“On the second day of Christmas, HammerChess gave to me…”
…London League 3, by John White
It seems strange giving a report on the team with only three matches played – the London League fixture list is heavily weighted towards after Christmas, with eight games to come in the New Year.
That said, if your aim is promotion you have to start well and overall the Starship Hammer have achieved that.
Our debut at the Citadines in our first match saw a convincing 7.5-2.5 win against Hackney. This match saw the welcome return of Sydney to the Hammer colours, and the introduction of the Prof and Loco to the Hammer ranks. It also featured the debut of Zeus on Board One.
This was the best performance of Hammer pre-Christmas. The team was in deadly form and was capped off by a Wily escape of Houdini proportions. How does he do it?!
Match two saw us at the home of GLCC. This was a tough gig with first-choice player availability an issue for the Hammer squad. Luckily, we were able to call on some fighting gauchos in the form of the Hat and the Gift.
However, the reality is we were out-graded, out-fought and out-thought on the night and went down 6.5-3.5. This was a tough night for Hammer 1 and really took the wind out of our sails. Maybe a hard dose of reality was needed after the Hackney canter.
Our final game was against DHSS and saw us return to winning ways with a comfortable 6.5-3.5 win, although as non-playing captain on the night it was not an easy watch!
The tale of the evening saw the first appearance for nearly 14 months by Sauvignon, and great performances from Wily and Pandit in particular. This match was a very professional and disciplined performance from the Hammer crew, and a good bounce back after the GLCC setback.
The main thing after three games is we are in the mix with some tough matches to come.
I must acknowledge certain matters in this report:
- No defaults so far – excellent
- The Prof at 2/2 for the season, he is relishing competitive chess again
- Dead-eye smouldering on 2/2
- The Gift, probably the youngest debutant in Hammer LL history
- The return of Sydney and Sauvignon to Mother Hammer’s loving bosom
- The form of Zeus, Loco, Wily and Pandit
- The fact that Thomas will be playing for us in 2018
- The addition of Tommaso to the squad of players available
- Finally, the funniest moment of the season so far, maybe the funniest of the whole season – Spock, aka Pavel, doing the “Live Long and Prosper” sign with a straight face
The overall conclusion is so far, so good!