Club Update 41

















Club Update 40

I am pleased to announce our club awards for this year.

Player of the Year: Jael de Sousa Mauchikape

Most Improved Player: Sienna Xu

Coaches Special Award: Navaneeth Sasikumar


Congratulations to these three and they will receive their awards through the post soon.

Next Sunday is the last physical meeting of the term for Groups 3 and 4.

On Sunday 18th we will finish off the year with an online blitz tournament with prizes (6pm). Anyone in Groups 3 and 4 who can’t come this Sunday if they are isolating can join in online at 6pm.

July Calendar:

Sunday 11th July: Group 4 meet at 5pm. Group 3 meet at 6.15pm. Groups 1 and 2 online at 6pm.

Thursday July 15th: Final online interclub battle at 6pm.

Sunday 18th July: All in club online blitz.

Saturday July 24th: YJCA Summer series.


Applying for next year.

The application process for next year is now OPEN! Your link is here: Cognito Forms

No money needed at this point. Current members and newcomers who have been playing with us have first choice before I open it up the (considerable) waiting list. Please note we hope to be able to go back to some sort of normality in September but numbers are still limited.

The deadline for renewals is July 31st. Next year will be £70 again but will ask for payment once applications are approved.


Online protocols

Some cases of suspended accounts again recently I’m afraid. The online protocol is here. Please make sure your children know what they can and can’t do online.


Club Update 39

Well done all those who played in the YJCA summer series last week in highly competitive tournaments, and also those who took part in the ukcc megafinals over the last two weekends. I think the final megafinals are this weekend so still chance to enter/qualify. It was good of Sarah to invite me to talk about Yorkshire Chess last Sunday during the competition.

Thank you to the girls who played in the Inter counties girls’ competition last Monday – although few in number they helped Yorkshire get back into division 1.

Thank you also to all those who played in the interclub battle last Thursday. We finished 5th which is a bit down on some previous performances but still competitive in Division1.

This Sunday Group 4 meet at 5pm and Group 3 meet at 6.16pm at Alwoodley. Groups 1 and 2 are online at 6pm. There is no Newcomers’ tournament this week.




Club Update 38

This Thursday we have a club battle on lichess at 6pm. All are welcome to play.

Girls – there is an intercounty battle at 6pm next Monday.

Club is open for Group 2 at 5pm and Group 1 at 6.15pm.

On line I am going to combine groups 3,4 and newcomers this week – 6pm for this.

We are coming towards the end of the year so coaches will now be thinking about club awards for the end of the year. I think it is worth recognising our top 10 rated players on lichess, and also our top 10 most improved over the last 4 weeks (underneath).












Club Update 37

We will be open on Sunday 13th June:

Group 4 at 5pm and Group 3 at 6.15pm. Groups 1, 2 and newcomers online.

Thanks to all who took part in the Inter County battle on Monday – Yorkshire came 5th.



Club Update 36

Here is the calendar for June::

Thursday 3rd June: Interclub battle: Surbiton Junior Invitational 1 Team Battle #Ii8Q4gVf •

Monday 7th June: Intercounty battle: 18th Inter-County Division 1 Team Battle #G9PygkJS •

Sunday 13th June: Meetings: Group 4 at 5pm and Group 3 at 6.15pm. Groups 1, 2 and newcomers online.

Thursday 17th June: Interclub battle.

Saturday 19th June: YJCA Summer series: Events To Come | YJCA (

Sunday 20th June: Meetings: Group 2 at 5pm and Group 1 at 6.15pm. Groups 3, 4 and newcomers online.

Monday 21st June: Girls Intercounty battle.

Sunday 27th June: Meetings: Group 4 at 5pm and Group 3 at 6.15pm. Groups 1, 2 and newcomers online.


Club Update 35

No club the next two Sundays due to half term.

Please could members of group 3 and 4 ensure they play in the right tournament on a Sunday – they should not be in the Newcomers’ section.

Next session at Alwoodley will be June 13th for Groups 3 and 4.

There will be no teams on June 5th as only one person wanted to play.

Club Update 34

Congratulations to team 1 winning their divisional final last Thursday! It was a close match but we edged it 4.5-3.5 – great to hold our nerve in such a tense situation – all the kids were on Zoom being scrutinised. So that is an unbeaten season (9/9)! Congratulations to Jael, Aditya, Angelica and Navaneeth who have played in every match showing great commitment. We finished 1st out of 32 teams in the division. Hoping to get a picture with the trophy soon!

Well done also to Leo and Sahil who picked up trophies in the top section on Saturday in the YJCA summer series – we had 18 players in this event.

Thank you to the 6 girls who took part in the intercounty girls battle on Monday with Yorkshire finishing 3rd in division 2. I am sorry you don’t get more support from other girls in the county.

Coming up this Thursday is the interclub battle at 6pm – you can enter this on our team page and all are welcome. We were very strong 2 weeks ago  - let’s see if we can maintain that challenge to the top teams.

On Sunday we have Group 2 meeting at 5pm and Group 3 meeting at 6.15pm. Groups 3, 4 and the Newcomers play online at 6pm.

We have been invited to enter and U18, U14 and U14 minor teams (below 1800 on lichess) into a team competition on June 5th from 11am to 1.30pm. I would like to know who would be willing to play in this please? Responses by Friday – the condition is you must be an ECF junior member (free to join for the first time  - join here).

If we have enough responses we will enter.

Members of the club who would like to join Alwoodley Chess Club so they can represent both and also play at Alwoodley on a Wednesday evening can have joint membership of both clubs for no extra charge. This will be more for older members due to the late finish on school nights. If you want this membership then please let me know – it also means you will be eligible for the Yorkshire League if it returns on a Saturday afternoon – good long play chess with adults.



Club Update 33

We should start by wishing our Junior 4NCL team all the best for their divisional final this Thursday.

We have now established a new newcomers’ group for online play on Sunday. This will continue this week at 6pm and Groups 1 and 2 can play online at 6pm.

Groups 3 and 4 meet physically this week  - Group 4 at 5pm and Group 3 at 6.15pm.

With restrictions easing on Monday we will continue with the current arrangements until June 21st at least but will review the mask wearing situation.

I have had some questions about the UK Chess Challenge for this year. It is up to you if you want to enter – it now has nothing to do with the club.

Finally can I persuade more players for the YJCA Summer Series on Saturday – I understand there may be fatigue with online chess but we won’t be back with physical tournaments for a while so it’s still good competition.

GIRLS don’t forget the Inter county girls battle on Monday at 6pm on the Yorkshire Girls page.

Whatsap Group

The whatsap group is for adults. Members who are over 16 may join with parents’ permission.

Club Update 32

We have completed one cycle of meetings for all players so hopefully everyone knows the system by now. The sessions have been good but seem to go quickly! 73% attended physically.

This coming Sunday it is Group 2 at 5pm and Group 1 at 6.15pm. Please let me know of not attending well in advance.

Group 3 and 4 can play online at 6pm on lichess.

Congratulations to team 1 in the Junior 4NCL who reached the divisional final last Thursday winning their semi-final 5-3. Team 2 made a valiant effort but lost in the semi-final. Thanks to everyone who played in the inter county battle on Monday and helped Yorkshire to an amazing 3rd place.

This Thursday it is the interclub battle at 6pm – I have done a calendar for the month below.

Thursday 6th May: Inter club battle 6pm.

Sunday 9th May: Group 1 and 2 meeting, Group 3 and 4 play online.

Thursday 13th May: Junior 4NCL final for team 1 at 6pm.

Saturday 15th May: YJCA Summer series event 1 (enter here Summer Series | YJCA ( at 1pm.

Sunday 16th May: Group 3 and 4 meeting, Group 1 and 2 play online at 6pm.

Monday 17th May: GIRLS intercounty battle at 6pm on lichess.

Thursday 20th May Interclub battle at 6pm on lichess

Sunday 23rd May: Group 1 and 2 meeting, Group 3 and 4 play online.

Sunday 30th May Group 3 and 4 meeting, Group 1 and 2 play online.


Club Update 31

It was good see people again on Sunday!

So this week GROUP 4 meets at 5pm – 6pm

GROUP 3 meets at 6pm – 7pm.

These are the people in each group.

For those who haven’t been before the address is Alwoodley Community Centre, The Avenue, LS17 7NZ. Come to the tennis court end of the building and collect from the main door at the front. Parents can wait in the main hall of they want to (enter by the main door).

Group 3 at 6pm:




















Raja Sinivasan


Raja Srinivasan









Group 4 at 5pm:
































Groups 1 and 2 play online at 6pm.

Good luck to our Junior 4NCL teams 1 and 2 in their semi-final matches on Thursday.

I will also be forwarding the Yorkshire Junior Chess Summer series e-mail which has 4 ability sections – something for everyone.

Next Monday there is an intercounty battle at 6 on Yorkshire team page on Lichess.

Well done to those who played in the YJCA Championship event last Saturday. Varun finished 2nd and best Yorkshire player, Suhrith took the U14 trophy, Rithvik the U12 trophy and Sri took the U8 trophy in a very high level tournament.

Club Update 30

We will be returning physically on Sunday with Group 2 meeting at 5pm-6pm and Group 1 meeting at 6.15  -7.15pm. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Please arrive in good time. Please enter by the entrance at the Tennis Court end. Sanitise hands on the way in. We will be maintaining one board each currently, with emphasis on coaching for most of the hour and some play at the end. Parents cannot come in to the coaching room. Parents can wait in the Hall accessed by the main door to the building (masks and social distancing please). At the end of the hour players will exit supervised by the main door so please collect from that end of the building. Again please don’t come in to the room to collect players.

IF YOU CANT ATTEND PLEASE LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE. (certainly by 4.30pm on the day). At the end of the e-mail is a list of children we will be expecting to attend this Sunday.

All players must wear face coverings in the centre. We have spares if you forget so don’t panic.

Groups 3 and 4 online play will be available at 6pm.

This Thursday there is an interclub battle online at 6pm.

On Saturday the Yorkshire Junior Chess Association Championship takes place at 1pm. We currently have 8 players signed up for this. I have to say that is massively disappointing from a club with 60 members. Part of our reason for existing is to enable youngsters to compete in important chess events. We simply should be supporting our local championships. Link is here – it is only £5: Events To Come | YJCA (


On a really positive note both team 1 and team 2 got promoted in the Junior 4 NCL and both teams will play in the divisional semi-final next week. Well done to those teams!

I have also attached details of an Over The Board event in June.




Group 1 (at 6.15pm)


de Sousa M.






















Bharathidasan Vidhya








Group 2 (at 5pm)










Bez Birolo





















Club Update 29

Great performance in  the interclub competition last Monday – finishing third in Division 1 ( 4 divisions and nearly 40 teams) and Jael won the top player from 179 players, with a nice £5 voucher as a reward!

This Thursday it is the final week of the main season of Junior 4NCL with team 1 and 2 going for promotion and hopefully places in the semi-finals.

Next Monday it the girls’ intercounty battle at 6pm.

This Sunday we are back online with a preterm warm-up competition at 6pm on our team page– all welcome and all in the same section for an Arena battle.

Don’t forget the YJCA Championships April 24th: Events To Come | YJCA (

Then – the big return!

April 25th we are back.

We have decided to stick to the 4 group format but welcoming 14 new members. The group sizes are slightly larger but all within the government 15 rules.

Group timings will be 4.30-5.30 (Groups 1 and 3) and 5.45-6.45 (Groups 2 and 4). Groups meet alternate weeks starting with Groups 1 and 2 on April 25th and in the off week there will be online play at 6pm. I will issue further covid safety guidance next week. I will also send a separate e-mail to new members for completing payment. Groups are listed below.



Group 1
















Group 2

















Group 3

















Group 4



















Club Update 28

Formal coaching is now over for this term.

The plan is to resume with physical meetings from 25th April at Alwoodley, meeting for an hour in bubbles every two weeks spread over 5 groups, with online play in your off week. I have put dates on the website.

The groups will be completely restructured based on current performance, also trying to not split siblings into separate hours. However until there is absolute confirmation of lockdown easing on April 12th I will not send any details.

I do need to know from CURRENT PAID MEMBERS if anyone objects to physical meetings and doesn’t want to do it -otherwise I will assume you are happy to meet (with all due safety measures in place as last time).

Meanwhile other things are going on:

Thursday 1st April Junior 4NCL (teams have been informed) at 6pm

Monday 5th April Intercounty battle at 6pm: Yorkshire Junior Chess Association •

Wednesday 7th April : Chess Training day: Planning the middle game: Easter Coaching Event | YJCA (

Thursday 8th April Interclub battle at 6pm on our team page.

Thursday 15th April Junior 4NCL (final round) 6pm.

Monday 19th April at 6pm Girls Inter County battle.

Thursday 22nd April Interclub battle at 6pm.

Saturday 24th April YJCA Championships at 1pm: Events To Come | YJCA (

Sunday 25th April: Club begins at Alwoodley.


Thanks to everyone who played in the interclub battle last Monday. It looked at one point as if we were going to finish in the relegation places, but a strong finish enabled us to climb to 6th, just 3 points above the relegation zone.

Finally I have put the check mate patterns on the learning area that we have covered in the Sunday sessions. I feel that this has been an important topic covered by Nick these last 4 weeks and would like to say thanks to him for his preparation on this.



Club Update 27

Well done to everyone who played in the Grand Prix events on Saturday. Delighted to say that Jael won the Elite event in a tight competition. Agamya was best girl and Sahil won the Under 11 trophy. In the Plate event good second place finish for Lucius who took the U18 trophy, and Samiksha won best girl.

On Monday we played SASCA club from Sheffield and won 19-7 in a 13 board double round match. We had a good mix of new players for the team  so a good win.

Then last Thursday in the Junior 4 NCL teams 1 and 2 maintained their 100% records making it 5/5 wins, with team 1 winning 6-2 and team 2 winning 7-0.5. Team 3 went down 2-6. As we get to the business end teams 1 and 2 need to maintain their form to get into the play offs for promotion.

This Thursday we have the next interclub team battle on lichess at 6pm. Everyone can play in this – it is visible on our team page.

This Wednesday’s coaching session will be the last Wednesday session now, and these won’t continue after Easter. This Sunday’s coaching will be the last on Zoom before Easter. After Easter all coaching from 25th will be at Alwoodley Community Centre(subject to government confirmation). I will be sending some details of this in due course and it will require a response from you so this can be organised properly and safely.

Finally now I can offer an exclusive chance for you to sign up to our Easter training session on April 14th. You will find details and sign up here: Easter Coaching Event | YJCA (

Leeds Juniors are getting first go (a presale if you like) before I offer it to the rest of the country tomorrow.


Club Update 26

First I would like to update you about a possible physical return. Under the current roadmap this would be allowed from Sunday April 18th. We are working on possibly having 5 bubbles (of approx. 14) so we can accommodate as many newcomers as possible. Newcomers would be charged for one term and I will contact you with details separately. This would mean 2 groups meeting in 1 hour blocks and 3 the following week, alternating through the term. Details have not been fully decided so please be patient with us and of course it is subject to the government changing its mind. All the same covid measures as before would be in place and again we will fill out that detail nearer the time for those who weren’t with us last time.

The Wednesday Zoom sessions will continue up to end of March but won’t continue after Easter.


Lots of good stuff to report. In the interclub battle last Thursday we came 4th in Division 1. Just for context there are 4 divisions in this competition, so 40 clubs in total from around the country. Well done Jael top scorer for the team (11th/179). Then in the girls’ intercounty battle on Monday, which featured 7 girls from the club out of 10 players, Yorkshire came 4th in division 1 with Angelica top scoring coming 2nd/80 girls. Thanks to all participants, particularly committing on school nights.

Competition this week

This Thursday evening we have junior 4NCL and teams have been informed. Saturday is Grand Prix finals at 1pm. Sunday normal club sessions. On Monday we have a 12 board match against SASCA at 7pm. Thanks to all those who wanted to play – in the end I have selected to try to match their team rather than just put a team out to win easily, which gives a great chance to some of our promising new players.

Looking ahead further we are planning a training day for Wednesday 14th April which will be on Zoom with a Tornelo tournament in the afternoon.



Club Update 25

Let me start by apologising for my date mix up yesterday. Those who know me well know that I am prone to this on occasions!

To help I have produced a calendar for March for events outside our normal club meetings so hope this makes amends. I have put in brackets after each event who it concerns. Please note where it says all that includes children in the Newcomers group.

Just to flag up the next online event is this Thursday with the interclub battle at 6pm.

March Calendar

Thursday 11th March 6pm: Interclub battle on lichess (all).

Monday 15th March 6pm: Girls Inter county team battle on Yorkshire Girls team page on lichess( all girls).

Thursday 18th March at 6pm: Junior 4 NCL (Junior 4NCL squad members)

Saturday 20th March at 1pm Yorkshire Grand Prix Elite event on Tornelo (qualifiers only)

Saturday 20th March at 1pm Yorkshire Grand Prix Plate event on lichess (all Grand Prix players other than elite)

Monday 22nd March at 7pm: Club team match v SASCA club (all are eligible – team of 12 to be announced later in the week).

Thursday 25th March at 6pm: Interclub battle on lichess (all).

Hope this helps.


Coaching had 81% engagement this week – much better with 85% in the Newcomers group. Online play was 79% and 65% in the Newcomers. Newcomers please try to play as well.

My moans this week concern people joining coaching late – please try to join 5 minutes ahead of the start time – use player FULL name and no silly heads and hats etc. These things might be amusing but are a distraction.


Club Update 24


The Grand Prix came to an exciting climax  with 26 members taking part.

Roll of honour: Major winner Jael, 3rd Varun

Intermediate 2nd Vishnu

So for the Grand Prix overall:

Winner: Varun, 2nd Jael, U12 Winner Rithvik, U9 winner Sahil, U7 winner Sri, U10 winner Shravan.

So overall we have 10 qualifiers for the Elite event on March 20th.

Last Thursday in the interclub battle we came 7th so managed to survive in division 1 with 26 taking part. Also thanks to those who played in the inter county event on Monday. 25 players from this club took part (out of 33 for the whole of Yorkshire) and again we just survived in Division 1 finishing 7th.

On Sunday we had 57% attendance at coaching and 60% playing online. These are well down and I can understand if some had had ‘enough’ after playing on Saturday, but I feel we need to focus on increasing participation across the whole club in all events, which is hovering around the 60% mark.

This week we have Junior 4NCL matches on Thursday – good luck to all those taking part.

Looking ahead the government roadmap does not offer any hope of a physical return even though schools go back next week. I think we are looking at May at the earliest and I will be discussing with the coaches what that might look like.


Club Update 23

Great wins for all our team in the Junior 4 NCL last Thursday – Team 1 beat Manchester Juniors D 7.5-0.5, Team 2 beat Jonathan Hawkins Chess Club 7 by 5.5-2.5 and team 3 beat St Laurence 1 by 5-3. So team 1 and 2 maintain their 100% records after three matches. Well played everyone.

Last Sunday we had 77% engagement at coaching and 72% playing. All the important coaching covered by groups 1 and 2 is on the learning area of the website, and the London System set up for the other groups is also on.

This Thursday we have the inter club battle at 6pm which is for all – hope we can get a strong team out now we are in division 1. Please join on our team page.

Then Saturday it is Grand Prix T5. A reminder even if you have not registered for any Grand prix events this year you can still play in this – go to Events To Come | YJCA (

Plenty at stake with qualification for the elite event up for grabs and plenty of trophies on offer.

On Monday night at 6pm it is the next intercounty team battle which you can access on the Yorkshire Junior Chess Association team page.

My guess from yesterday’s announcement is that a physical club may be possible after the Easter holidays, but we will have to wait and see.


Club Update 22

I know its half term but there is still a lot happening. Tonight we have 3 teams in the Junior 4 NCL so good luck to everyone playing. Yesterday we had the YJCA training day and a good number form the club took part. In the afternoon tournament Nav finished 2nd and Sri 3rd with Samiksha best girl. There was lots of good learning going on during the day.

Thanks to the girls who played in the Inter County girls team on Monday night – you did an amazing job! 5th place was excellent considering the county number 1 had to withdraw ill at the last moment so everyone really stepped up.

Last Thursday in the Interclub battle on Thursday we finished 3rd in division 2 so got promoted to division 1. Thanks to all those who played (around 25).

Sunday coaching returns this week (21st) – usual groups and usual Zoom links and usual online tournament times.

Looking ahead we have interclub battle one week today at 6pm and then it is Grand Prix T5 on Saturday 27th February.

Maybe we can also dare to think about a physical return after Easter depending on announcements next week? We can dare to hope.

Club Update 21


Next week is half term so we will not be coaching on Sunday 14th. However there will be an online tournament which will be a single tournament for anyone to join (called the half term all in).

However – during half term we are offering a chess training day on Wednesday 17th February. I have attached details in a flier. We are offering this exclusively to members of the club for 48 hours as we have limited places to 24. After 48 hours we will be offering it to the whole country! The cost is £25 and payment details are on the flier – it’s good value for a full day including three coaching sessions and a tournament. We are covering three specific openings.

The sign up form is here:


Inter club battle

On Thursday at 6pm there is an intercounty battle which we have been invited to take part in. It would be good to have a strong team so please join on our team page on lichess. It is only 1 hour.


Well done to everyone who took part in the Junior 4NCL teams last Thursday. Team 1 had a good 6-2 win and team 2 won 5-3. Team 3 went down 6.5-1.5 to a very strong team from Kent. Next match is 18th February – I will send teams at the weekend and assume everyone who has signed up is available unless you let me know they are not.


Please sign up to the intercounty battle for girls on Monday 15th Feb on the Yorkshire Girls team page: Yorkshire Girls •

This takes place at 6pm.


Better this week. 88% attended coaching and 81% played online last Sunday.




Club Update 20


Our coaching attendance was 73% and online play was the same. Having worked with young people for 34 years I take my responsibilities seriously and running a club of any sort is about much more than just the central activity. Teaching young people about turning up for things and commitment is just as important as the activity itself, so all our members should be engaging every week. I appreciate that things come up which makes this not possible sometimes and I appreciate parents who have let me know when children can’t take part and I also appreciate those parents who have had discussions with me about screen time at the moment – demands from school must also be considerable (and other activities now limited to online).  Aside of these circumstances we seem to have a number just dipping in and out. If you don’t like the coaching then please tell us why – that’s the only way we can change it and improve it.

On a really positive note I would like to congratulate James, Enzo and Vishnu who have 100% engagement this year at the club – great stuff.


Thanks to all those who took part last night playing for Yorkshire. 5th place was still pretty good and well done to Nav who was top scorer for Yorkshire and Jael who was second. Next event in this is March 1st. The even came to a dramatic end when lichess went down completely!

We also had five youngsters who played in the Yorkshire League matches for Alwoodley on Saturday – good wins for Angelica, Rithvik and Samiksha against adult opponents.

Events to come

This Thursday we have three teams playing in the Junior 4NCL – team 1 take on Edgeware Gambits D, team 2 take on Coldfall Bishops and Team 3 take on KCJS3. Good luck to everyone.

In the Thursdays in between – so starting 11th February  - there is a club team battle on lichess which you can see on our team page. This is OPEN TO All so I hope we can get good participation. It starts at 6pm and is only for 1 hour.

Sunday timings remain the same for all.


Club Update 19

Thanks to all who attended on Sunday – we had 76% engagement at Zoom coaching and 78% playing on line.

Please can you remind players to let Nick have games of interest please.

Junior 4NCL

Please to report three wins! Team 1 won 6-2, team 2 won 5-3 and team 3 won 7-1. Well done all – next match 4th February and I will assume everyone available unless you tell me otherwise – teams will be issued Monday.

Intercounty battle

Next Intercounty battle takes place this Monday at 6pm. This takes place on the Yorkshire Junior Chess Association team page here: Yorkshire Junior Chess Association •

Yorkshire league

We have a few players taking part in the Yorkshire League on Saturday – good luck – there will be a separate e-mail with our opponents.

Online protocols

For those who have joined recently and also a reminder to everyone please remember our guidelines for online chess. Download here - many of our players are so used to all this now it is as natural as over the board chess, but a reminder is always useful.

I have put all the links for Zoom below in case you have lost them. This includes the Wednesday session at 7pm with Nick for anyone who wants it.





Newcomers Zoom session Sunday 4pm:

Groups 3 and 4 session Sunday 5pm:

Groups 1 and 2 session Sunday 6pm:

Wednesday 7pm:




Club Update 18

Quite a lot happening chess wise. Zoom went Ok last Sunday with the extra session for newcomers now included. I am upgrading our Zoom so we won’t have the abrupt cut off we usually experience and I can encourage Nick to sum up and end formally.

There were two children I couldn’t identify on Zoom last week so please could you put their name on the Zoom page – an important safety measure as we can’t have people we don’t know attending a session with children – so ‘Fred’s phone’ is not helpful as a title in this respect when we don’t have a Fred in the club (I have made that up but hopefully you know what I mean).

Engagement for coaching was 84% and for play was 80%.

Sessions follow the same pattern this week.


This is Junior 4NCL week and on Thursday team 1 take on Farnham Fantastico and team 2 take on Edgeware Gambits F, while team 3 play St Lawrence BNS.

I shared this link to an event for 9-12’s on whatsap:

For players who like to play against adults this would be great experience: Four Nations Chess League ( Spring Congress which runs over 7 weeks, costs £10.50.


Parents and chess

Following a query from one parent this week who has been learning chess alongside her daughter I have often wondered why more parents don’t play. It is not just a hobby for children with millions of adult players all over the world. You are never too old! I know many of you are very busy but I thought I would just mention Alwoodley Chess Club welcomes new players of ANY standard and is currently active online.

Club Update 17


Thanks to all those who took part in the Grand Prix event on Saturday. We had 25 from the club. Congratulations to Varun who won the Major and George who won the starter. Agamya maintained a consistent level of performance finishing as best girl in the Major and Shravan took the U11 trophy in the Intermediate.

I can only describe the rest of our club performance as subdued. I will put this down to an off day and not worry about it too much at this stage.


On Sunday engagement was good! We had 88% attending Zoom coaching and 88% attending online play (although curiously not exactly the same 88%).

We have added a third Zoom session on Sunday for newcomers to catch up on some of the basics. I will put all the links below again.


Arrangements for this Sunday are:

4pm Zoom coaching for Newcomers.

5pm Zoom coaching for Groups 3 and 4.

6pm Coaching for Groups 1 and 2.

5.50pm Online play for Groups 3,4 and Newcomers.

6.50pm Online play for Groups 1 and 2.

Nick’s Wednesday coaching continues at 7pm for those who want it.

Events to come

The next county event is Monday evening February 1st.

Junior 4NCL is Thursday 21st January (will send details separately to teams) at 6pm.

For those who like to mix it with the adults Alwoodley will be running an ongoing rapidplay on Wednesday nights (every fortnight) with games at 25 mins per player starting at 7pm. If anyone is interested in playing please let me know.





Newcomers Zoom:

Groups 3 and 4 Zoom:

Groups 1 and 2 Zoom:

Wednesday Zoom:


Club Update 16


Happy new year.

We enter another lockdown phase which means we can’t meet physically.

So here are the instructions for online play and coaching on Sunday evenings,

Groups 3, 4 and Newcomers.

Zoom coaching: 5pm – 5.40pm. Link:

Tournament play 5.50pm on lichess.


Groups 1 and 2.

Zoom coaching 6pm – 6.40pm. Link:

Tournament play 6.50pm on lichess.


Links will also be given on the whatsap group and on the website.


Other events.

Saturday at 1pm is Grand Prix T4 – good luck to everyone.

Last Monday 19 of our players played for the Yorkshire team in the intercounty battle. Yorkshire came 4th in division one, which is fabulous. Big thanks to all those who played.

I only received two additions to the junior 4NCL squad, which is not enough for a third team. I am really disappointed – we have 49 full members yet can’t raise 15 players to play for 45 minutes on a Thursday evening. Surely all group 1 and 2 players should be wanting to play? Also although I was delighted we could supply 19 players for the Yorkshire team, it does mean 30 of our members declined to play.

Christmas Update

On Monday night there is an inter county battle at 6pm and you can join this on The Yorkshire Junior Chess Association page.

Next Saturday is Grand Prix Tournament 4 at 1pm – you can join on The Yorkshire Junior Chess Association Grand Prix page ( you need to have signed up and paid).

The Junior 4NCL restarts on 21st January (6pm) for 7 rounds held every 2 weeks. I am going to assume that everyone who played last time still wants to play (let me know if not). However if anyone else wants to join the squads please let me know and I can enter a third team (teams are 4 players – games start at 6 on a Thursday, you play 2 games and it mostly done by 6.45pm).

Finally well doe to everyone who took part in the 10 board match against Surbiton which we won 11.5-8.5 and then the Arena battle which we lost narrowly by 2 points (116-114).

Happy new year everyone. Club back on 10th January with groups 1 and 2 to meet.



Club Update 15

We have now completed all our meetings for the Autumn term. This coming Sunday we have a special challenge match with Surbiton Chess Club online. This will be a 10 board match for a selected team, followed by an Arena for ALL players. As an incentive, and as it is Christmas – best Leeds player will get a prize!

Good news – Wednesday nights on Zoom will continue through the Christmas break!

Here are the spring term dates for your diary:

January 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st

February 7th, 28th

March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th.


The pattern will be Groups 1 and 2 meet first evening physically, Groups 3 and 4 meet physically on 17th January, then alternate as this term. Groups not meeting play online at 6pm. Newcomers’ group is online play only at this stage.


Coming up in the new year:

Inter counties team battle January 4th

Grand Prix T4 January 9th

Junior 4NCL online starts January 21st.


Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone. We will keep our great club going in 2021 whatever!


Club Update 14

Sunday 13th December arrangements.

This will be our last meeting of the term.

Group 3 meet at Alwoodley Community Centre at 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Group 4 meet at Alwoodley Community Centre 6.45-7.45pm.

Group 1,2 and Newcomers Group play online at 6pm – 7.30pm.

There is no Zoom coaching on Sunday.

Nick will do online Zoom coaching on Wednesday (tomorrow) for those who want to at 7pm.

The link is

There is a list of groups here



Massive WELL DONE to Groups 3 and 4  - 100% attended online play on Sunday.

Sadly physical attendance in groups 1 and 2 was 56%. I must emphasise that you must let us know if you can’t attend, and a text or Whatsap message just before club does not count. We are busy in that period preparing, and Nick prepares his coaching based on the people we are expecting.



5 juniors took part in the Yorkshire League match on Sunday playing for Alwoodley B. The team lost 4-2 to Harrogate but there were great wins for Jael and Angelica.

Quite a few played last night for the Yorkshire team in the intercounty competition. Yorkshire won the division by miles so get promoted – well done everyone and Nav was second best player of 144 in the competition, with Jael 3rd.

The next match is January 4th.



Yorkshire League this Saturday – teams will be announced in the next two days.



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.

We have come to the end of our physical meetings for this term.

Hopefully when we return in September we will be back to weekly meetings. The proposed start date will be 12th September. I will finalise dates and put them on the website.

Just a reminder of three competitions still to come:

Thursday July 15th: Final online interclub battle at 6pm.

Sunday 18th July: All in club online blitz.

Saturday July 24th: YJCA Summer series.


During the summer I will keep everyone updated on the club although this might not be weekly. Many things are still up in the air of course.

Thanks for your support during this really tricky year – I think we can all be proud we have kept the club going and youngsters have kept improving and enjoying their chess.