Minutes of Halesowen Chess Club AGM 2016

Lighthouse Public House, 10 May 2016 at 19:30


Present: Andy Ambrose, Nick Arkell, Peter Banks, Mark Bethel, Dustin Bowcott, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Don Curry, John Davis, John Edge, Joyce Evans, Paul Evans, Andrew Field, Stewart Fishburne (Chair and Webmaster), Logan Gregory, Chris Haddon, Mike Hadley, Malcolm Hunt, Dale Jackson (Treasurer), Steve Larden, Windsor Peck, Ade Priest, John Southcote (Secretary and minutes), Tony Stokes, Tony Taylor, Mark Vile, Richard Woolley.


Apologies:  Dave Etheridge, Paul Taylor.


1. 2015 Minutes: Accepted


2. Matters Arising: None


3. Officers’ Reports


Secretary: Pleased to report it was an uneventful season off the board. 107 matches with 554 boards were played in the regular season between 1 September and 19 April. We defaulted only 1 board. In contrast with the previous season, we were involved in no disputes and had no points deducted. Administration and fixture scheduling was easier because we dropped two teams from 2014/5. However, it is pleasing to report that we picked up new members during the season, and anticipate some more joining shortly. We will thus need to consider team entries for next season very carefully, as well as the consequences on the venue and membership fees.

Treasurer: Copies of the accounts to 31.03.2016 were distributed. There is a balance of £966.93. The deficit on the year was £460. This is accounted for by the purchase of digital clocks and rent paid in January 2016 to secure the clubroom up to this AGM. The meeting accepted the accounts unanimously.

Webmaster: Web hosting fee of £15 will soon be renewed. The Webmaster invited suggestions for improvements to the site.


4. Captains’ Reports


Birmingham 1(Stewart): the best season for several years resulted in a 5th place finish

Birmingham 2 (Ade): a tough season after promotion resulted well in a comfortable mid-table position.

Birmingham 5 (John S for Maureen):  exceeded expectations and finished 3rd, narrowly escaping a second consecutive promotion.

Wolverhampton 1(Malcolm): after promotion the team secured a very comfortable 5th place finish.

Wolverhampton 3 (Tony T): in a very tough season the team just avoided relegation.

Wolverhamton 4 (Chris): a relatively good season with a comfortable 6th place finish.

Dudley 1 (John S for Bob): only 3 teams in the division after Wolverhampon’s withdrawal. Triumph turned to disaster after defeat in the final game moved us from top to bottom.

Dudley 2 (Paul E): finished 3rd, just missing 2nd by one point.

Dudley 3 (Joyce): a reasonable season resulted in a tie for 3rd.

Worcester 1(John E): The team are again champions of Worcestershire after an unbeaten season.

Worcester 2 (Joyce): 2nd place was a decent result, though quite a way off 1st.


5. Award of Trophies


Reg Beasley Individual Trophy: Finlay Bowcott-Terry

Kevin Ryder Team Trophy: Birmingham 2 (Captain: Ade Priest)

Quick Win Trophy: Stewart Fishburne (14 moves on opening day of season)

Club Championship: John Edge (for the 12th time)

Player of the Season: John Davis.


6. Safeguarding


John S explained that ECF will require Leagues to adopt its Safeguarding policy as a condition of continued insurance. The Leagues will in turn require clubs to have a “Safeguarding Officer”.  Stewart explained that officers of leagues and clubs face unlimited legal liability, and thus need insurance to cover potential legal fees. Malcolm (current Birmingham league president) said that it was clear that the Birmingham league will insist on implementing Safeguarding, although the full ramifications are not yet clear. John S will be our candidate for Safeguarding Officer.

The meeting adopted the following resolution unanimously: “The club committee has the authority to spend up to £100 on legal insurance; should a higher cost be involved an Extraordinary General Meeting must be called.”


7. Team Entries


A quick poll of attendees revealed that 8 people felt they did not get enough chess last season; 15 felt they had about the right amount; no-one had too much. John S indicated that we are likely to have 32-35 players next season, a significant increase. After discussion, the meeting resolved to add additional teams in the bottom divisions of the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley Leagues. As this would make fixture scheduling very difficult and Tuesday match nights uncomfortably crowded, the meeting resolved that home Wolverhampton League fixtures should be played on a Thursday evening. As nearly everyone is involved in the Wolverhampton league, as well as the other leagues, it was felt this solution would avoid a split in the club between “Tuesday” and “Thursday” members. 21 of those present indicated they would welcome Thursday evening chess at the club.

[NOTE: The committee – Stewart, Dale, John S – spoke with Barry, our landlord at The Lighthouse, immediately after the meeting. Barry confirmed that he was happy for us to have the room on Thursday evenings from September to April.]


Team entries for 2016-2017 season shall thus be:

Birmingham: divisions 1, 2, 5, 6

Wolverhampton: divisions 1, 3, 4(A), 4(B) and the Humphreys Trophy

Dudley: divisions 1, 2, 3(A) 3(B)

Worcester: divisions 1, 2


8. Team Captains 2016-2017


Birmingham 1: Stewart or John E             Wolverhampton 1: Malcolm

Birmingham 2: Ade                                      Wolverhampton 3: Windsor

Birmingham 5: Tony T                                 Wolverhampton 4A: Tony T (and Trophy)

Birmingham 6: Dustin                                 Wolverhampton 4B: Chris


Dudley 1: Pete                                              Worcester County 1: Stewart or John E

Dudley 2: Paul E                                          Worcester County 2: Joyce

Dudley 3A: Joyce

Dudley 3B: Dustin


It was agreed that the Dudley 3B team shall be used mainly to give games to our junior players.


9. Election of Officers


The current officers were returned “nem con”.


10. Membership Fees


In view of the anticipated increase in expense for renting the clubroom for two nights a week in the regular season, the treasurer proposed an increase in fees:

Full: £55 (up by £10)

Concessions: £40 (up by £10)

Junior: £25 (up by £5)

Social: £25 (up by £5)


The meeting accepted this proposal by majority vote (one against).




11. Proposal


Pete Banks’s proposal that “Halesowen representatives at league AGMs should propose that mobile phones be switched off and put in plain sight during games” was accepted by a majority of 12-9.


12. Summer Schedule


There was support for events such as the Malcolm and Stewart comedy simul/ Malcolm’s evening of deviancy/buzzer evening(s)/pairs competition.


Stewart will look into the possibility of organising another “celebrity simul”.


Pete will organise the Club Championship again.


We will host the Tony Evers and order a buffet but try to recoup some funds through a raffle.


John S will publish a schedule, though this may be delayed by the second round of BDCL Summer league fixtures which will not be known until early June.


13. AOB


Ade: let John S know if you have any holiday plans for Sep/Oct to help fixture planning for next season.


John E: will bring in copy of BDCL Summer league rules for the clubroom.


The meeting closed at 22:15.