Minutes of Halesowen Chess Club AGM 2017

Held at The Lighthouse Public House, Halesowen on 16 May

Present: S Fishburne (Chairman and Webmaster) J Southcote (Secretary) D   Jackson (Treasurer)

                K Arkell, N Arkell, J Asbury, P Banks, D Bowcott, S Bowcott-Terry, D Curry,

J Edge, J Evans, P Evans, C Haddon, M Hadley, A Priest, A Stokes, A      Taylor, M Vile, R Woolley


Apologies: A Ambrose, J Davis, D Etheridge, L Gregory, M Hathaway, M Hunt,

                  M Pockett, W Peck


1. 2016 Minutes – accepted.


2. Matters Arising From 2016 Minutes


Changes to league rules concerning mobile devices: the Secretary reported that proposals have been put to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton leagues. Dependant on the outcome, we intend to put similar proposals to the Worcester County and Dudley leagues.


3.Secretary’s Report


2016-17 was an unprecedented season in terms of our participation (18 teams) and success: 8 titles (including the Championships of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Worcester County), 3 runners-up places and 3 promotions.


Equally gratifying was the maintenance of the club’s ethos of participation, fun and team spirit, which was undoubtedly a factor in our success.


We played 135 matches in the regular season, comprising 670 games. Of these, we defaulted just one. A marvellous effort – thanks to all players, but especially our team captains for making it happen.


We were involved in no disputes and received no penalties, which is an achievement in the context of complex and changing rules.


4. Treasurer’s Report


The Treasurer distributed copies of the accounts for 01.04.2016 to 31.03.2017. Income slightly exceeded expenditure for the year, leaving the club with a balance of £1,036.52. He proposed leaving membership fees unchanged, but felt we could save something on room hire, our major expenditure (see 11 Below).


Richard Woolley asked if we felt that we had sufficient digital clocks. It was agreed that the current 12 is sufficient at present, but the treasurer said he could fund further purchases if needed.


The meeting accepted the 2016-17 Accounts.


5. Webmaster’s Report


There was one significant issue: the Webmaster will be away Jan-Mar 2018 so a deputy is needed for this period. Peter Banks agreed to update the site in the Webmaster’s absence.


6. Captains’ Reports


Birmingham Summer League: Max560 (Dustin Bowcott) was won, mainly thanks to Silas. A variety of players participated. Max440 (Peter Banks) completed fixtures, nothing in particular to report.


Birmingham 1 (Stewart Fishburne): The Birmingham League Championship was won for the 3rd time in the club’s history, and for the first time since 2001-02. The squad system worked well with the 7 designated players used in the main. Nick Arkell scored an unprecedented 10– 2– 0 (W/D/L). Keith Arkell scored 8.5/10 on board 1. In a very strong league, the team scored 46.5/72 (65%). Thanks to reserves Ashwin Kalyana and Paul Evans.


Birmingham 2 (Paul Evans): Same finish as in the previous season (6th) with a 5–1–5 record. The outstanding performance was in beating the Warley Quinborne A team. Andy Ambrose played all 11 and lost only once. Ade Priest also lost only once. Finlay won both his games.


Birmingham 5 (Dustin Bowcott): 1st and promoted, unbeaten and conceding only one draw when the captain opted for some fashionable squad rotation. The final game at Lichfield was won to pip them for first place.


Birmingham 6 (Tony Taylor): a mid table finish with a 4-3-5 record was a little disappointing. 9 players used.


Wolverhampton 1 (Malcolm Hunt): the Wolverhampton League Championship was won for the first time in the club’s history. The team won all its matches, a rare event not achieved for many years. A settled side was key. Playing in every match and unbeaten were Nick Arkell 7-2-0, Malcolm Hunt  6-3-0 and Stewart Fishburne 4-5-0. Dale scored 5.5/8, John Edge 5/7 and new member Keith Arkell showed promise with 5/6. Team spirit was great throughout. Thanks to reserves Andy Ambrose, Ashwin Kalyana, Mark Bethel, Paul Evans and Nik Papathanasopoulos who stepped in when needed.


Wolverhampton 3 (Windsor Peck): 1st with a 7-2-0 record. Dustin scored 7/9 and Finlay 7/10. John Davis won both his games. Paul Evans and Jon Asbury played willingly only when needed and both scored 2.5/3. Thanks to Andy Ambrose, Paul and Dustin for managing the team on the night and submitting results.


Wolverhampton 4C (Tony Taylor): 2nd place and promotion with a 5-2-2 record. Winsor Peck scored 4-1-2, Peter Banks 3-3-1, John Southcote 3-1-1, Tony Taylor 2-2-1.


Wolverhampton 4D (Chris Haddon): this team was used to give our juniors experience. Although all nine games were lost, in no game was the team whitewashed, scoring 9.5 game points in total. Daniel Arkell produced two notable results on board 1, drawing against our own Peter Banks in the Halesowen Derby, and overcoming a 40+ points grade difference to win  in the match against Birmingham. Silas Bowcott-Terry progressed to draw his final two games against opponents graded 86 and 109. Chris Haddon was the only Halesowen player to appear in the Wolverhampton League Website’s “Top 40” based on results adjusted for grade.


Dudley 1 (Peter Banks): lost all four games, but outgraded by average 12 points per board. Last game lost narrowly 2.5-1.5 to Warley Quinborne conceding 30 points per board. In a league with a 175 grade limit we were able to field one 150+ grade player in one game. Otherwise all team members qualified for division 2. Peter questioned whether this team should continue (see 8 Below).


Dudley 2 (Paul Evans): 1st on board count with 5-1-1 record, winning the last 4 games. Dustin Bowcott and Finlay Bowcott-Terry both scored 5.5/6, Andy Ambrose 5/6.


Dudley 3A (Joyce Evans): a reasonable season finishing 2nd with a 3-1-2 record. Seven players used. Mark Vile scored 70%. Tony Taylor played in all games scoring 58%.


Dudley 3B (Dustin Bowcott): another team to give the juniors experience. John Southcote stood in for last two games which were won and drawn to give the team 3 points.


Worcester County 1 (John Edge): The Worcestershire County Championship was won with a 5-3-0 record. 16 players were used. Nick Arkell and John Edge both scored 75%. Stewart Fishburne played all 8 games. Mike Hadley was unbeaten in this league (as indeed he was in every game he played in 2016-17).

Worcester County 2A (Joyce Evans): 2nd only on board count to the 2B team (see below) to whom Joyce offered congratulations.  A record of 5-3-2 using 10 players. Paul Evans and Dustin Bowcott played nine games each. Mike Hadley scored 62% in four. Silas Bowcott-Terry filled in with great credit.


Worcester 2B (Dave Etheridge): 1st and promotion with a 6-1-3 record. A fine season with a story book ending (Nik Papathanasopoulos’s  very even adjourned game at Kidderminster decided the top 3 positions: win, and Halesowen 2B would be  champions; draw and Halesowen 2A would be champions; lose and Kidderminster would be champions. No pressure: he won). Jon Asbury scored an outstanding 6.5/7; Andy Ambrose played all but one game. 12 players used including some who stepped in at short notice. Thanks to all those who played a board down after Nik P’s arrival.


7. Award of Club Trophies


Kevin Ryder Team Trophy:            Birmingham 1 Team

Reg Beasley Individual Trophy:    Jon Asbury

Club Championship:                       Nick Arkell

Quick Win:                                        Clement Bowcott-Terry

Player of the Season:                     Dustin Bowcott


8. Team Entries 2017-18


Birmingham:                         Divisions 1, 2, 4 and 6. Townshend/Barrington Trophies

Wolverhampton:       Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Humphries Trophy

Dudley:                      Divisions 2, 3A and 3B

Worcester County    Division 1A, 1B and 2


9. Captains 2017-18


Birmingham 1:          Stewart Fishburne (until 31/12); Dale Jackson from 01/01

Birmingham 2:          Ade Priest

Birmingham 4:          Dustin Bowcott

Birmingham 6:          Tony Taylor

Trophies:                   Tony Taylor


Wolverhampton 1:   Nick Arkell

Wolverhampton 2:   Andy Ambrose

Wolverhampton 3:   Windsor Peck

Wolverhampton 4:   Chris Haddon

Trophy:                       Tony Taylor



Dudley 2:                   Pete Banks

Dudley 3A:                Joyce Evans

Dudley 3B:                Dustin Bowcott

(The meeting voted not to enter a team in Dudley 1)


Worcester County 1A:         John Edge

Worcester County 1B:         Dustin Bowcott

Worcester County 2:            Dave Etheridge

(The meeting voted to accept the 2B team’s promotion to division 1)


10. Election of Officers


The current officers were re-elected unopposed. In Stewart Fishburne’s absence (Jan-Mar) Ade Priest will join the committee and Peter Banks will be website caretaker.


11. Review of Membership Fees


The meeting agreed the Treasurer’s proposal that membership fees be held at the current level, that is:


Standard membership: £55

Concessions (unemployed, student, state pensioner): £40

(both the above fees to be reduced by £14 for those paying directly for ECF membership)

Juniors: £25 (to be reduced by £9 for those paying directly for ECF membership)

Social membership: £25


The Treasurer felt there was scope to reduce expenditure on room hire for Thursday nights which have been under-used. The concensus was that we still needed the certainty of a definite booking during the regular season, but that we should limit the Thursday night  booking to Sep-March.


12. Child Protection


The committee proposed that the AGM formally adopt a club Child Protection Policy, a draft of which was circulated to members in advance of the meeting. The secretary explained that the leagues in which we play are in the process of adopting child protection policies, and clubs are being strongly encouraged to adopt their own policies and to appoint a Safeguarding Officer. As a club with a number of young members it is clearly appropriate that we have our own child protection policy. This would make responsibilities clear and demonstrate our commitment to providing a safe environment for juniors when playing chess with Halesowen.The draft policy circulated is based on that of the Birmingham League, which is in turn based on that of the English Chess Federation. It has been adapted to make it appropriate for a small sports/recreational club such as ours. It was not proposed that we adopt the lengthy (21 page) statement of procedures set out by the BDCL and ECF as these   relate to larger organisations such as employers.


The secretary went over the basic responsibilities and procedures which would apply under the policy:


·         The policy will be published on the website and a copy kept for the club room

·         Members should read the policy and adhere to its principles

·         John Southcote will be the Safeguarding Officer

·         Should any member have concerns about the safety of any young person when involved in chess with Halesowen they should convey these concerns without delay to the Safeguarding Officer

·         The Safeguarding Officer will report the concerns without delay and certainly within 24 hours to the relevant Safeguarding Authorities who will decide whether or not an investigation is needed. The Safeguarding Officer will not investigate the concerns.

The Chairman said that it was his understanding that the club would qualify for legal protection under the insurance policy of the Worcester County Chess Association, but only if we had our own Child Protection Policy. If the meeting accepted the policy, he would formally sign it, and at each subsequent AGM there would be a report of The Safeguarding Officer and the Policy would be formally renewed, amended as necessary, or unamended.

Ade Priest pointed out that at the Junior Football Club with which he was involved parents/guardians were requested to sign a form giving permission for images of their child(ren) to be used in promotional materials.

The meeting agreed to adopt the Child Protection Policy as proposed and to implement the use of a “photographic permission” form as suggested by Ade. The Chairman formally signed the club’s Child Protection Policy.

13. Summer Schedule

The meeting agreed that events such as last year’s should be organised. The secretary will issue a schedule in the next couple of weeks. Keith Arkell offered to do a “simultaneous” next week (Thursday 25 May) and there was sufficient interest at the meeting for it to go ahead.




14. Any Other Business

Secretary: next week’s Wolverhampton AGM will consider a Brewood proposal to regionalise the bottom two divisions of the league. The meeting agreed that the Halesowen representative should vote against the proposal.

The Chairman is working on a submission to nominate Halesowen as the ECF “Club of the Year”. He requested members to send him details of heroics he might not yet know about.

Nick Arkell floated the idea of entering a team in the Shropshire league. Support was lukewarm, especially in view of travelling distances. The Chairman suggested we look at the idea  with a view to a possible 2018-19 entry.

The meeting closed at 22:23.