Yes, Hammer and our frenemies Battersea renewed their rivalry by boldly taking our brilliant sport to places it has never been before.
Saturday saw the inaugural event of a Chess-Up in a Brewery. Some said it couldn’t be arranged, and it was a tough ask for members who had committed to a dry January, and even tougher for those of us who have not, but could not attend.
Not mentioning names but Carsten, our Great Dane, was subjected to huge online banter due to the fact he could not attend and was bemoaning the missed chance of sampling Sambrook’s excellent range of beer remedies. [They also do fantastic pies!!]
Due to various factors a serious OTB encounter between our great clubs was not feasible, so a handicapped rapid tourney was put in place instead. In some ways, this was by far the best choice for the day as the X-Factor of beer certainly lent itself very well to this slightly more sociable format of chess.
Some big shout-outs before I get to the gory details of the chess:
- To Sambrook’s brewery for the invitation and the hospitality. They really went out of the way to accommodate us… the beer and venue are superb. On a scale of 1 to 10, Sambrook’s is an 11!!
- Our barman Jacob, who looked after us so well – nothing was too much trouble.
- Finally, to the incomparable Aldo, who brought all the kit along and the software for the pairings – I also know he hates public acclaim but he made sure the day chess-wise went very smoothly indeed.
To the chess.
A six-round Swiss Tourney with a 15-minute start and 2 second increment – however there was a handicap based on grade differential.
The final table looked like this:
On face value, no surprises at the top where Blair and Ryszard dominated proceedings, both scoring 5.5/6 – the half-point coming from their drawn game against each other.
However, the table also tells of some great performances from some Hammer Heroes – Paul K in 3rd place, and Dave Lambert in 4th – some great wins there by both these guys.
Adam and potential new Hammer member, Javier in joint 5th place – very solid performances and well deserved.
I must also mention Edward and Kennedy for joining in, again, two new potential Hammer members and both performed very creditably. We hope to see them and Javier at a club night very soon.
An honourable mention must also go to Charlie, for winning the beer side of things. The strains of his singing along to Led Zeppelin made for an excellent chess backdrop, and it must be said that the choice of soundtrack was generally excellent!
The true winner of the day, however, was camaraderie, banter and the beer. This is a brilliant venue and we will repeat this event. The chess played was certainly of the imaginative variety!
Clueless in rehab – again – over & out!