John Kerrane keeps us up to date with the progress of the club's junior members

Youngsters compete in the Upper Calder Valley Chess Challenge - posted on Monday July the 4th

Sixteen young chess-players from five local junior chess clubs took part in the Upper Calder Valley Chess Challenge held at the Trades Club, Holme Street on Saturday morning.This event, a follow-up to the national UK Chess Challenge held earlier this year, has established itself as a regular twice-a-year event, and a good introduction for local youngsters to competitions beyond their own clubs.The tournament was won by 9-year-old Kyle Sharpe, of Hebden Bridge, with a perfect score of 5/5, with two other Hebden Bridge Junior Chess Club members, Owen Buchan (4/5) and Spike Leatherbarrow (3½/5) claiming second and third prizes respectively. Grading prizes went to Rowan Bramley (Hebden Bridge), Toby Dodd (Hebden Bridge) and Wilf Turner (Riverside).“Thanks to the co-operation of the players and their parents, the event went off very smoothly,” commented organiser John Kerrane. “Kyle’s win was no surprise really, but I was impressed by Wilf Turner, who was playing in his first competition, and beat off challenges from several older and more experienced players in his grading band. Special thanks to the Trades Club, whose staff were very supportive, and offered the use of their facilities free of charge.”

Mega result for juniors in the Megafinal - posted on Thursday June the 23rd

Ten young chess players from Hebden Bridge Junior Chess Club set off on Saturday the 10th of June for the Megafinal (the area final) of the UK Chess Challenge at Firth Park Community College in Sheffield. Hebden Bridge players have performed impressively in this national competition in previous years, and hopes were high for some good results.

After a long, tough day when each of the youngsters had played in six rounds, the Hebden Bridge haul of silverware was remarkable, and the results were the best the club has ever had. Five players won their sections – Robina Murray in the under-11 girls, Hephzi Leatherbarrow in the under-10 girls, Kyle Sharpe in the Under-9 boys, Harry Urquart-Greaves in the under-8 boys and Martha Leggett in the under-8 girls. They will now join Nick Shaw of Castle Hill School, Todmorden, who has already qualified in the Oldham megafinal, at the Gigafinal (the northern regional final) in July in Derby, when they will be playing the strongest players from all over the north of England.

Some proud Hebden Bridge Juniors with their silverware
The individual scores were: Dylan Leggett (U13 boys) 3/6, Rowan Bramley (U12 boys) 3½/6, Spike Leatherbarrow (U12 boys) 3/6, Robina Murray (U11 girls) 4½/6, Leona Sharpe (U11 girls) 2/6, Toby Dodd (U10 boys) 2½/6, Hephzi Leatherbarrow (U10 girls) 5/6, Kyle Sharpe (U9 boys) 6/6, Martha Leggett (U8 girls) 3/6, Harry Urquart-Greaves (U8 boys) 3½/6.

Club organiser John Kerrane said,

“We will have trouble equalling this performance in the future. The youngsters not only played well, but showed a really good attitude, in what was the first tournament for many of them. Junior Chess organisers throughout Yorkshire have come to expect good performances from our players, and this competition has only enhanced our reputation.”

Junior Chess Challenge - posted on Wednesday January the 5th

On Saturday the 4th of December, the Upper Calder Valley Junior Chess Challenge took place at the Trades Club, Holme Street, organised by Hebden Bridge Chess Club.

This twice-yearly event, which involved youngsters from all the chess clubs in the local schools and clubs, is run according to the Swiss System, in which all entrants play in each round, against opponents with the same cumulative score as themselves.

Twenty-six young players took part, ranging in age from 6 to 13 years; the outright winner, with a maximum 5/5, was the formidable Kyle Sharpe, of Hebden Bridge, who, at only just nine years old, is already a very experienced player in junior events. Hephzi Leatherbarrow and Dylan Leggett, both also of Hebden Bridge, scored 4/5, with Hephzi just pipping Dylan for second place on a tie-break.

Grading prizes went to Isaac Wilinsky (Hebden Bridge), Nick Shaw (Castle Hill), Martha Brown (Castle Hill), Jamie Hall (Castle Hill), Harry Urquhart-Greaves (Hebden Bridge) and Marlon Austin (Hebden Bridge).

Organiser John Kerrane commented, “We all enjoyed ourselves, and the whole thing went very smoothly. Kyle is a great local talent. He is already well-known on the Yorkshire scene, and I expect he will be challenging in national events soon. We are very grateful to the Trades Club for offering their venue and facilities free of charge, and we are all looking forward to next time.”

Sharpe’s Victory - posted on Wednesday October the 13th

Last Saturday (the 9th of October) three youngsters from Hebden Bridge Chess Club travelled to York to take part in the Yorkshire Junior Chess Grand Prix competition.

All three, playing in the Minor (ungraded) category, came away with a trophy. Kyle Sharpe, who is only 8 years old, won the section with a score of 6/7, while Spike Leatherbarrow, who won the previous leg of the Grand Prix, tied for second place with 5/7, but was placed third on a tie-break. Spike’s sister Hephzi, took the medal for second-highest scoring girl.

Kyle was, in fact, a little annoyed with himself as, (he had been hoping for a 7/7 clean sheet) having beaten all the stronger contenders, he made a blunder against a relatively weak player, and spoiled his score line. Still, he will have another chance at the next round in Sheffield on the 12th of December.