by any of the usual media. There will be a prize and its free to enter, but there will only one section.

Thanks to those who sent trophy pictures – I will get them on the website soon. Still waiting for a couple.



Club Update 9

You wont be surprised to hear that physical meetings are suspended for the 4 week lockdown.

So we will return to online coaching on zoom on Sundays with the following arrangements:

Groups 3 and 4 AND newcomers group Zoom coaching 5-5.40pm with online play 6-7.15pm. Zoom link is


Groups 1 and 2 Zoom coaching 6-6.40pm with online play 7-8.15pm. Zoom link is



Great success in the last Saturday’s Grand prix tournament 2. Top 3 in the major! Jael 1st, Varun 2nd and Agamya 3rd. First and 3rd in the Intermediate with Rithvik winning and Sahil 3rd and George won the starter section. Well done all. We had 34 from the club who took part out of a total entry of 72.

In the junior 4NCL last Thursday Team 1 beat Manchester Junior D 6.5-1.5 and Team 2 beat Eden Primary Knights 8-0.


Events to come

The next junior 4NCL match is Thursday 12th November and the next Grand Prix tournament is November 28th.


Club Update 8

Half Term

Well we managed to complete half a term! So no meeting this coming Sunday and then we will resume on the 8th with Groups 1 and 2.

Online Sunday

This coming Sunday will be an all in 7 round blitz competition so all groups and newcomers mixed into one section!

Coming Events

This Saturday is Grand Prix 2 at 1pm. If you have not signed up yet go to to do so.

On Thursday at 6pm it is Junior 4NLC matches. The draw is not up yet so not sure who we are playing. Squads have been notified of the teams.

Members (but realistically Groups 1 and 2) are welcome to join the Alwoodley Chess Club team on lichess for their club night on Wednesday at 7pm.


Hope everyone enjoys half term.





Club Update 7

Next Sunday is the last meeting before half term – Group 3 and 4 meet.

Groups 1 and 2 will be online together with the newcomers tournament.


In the Yorkshire Bonus Arena tournament on Sunday we had a 2nd place for Varun and 3rd place for Narita. Well done and thanks to everyone who took part.

In the Junior 4 NCL team 1 won 8-0 but team 2 fell to a narrow 4.5-3.5 defeat.

Events to come

For better players you can join in the Alwoodley Chess Club online tournament on Wednesday nights at 7pm if you wish.

Next Junior 4NCL match is Thursday 29th October. I will e-mail team selections Friday – thanks to those who replied so quickly.

Yorkshire Junior Grand Prix 2 October 31st at 1pm.

Learning Area

I have uploaded the material on rook and pawn end games to the Learning Area that we have covered at the club.

On the Beginners Learning area I have uploaded videos on how to mate with Rook and King.



Club Update Number 6

Tier 2 Restrictions

Youth activities are exempt from tier 2 restrictions so we will continue to meet.

This Sunday it is the turn of Group 1 and 2 to meet. Again please let me know of any absences in advance of the club.


Last week participation dropped a bit to 63% - I appreciate not everyone can play every week but it is good to keep up the practice. Well done to Shravan who won for the first time.

Groups 3 and 4 are online this week together with the new starters’ section.


Again we should mention Samiksha and Angelica who don’t rest on  their laurels. Samiksha was busy at the weekend winning the Middlesex girls competition in her section and Angelica placed 4th in the latest ‘She Plays to win’ event.

Events to Come

Junior 4 NCL – selected teams take part tomorrow night at 6  - separate e-mails have been sent to those concerned with instructions. Good luck!!! Team 1 take on Cambridge Chess and Go, and team 2 take on Manchester Juniors D.

Yorkshire Junior Arena: Bonus tournament for those signed up to the Yorkshire Junior Grand prix at 3pm on Saturday on lichess.

Yorkshire Junior Grand Prix Tournament 2: October 31st for the next Grand Prix. You can’t go out Trick and Treating, but you can still play chess.

Wednesday Nights:

Alwoodley Chess Club now can’t meet due to tier 2 restrictions, so they are back online at 7pm on a Wednesday. Juniors are welcome to join to mix it with the adults (starting tonight). You need to be in the Alwoodley Chess Club team on lichess. Not recommended for beginners.


I have started a watsap group for the club so join if you can. Updates will also go on there.

County selection

Is an online county championship starting in November. Some of our players will be involved and I will let you know separately if selected.


These are rubbish times generally, but chess marches on.


Club Update Number 5

I am pleased to welcome a new set of players and parents to the fold who have formed a ‘newcomers’ group on line to practice on Sunday evenings. Unfortunately we won’t be able to take any more physical groups at present but I would like to add two more children to the physical club after half term.

Learning Area

The material from last week on Rook and Pawn endings will be available on the website learning area shortly. For newcomers I do recommend the beginners learning area where there are some essential videos to watch.

Sunday online

Engagement is good with a high percentage taking part. Please make sure all players are aware of the protocol for online playing (I have reattached). Resigning without good reason is not allowed. A reminder there are now two tournaments so newcomers should join the ‘newcomers’ tournament and Group 1 and 2 this week join Leeds Junior Chess Sunday Tournament.

Monday night Coaching

This continues with Nick at 7pm Monday evening for those who want it where he is covering instructive games. For newcomers the link is

Sunday Club

This week it is Groups 3 and 4 meeting. Please could you let me know if not attending so we can arrange room and pairs appropriately.

Junior 4 NCL

I have selected the following two teams for next Thursday’s matches. I will send separate instructions to all players when I have them.

Team 1: Jael, Angelica, Aditya, Nav (first reserve Suhrith).

Team 2: Narita, Samiksha, Sahil, Enzo (first reserve Miraya).

Upcoming Grand Prix event

The next Grand Prix event is October 31st. For details on how to sign up for those who haven’t done so already please go here:



Club Update Number 4



I am interested in us entering a team or two for the above competition. Matches take place periodically(about every two weeks) online (lichess) on a Thursday at 6pm. You play 2 games versus your opponent at 10 minutes +5 second increments.

This is for players in Groups 1 and 2 only.

Please could you let me know asap if interested  - message any format.


Club meetings

We continue with groups 1 and 2 this Sunday. Groups 3 and 4 play online at 6pm. Good numbers last week – 23 online as well as the physical club. Really good learning at the club last week – just a reminder that much of what was covered is also available in the website learning area.


Online protocols


This week we will be issuing a guide for parents and players as to online protocols. This will come in a separate e-mail. I would be grateful if you could read it thoroughly so we can make the online environment safe and fair for everyone.


Club Update Number 3

Groups 1 and 2 had their second meeting last week and it all went well. We finally got that photo with the international online trophy we won for consistent performance (see gallery page).

Groups 3 and 4 meet this coming Sunday. Again please let us know of any absences in advance.

Online tournament had 64% engagement on Sunday from Groups 3 and 4 – this is the opportunity to play competitively and put ideas into practice so take part if you can.

Groups 1 and 2 will be online this Sunday at 6pm.


It was the first of the Yorkshire Grand Prix events online last Sunday. We had 25 of our members taking part and some success – Agamya was 3rd in the Major with a 2069 rating performance. Varun won the Intermediate with Rithvik second and Sahil took the U9 medal. George was 3rd in the Starter section – well done all.

Can I persuade all those not yet signed up to compete in the Grand Prix to do so – the club is about supporting youngsters to compete in chess, so if not competing the club is not much use to you. The next event is October 31st, although there will be warm up events too.


The government have announcement new restrictions about various things, but under 18’s are exempt, so we will continue to meet until we can’t (eg local lockdown).


Club Update Number 2


Great to see the new faces on Sunday as well as welcoming back some familiar ones – two really good sessions as well and everything running smoothly and safely.

Next week back to groups 1 and 2. The online competition this week was fantastic with some great games. Well done Varun who won all 6 this week.

Please could you remember, as far as possible, to play on line when your group is on its week off – first week engagement was a bit disappointing, but better this week.

Reminder: This Saturday is the first of the online Grand Prix events – I would hope most could take part as we do expect our members to engage in wider participation in chess. The first tournament runs 1-5pm on lichess.

Sign up here.

Just a quick reminder that if you want to wait in the building on Sunday that is fine, but please use the hall (through the main door) and not the bar lounge thank you.

Monday night Zoom coaching continues with Nick.



Club Update Number 1

Club Return

Well we finally got back to meeting after nearly 6 months. The evening went successfully – thanks to everyone for sticking to the rules – it was safe and I got the feeling the youngsters were just glad to be back. One hour went very quickly! I have shared some pictures on social media and on the website.

Next Sunday it is the turn of Groups 3 and 4. Please arrive in good time (5.30pm start Group 3 and 6.45pm start group 4).

Groups 1 and 2 play online at 6pm.

Don’t forget Zoom coaching with Nick is available additionally on Mondays vis the link I sent the other day.


We had five girls playing in the UK Chess Challenge Tera Finals last weekend  -that is the final stage of a four stage competition. Samiksha finished as best girl in the Under 8 section of the competition – an amazing achievement. Agamya finished 2nd best girl in the Under 18 section. Angelica finished 3rd in ‘She Plays to win’ girls’ competition which started out with 80 girls nationally – another great performance. The club has always trail blazed with girls’ chess and its great to see that continuing as girls are still a minority in chess nationally, and very much so in the county.


There are dire threats on the news about further lockdowns in Leeds – we will keep our eye on the situation and make assessments on a week by week basis and keep you informed. Quick reminder that over 11’s have to wear a mask in the community centre – don’t worry I have plenty if anyone forgets.

Coming Events

Don’t forget the Yorkshire Junior grand Prix kicks off September 19th with the first online event.

Sign up here.

Details here.

Finally – if you are interested in such things my latest blog is available here.

© 2014 by John Hipshon