Good News From the Battlefield!

Another double-header of updates for you this evening – we are a busy lot!

16.01.17 – Thames Valley League – Kingston v Hammersmith: Good News at Last!

At 10.25pm on the 16th January 2017 hostilities were ceased and a temporary truce declared. Seven games decided and one sent off to the adjudication office. The score is nicely balanced at 3.5 points each.

The adjourned game in question is Adam’s. Confidence is high this side of the Thames, however it is not over till it is over. More on that later…

Hammer’s TV team were playing Kingston at their new – and very nice – venue, the Druid’s Head, in the centre of the Market Sq, Kingston-Upon-Thames.

The Hammer Heroes of the night were undoubtedly our boards 1 & 2, Carsten and Bajrush, facing opponents graded well above them, the boys came through in style.

Carsten calmly and logically refuting an exchange sacrifice and emerging in a dominant position. Avoiding a good many Knight forks his h-pawn (“Harry”) was the hero. As GM Simon Williams would say, “Harry just wants to be a Queen!”. In this game, his wish came true!

Our Wily Silver Fox (WSF) had an amazingly complicated game with controlled chaos on the board… as usual. At one stage he was a pawn down but with a dominant position and a Rook on the 7th. Time pressure played its part, and we all know there is only one winner when time is short. Our WSF duly delivered.

Two great victories!!

The draws were secured by Brian, Jeremy and Paul. These were not soft draws, but at no time were the Hammer boys in trouble.

The losses were suffered by Pavel and your correspondent.

This was Pavel’s first taste of defeat for Hammer, and from what I saw, in a very complicated and double-edged encounter. He will be back… watch this space.

My own game was one of two halves. To be honest, one long half and one so short it does not merit the designation “half”. My opponent and I just made the time control (30 moves in an hour), and this was one part of the game. In the first half I had to tread a fine line and avoid numerous tactics. I managed to achieve equality and was starting to assume the initiative.

Then I blundered – leading to immediate loss. The second game I have done this in a row.

No player minds losing when you have been outplayed, but to blunder and lose instantly is not something you can easily entertain. Hopefully I have learnt from these painful losses.

So the match depends on the result of Adam’s game. Playing his preferred London system, and utilising smart tactics, he has a position where he’s a pawn up with a passed Harry pawn waiting to pounce.

Worst result Hammer can achieve is a draw. The most likely result a win. A great performance as were again out graded across all boards.

Hammer TV are on the scoreboard.

Rejoice one and all.


17.01.17 – London League 3 – DHSS v Hammersmith: Up & Running – a Great Start to 2017!

The news you have all been waiting for in 2017. Not the UK Brexit strategy (still waiting!), nor the Trump Presidency, and not even the winner of The Voice.

Hammer 1 won for the first time in Division 3 of the London League!

Read that last sentence again – this time slowly and carefully. Breathe it in, digest it, enjoy it… and most of all celebrate it!

Last night Hammer beat DHSS 6.5-3.5 despite defaulting our first game of the season.

Yes, Hammer 1 have broken their duck and are now truly engaged in the fight for Division 3 survival.

We did not need a Sam Allardyce to guide us – all we needed was to trust in our ability and hope for a slice of luck that has been absent for us all season. Last night we got it right and were on the right side of the result for the first time this season.

Nobody needs a Sam Allardyce!

It may be said that your correspondent is prone to hyperbole from time to time, however on this occasion I believe it is fully justified. The Hammer Heroes rose to the challenge and delivered a great morale-boosting victory.

To the nuts & bolts of the clash…

The evening did not start well – Orial got delayed at work and we had to default on board 9. This, coupled with Matteo and Bajrush arriving well after the clocks started – your captain’s nerves were frayed! Indeed, I was like a jack-in-the-box; constantly out of my chair and unable to relax and concentrate on my game.

Things went wrong at first with Matteo playing his worst game of the season, quickly going a Rook down through an oversight. He embarked on a desperado attack which was efficiently repelled by DHSS captain David Gilbert. All of a sudden Hammer were 2-0 down and staring relegation in the face.

Things started to turn when John Wooley gained a draw with the Black pieces. A foothold in the match had been achieved – something to build on.

Cometh the hour, cometh the men… and those men were the four stalwarts of Hammer Chess – Bajrush, Paul, Jeremy and Sheikh. They may have won many games for Hammer over their years of service, but never have four victories been more vital, or more welcome. They shed the weariness of years and played like demons.

Paul was the first to finish – under sever pressure he played beautifully to negotiate his way through all the difficulties to secure Hammer’s first win of the night.

Bajrush stared with a 20 minute deficit. By the end of the game his opponent had 4 seconds left, while our WSF (Wiley Silver Fox!) had over 30 minutes. A study-like endgame resulted in victory. Hammer had their second win.

The score was now 2.5-2.5.

Next up was Sheikh. IN a game where he always had control, he emerged into a single Bishop endgame two pawns up. Avoiding any stalemate traps, he forced the way through calm, logical play. The third Hammer win of the night.

Jeremy now decided to join the fun, playing a brilliant game. He always held the initiative and forced the win through a tactical sequence. These situations always happen once positional dominance has been achieved. The ending was almost Carlsen-esque in its beauty. One for the website, definitely.

The score was now 4.5-2.5 in Hammer’s favour.

Josue playing his first game for Hammer, had a very symmetrical game that always seemed destined to end a draw. This was duly achieved – a solid start to his London League career.

Your correspondent’s game was also drawn. To be honest, I did not cope well with the absence of Orial and the late arrivals of Bajrush and Matteo. My brain was elsewhere and I decided that a pragmatic approach of not trying to force the win, was the best way of dealing with the situation. That, coupled with the importance of the outcome of the match definitely resulted in my first case of Captain’s nerves. Definitely not a pleasant experience.

The score was now 5.5-3.5. The win was secured.

The last game to finish was Adam’s. The sight of the whole Hammer team standing or sitting to watch the conclusion of the game was an added pressure for Adam. You could almost feel the collective will power urging Adam on to victory.

Turning down a draw and negotiating all before him, he finished in great style and secured a deserved victory.

A great night and the beers in the pub tasted very sweet!

I have never felt more proud of the boys and hopefully this will be the springboard for the rest of the season.

I told you to keep the faith!!

Go Hammer!!!


Result: DHSS 3.5 – 6.5 Hammersmith

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