It all kicks off next Tuesday evening from 7pm at Battersea’s home venue – The Battersea Labour Club, down on Falcon Road, a mere 5 minute stroll from Clapham Junction station.
Remember, the Summer League is a bit different from the usual staid and sometimes stuffy atmosphere of most league chess, and the launch night will be no different – it’s going to be a chess extravaganza! With fully 26 teams this year (yes, twenty-six – that’s not a typo!!), Summer Chess has gone London-wide, with entries from all over the city.
First up, GM Simon “The Ginger GM” Williams, will be providing one of his entertaining & equally insightful lectures for the audience. This will be followed by a blitz tournament, a Chess-themed quiz, and a series of puzzles.
It’s going to be massive!
Importantly – if you are planning on coming along, you need to ensure you complete the doodle below so that the Battersea folks can manage numbers & ensure everyone gets to take part. It takes all of 20 seconds to complete:
So last week’s offering was a bit of a thronker-of-an-endgame study, with White in a seemingly precarious position. Black was threatening promotion, and despite being a Rook to the good, White appears to have very few options – how to force the draw.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man… and our local Twitter celeb and top player, Jim stepped up with the winning moves. Congratulations Jim!
On to this week’s puzzle…
Black, an all-time great, has just played Bg5? How was that brutally punished? Answers in the comments please.
Get excited! Our Summer Programme is back for 2018, bigger & better than ever! We will be upstairs at The Albion every Monday night this Summer, putting on a host of different activities:
The club’s top players will be hosting a total of SIX training sessions throughout the Summer. Specific details will be announced nearer the time, but we already have some great things scheduled.
ECF-accredited coach, Paul McKeown, will host a pair of sessions (9th July & 30th July) focused on “Calculation and visualization with Michael Tal” – each session aimed at different strength players, though as with all our events, everybody is welcome.
Two of our strongest players – Jim Stevenson, and Carsten Pedersen – will be taking a session each. Jim will be focusing on “Practical Thinking Skills” (25th June), using illustrations from classic Bobby Fischer games. Meanwhile, Carsten will be providing his expert analysis on some games submitted by members (23rd July) – you’re invited to submit 3 or 4 games each, at least one win and one loss, and Carsten will take us through some of the more instructive ones.
(For those not in the know, our Jim is also an avid user of Twitter, and is well worth a follow: @Jimovskytwenty3 – some fabulous chess analysis & musings on life!)
And another ECF-accredited coach, Tony Niccoli, will be taking a session on 20th August. Details TBC at the moment, but those who came to Tony’s session earlier in the season will recall what a well-run and instructive evening that was.
As well as the training, Carsten will be providing us with a fascinating lecture on the History of Chess, for general interest on 13th August.
After the amazing success of similar events last Summer, our Tournament wizard Adam, will be organizing three more events this year:
Team Rapidplay (2nd July) – attendees will be split into four teams and play one rapidplay game against each of the others. Prizes to the winning team!
Handicap Blitz (3rd Sept) – a straight up Blitz tourney played out in traditional Hammer handicap style
Bughouse (16th July) – This chess variant is great fun and hugely popular. Players will be paired according to grade and fight it out for the grand prize
Arguably the highlight of Summer 2017 – this year’s Kensington pub crawl will incorporate even more pubs, with plenty of chess along the way. Save the date – 6th August!
The powers that be have selfishly littered a few Monday nights with big football games and bank holidays. No problem! Come along to The Albion anyway and there’s sure to be plenty of like-minded folks around to play some chess.
And don’t forget – as well as all this, there are also 6 Tuesday evenings of Summer League Chess down at Battersea Chess Club (5 mins from Clapham Junction). We are entering even more teams this year, so there’ll be loads of competitive chess to play!
After the shortest AGM in Hammer history, the hammerites got down to the fun part of the evening – the final leg of our three-tourney-cycle to determine the Handicap Blitz Champion of the Club for the 2017-18 season.
Twenty-three of the best of our club entered this final round with the two blitz gurus of the club, Chairman Bajrush, and Carsten, vying for top dog status. They were #1 and #2 in the rankings after the first two rounds and surely one of them would emerge as the champion?
However, matters were not so simple, with 23 points up for grabs for first place in this final round.
Without further ado I can announce that the winner of the third-round of the Blitz Tourney with a perfect 8/8 was Tony Niccoli.
Not only that, but he also seized the overall title as well with this superhuman performance that propelled him into first place. A stunning score of 43.5 points.
In second place was new member Thomas, with a total of 42.5 points – another epic performance.
In third and fourth respectively were bookies favourites, Carsten and Bajrush.
The best result of the night was Robin Lee, who finished joint 5th despite being ranked 15th – a really stellar performance.
A big vote of thanks must go to Adam who ran the tournament really well and used the software expertly to keep matters rolling along.
So, we have a new champion – yet another sign of all the changes happening in our vibrant club – roll on next season! The best is yet to come.
It has officially been one month since our previous Puzzle of the “Week”, so without further ado, the winner from our previous Puzzle is….
Charlie (aka. Sorted) & Adam (aka. Pickle), both of whom were correct, albeit with ever-so-slightly different styles of responding! Honours shared this time – congrats to both excellent solutions.
1…Nxd5 2. exd5, Rxd1+ 3. Ke2, Rxd5
The puzzle was taken from Sokolov-Thogersen, Rilton Cup 2018. White should now have continued with Rxb7 with reasonable drawing chances but Sokolov played Bxa7 and eventually lost, securing his opponent a well deserved FM title.
The position was from the weekly column in the Danish newspaper Fyens Stiftidende, a personal tribute to their long standing chess correspondent Niels Erik Neilsen, who is recovering from a recent stroke.
Our puzzle-setter in chief, Carsten, has known Niels Erik for almost 40 years, so I’m sure we all join Carsten in collectively sending Niels Erik our best wishes too!
On to this week’s offering then – White to move and draw! Answers in the comments please:
If that’s not enough for you, our friends over at Battersea Chess Club will be hosting GM Danny Gormally for a Simultaneous exhibition next week – and it’s FREE to enter!
The details you need to know:
Where?Battersea’s Home Venue – Battersea Labour Club, 81-83 Falcon Road, SW11 2PF. It’s next to Clapham Junction Station