Jeremy Taffel, Secretary
Barry Morris, President, 2nd Team Captain
David Healey, Treasurer
Mike Boyce, 1st Team
and Tournament Secretary
Antony Hall , 3nd
Ian Whyte Roger Kearns, Roger Lancaster, Nick Blinko, Alex Kearns, Iman,
Khandaker, Simon Charles
1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of previous AGM
3. Officers’ Reports
4 HCA Business
5. Election of Officers
6. Presentation of trophies
7. Books Beheathed by G. Davies
9. Any other Business
1. Apologies for Absence
These had been received from: Chris Russell, Peter Edwards, Simon Morris
2. Minutes of Previous AGM
These had been available since October on the club website. Many thanks to
Ian Whyte for the corrections.They were read and agreed.
3. Officers’ Reports
3.1 Secretary’s Report - Jeremy Taffel
At the start of the season it was by no means clear that we had the membership
to continue to run 6 teams. I’d already warned the HCA to expect us to run only 5, before the captains meeting the week after the AGM. In that meeting, an attempt was made to guess how many games
each member would play. That guess led us to the spectacularly wrong conclusion that we could run 6 teams. Membership was
slightly down on the previous season, and from the outset both the 4th and 5th teams struggled. Initially
the 4th did not have a captain and as in the previous season I attempted to organise things, but was relieved when
Chris Russell took over. Where the 4th struggled, the 5th floundered, and with only 1 player to call
upon regularly, the 5th team was disbanded after Christmas.
Over the board, the highlights were the 2nd surviving in Division
1 at Hertford’s expense, and the 2nd team surviving in division 3 at the expense of the once mighty Welwyn.
However, the 4th team and 6th teams were relegated the 5th team disbanded, so it was not
a good season for the bottom half of the club.
Off the board, we were bequeathed a collection of chess books by an ex member,
George Davies who gave us some equipment a few years ago when the Vauxhall (Luton) club folded. There is an agenda item to
discuss what to do with the equipment.
As Mark Sparrow was no longer updating the club website, I updated the old
one. He has recently responded to an email from me and that site now redirects to the old/new one. He has proposed that we
buy the domain/site off him. We should clearly only have one site and I have
put the website onto the agenda.
Under the board, we have some new tables. Bought by us, subsidised by the
Town and Country Club.
3.2 Treasurer’s Report –
It was reported that the club has 20 full members, up one with half or part subs received for another 8, down 4. Income included
£43 in subs which had been outstanding from the previous year
The cheque for the Herts Fees from one of the outstanding years has now been banked but the other has not, and is unlikely now ever to be. This makes the balance look a little worse than last year. Once that, and the decision
not to pay for insurance, are both taken into consideration, the club’s income was slightly down and outgoings very
similar to last year, and as a result the club ended the year with slightly less
in the way of reserves, but not alarmingly so.
It was understood that the HCA fee rates were likely to be increased slightly, but offset against that, we will only
be fielding 5 teams this season, and two were relegated; lower divisions pay lower fees.
Jeremy acknowledged that several members are eligible to pay a half subscription
but elect to pay the full amount. He thanked for them for doing so.
Having examined the account previously, the executive committee recommended to keep the subscriptions unchanged at £50 +£8 Herts Fees.
The proposal to keep the subscriptions unchanged was accepted unanimously.
3.3 Equipment Officer’s Report
– David Healey
With the extra digital clocks purchased last season, it was
generally agreed that the equipment is more than adequate both in quality and quantity. However, the equipment cupboard is
now jam packed, and untidy. It was agreed that the club would attempt to clear
it out after the Cheshire board. Jeremy announced that he has a good numberof hospital clocks at home.
3.4 Tournament Secretary’s Report
– Mike Boyce
a) 10-minute Tournament 16 Sept 2008
This was won by Venkat with 4½/5; runner-up Jerry Rudge 4/5, after a play-off.
b) Price Cup (Club Championship, a 7-round Swiss)
The Price Cup was shared between Andrew Stone (again unbeaten) and Jerry Rudge with 5½/7.
Andrew and Jerry did not play each other during the competition and also elected not to play off for the
I am minded to introduce a clearer rule on how ties will be handled, and favour “sum of progressive
scores” as the tie-splitting mechanism, rather than shortening each round from 5 weeks to 4 in order to create more
time at the end of the season for a play-off, which might involve more than two players.
18 players entered and 17 finished. Rather more games than usual were defaulted.
c) Dobson Shield and Silver Knight
This year neither the Dobson Shield nor the Silver Knight are awarded, as nobody played the requisite eight
qualifying games, even with the Price Cup games included
The meeting thanked Mike for his work in running the tournaments
3.5 Team Captain’s Reports
3.5.1. 1st Team captain’s
Report – Mike Boyce
The 1st team came 3rd in division 1 once
again, in another very competitive league; just one match point from champions Royston, against whom we drew one and lost
the other 2-3. Despite winning our last four matches, we could not recover from three losses and a draw in our first four. Until April any team could have been relegated or promoted. Watford 1 had an equal
game score to Hemel but they beat us and so were placed above us in 2nd place.
2nd Team captain’s Report - Barry Morris
Barry took over from Mike as 2nd team captain, and managed to survive for a 2nd year in Division 1. Hertford went down with three 200s or ex-200s at the top with 9 points, and us with 10. Mace had the unenviable record of 15 games with
black on the trot for the 1st and 2nd teams, and when was eventually
drawn the white pieces, his opponent did not turn up.
3rd Team captain’s Report - Antony Hall
Newly promoted to Division 2, the season was all about the battle to avoid
going straight down again. Things started well with the team beating Royston at home. Unfortunately that was to be our only
win for some time as several, albeit close, defeats followed. Our problems were twofold:
- Although we could match the opposing teams on the top boards, we were generally
outgunned lower down the order.
- We were also hampered by a constant struggle to get players out, with a
combination of nominated players not wishing to play league chess this season from the outset, or dropping out. Other players
were not always available as we'd originally hoped.
This meant the core of the team was Martin, Antony and Jeremy plus any two
available subs from the 4th/ 5th team. (Even then, Antony didn't help matters by going on honeymoon and missing a couple of
However, I managed to get a full team out for all matches bar one (a last-minute
withdrawal due to illness). We fielded 22 subs across all matches.
It was 2 Match Points out of 12 at the half way stage, but we had not played
once-mighty Welwyn Hatfield CF 1 at that point, and it became clear that they would be our closest rivals for relegation.
We managed to beat them home and away in two very tight matches (both 3-2). This was to prove decisive as we eventually finished
sixth (of seven) and avoided the drop.
We ended up with a record of P12 W3 D0 L9, scoring 6 match points and with
game points +23.5/ -36.5. On top board, Martin showed that he hadn't forgotten how to play despite several years away from
the board, easily holding his own against several strong players.
Individual scores: Martin (5.5/9), Antony (4/10), Jeremy (5.5/11), Brian
(0/3), Ali (1/4).
I managed to rotate the W4/5 players and only Simon Charles transferred up
after I lost Martin to the 2nd team. Thanks to the following who played up:
Bill Broome (1/3), Avi Baruch (1/4), Simon Charles (2.5/6), Simon Morris
(2.5/3), Chris Russell (0.5/4) and Roger Kearns (0/1).
4th Team captain’s Report -
Chris did not leave a report before going on holiday. However,
it was reported by Jeremy that a last minute change to the league resulted in an unearned promotion and the team struggled
from the outset.The nominated team was Bill Broome, Avinoam, Simon Charles, Simon
Morris, and Chris Russell, and it was not anticipated by the committee that they
would struggle to raise a team. However, struggle they did, requiring the regular services of
Roger Kearns and others, finishing the season with the record of played 12 won 1 drew 1 and lost 10, resulting in relegation
back to Division 4.
5th Team captain’s Report
- Peter Edwards
The problems with the 4th team were nothing compared with those
of the 5th team.
Peter, Roger, Yehuda were the
only active nominated players and Yehuda was away for most of the season, and Roger was renominated for the 4th
team relatively soon into the season
The 5th team was disbanded after about 3 matches, as it had a captain but
no other players.
Team captain’s Report - David Healey
The 6th team finished
2nd from bottom – played 14 won 4 lost 1. Most successful were Chris Byrne and Nick Blinko with 7. The 6th
were probably the most settled of al lthe teams with 4 members playing in all the games, and with no Thanks to Philip Abbott
Russell Trophy – Mike Boyce
Watford lost to St.Albans in the semi-final on board count in a 3-3 match.
3.5.8 Sharp Trophy – Antony Hall
We went out in the first round after drawing 3 - 3 at Hoddesdon, despite
a default in our favour due to the opposition not realising it was a six-board competition. We outgraded them on every board
but our wins came from Boards 5 and 6 whereas theirs came on 2 and 3. The competition rules meant Hoddesdon went through.
This was rather disappointing, as we had a good chance of winning this competition, and this is the second season running
where we've lost this way.
3.5.9 Under 125 - Philip Abbott
3.5.10 Under 100
Watford got to final – with only 3 players graded under 100 in the
club. winng 2 rounds by drawing 2-2 level on board count. Won boards 2-3, lost 1-4. lost st A in final Only had 3 players
Puller Trophy – played in and won for first time in 20 years. 4 round
Rapid play accelerated Swiss – top 4 players counted Venkat Roger, Iman,
Venkat, Andrew, Ed came joint top. Roger and Simon also contributed, plus Simon. Beat St Albans. Royston did not defend.
3.6 Juniors -Chris Byrne
Chris was not present and did not submit a report. The current status of
the junior section was not known. Last season we had been informed that Chris could not commit to opening for the juniors,
and Jeremy had turned down a couple of enquiries, only to discover that Chris was in fact running a junior section with about
two children Roger Kearns offered to do something if we can get a second volunteer,
but none was forthcoming so it was decided to leave this open until Chris’ intentions are known.
(post meeting note – at the end of the evening Ian Whyte offered to
4. HCA Matters
Roger Kearns has attended a
couple of HCA exec meetings, but could not answer questions on the new grade boundaries for the KO competitions. It was reported
that the U-150 lost to Warwickshire, and that in the Open section, Herts won
the minor counties competion, beating Leicestershire in final. It was also reported that Steve Law’s e2-e4 league reporting
website will be moving to a moving to revamped hca site. (post meeting note – as of 10-10-2009 that had not happened).
5. Election of Officers
President Barry Morris
Secretary Jeremy Taffel
Treasurer David Healey
Tournament Secretary Mike Boyce
Publicity Officer Antony Hall
HCA Rep Roger Kearns (proposed Jeremy, seconded Mike), Nem Con.
Juniors – left open.
1st, Mike Boyce
2nd Barry Morris
3rd team – Antony Hall
4th Team Open
5th Team David Healey
Russell Trophy – Mike Boyce
Sharp Trophy – Antony Hall
U-125 – Open (Phillip Abbott will be approached to discover his availability).
U-100 – David Healey
6 Presentation of Trophies
7. Books Beheathed by G. Davies
Jeremy had a list of the books which was distributed around the meeting.
It was agreed that he’d bring them to the club to sell.
The future of the chessclub website was discussed. Currently there are two
sites, the old http://watfordchess.tripod.com sit and http://watfordchessclub.org.uk . The newer site had not been updated for nearly two years, and discussions with Mark Sparrow indicated that he was unlikely
to regain his interest in the club. Jeremy had updated the tripod site in September/October 2008, and was prepared to keep
it current. It has the advantages of being free and easy to maintain, but contains advertising (easily supressed by Adblock),
and is not the primary Watford Chesclub link from other sites whereas the other
site would require purchasing from Mark, and yearly ongoing hosting. In addition, the HCA league reporting functionality was
now provided by Steve Law, and would need removing, and all of the more chatty info, and the embeded games would require moving
from the one site to the other. Its biggest advantages are the domain name, and the fact that most of the other chess sites
now linked to it.
The third possibility of paying a nominal web hosting fee to lycos for the
tripod name, to get the ads removed and a better domain name (e.g. www.watfordchessclub.com)
was also briefly discussed.
After some discussion it was agreed that the club really did not want to
spend money on the website, and it was agreed to stick with the tripod site. Simon Charles proposed that we let Mark know
that we don’t wish to buy his site. This was seconded by Iman Khandaker. Voting was for 8 against 2 abstained ?
9. 5 Minute Games and General Noise
Jeremy explained that during the season there had been several cases where
home and visiting players had been disturbed by noise levels. The room is less than ideal with no soft furnishings to absorb
noise, and the following were suggested:
a) 5 minute matches should not be played in the
main room when matches are ongoing.
b) Players finishing their game should be mindful
that other games might be reaching a climax, and should be careful not to make a disturbance, either by analysis with their
opponent, or by clearing their sets away.
c) Voices carry from outside the room – please
go through and close both sets of doors before conversing.
10. Any Other Business
Simon Charles announced that he attended Peter Munday’s funeral as a representative for the chessclub. He was thanked by the rest of the club for
The programme for September was confirmed as:
8th September 10 minute Tourney
15th Simultaneous –
probably Jerry Rudge V Watford
21st TBA ( either
Simultaneous – Andrew Stone V Watford, or an all-play-all 5 minute session).
28th Cheshire St Albans
There being no further business, the meeting was declared closed at 21:50.