One of the Best

2019 marks another successful year at Hammersmith, as we celebrate a first Division 1 League title in the Thames Valley, and a likely couple of promotions in other leagues to follow.

It also marks the 54th Season with the Club for our esteemed Club Secretary, Mike Mackenzie.

Many of you will know Mike as the friendly face who welcomed you to the club on your first visit, or the chap who opens/closes the club on many a Monday evening, or perhaps you played for him when he was a team captain.

He’s been on the Club Committee for many years now, but has decided that this year will be his last on the Committee, and he’ll be stepping down from his role as Secretary.

Whilst we will be losing Mike’s experience on the Committee, we’re delighted to say that Mike will continue to be a member of the club, and he isn’t hanging his chess boots up just yet!

To mark the occasion, and offer our thanks to Mike for his countless years of service to the club through thick & thin, we had a whip round and were able to present Mike and his wife Merceda, with a round-trip to the 2020 Bunratty International Chess Festival.

For the uninitiated, Bunratty is Ireland’s premier chess competition, attracting a huge range of players from all over the world. It’s a prestigious event, and a huge social occasion. We are delighted to be able to offer Mike such a fitting gift to mark his semi-retirement from Committee life!

After being presented with the gift last week, in his true modest fashion, Mike would like us to share the following words of thanks:

“My wife Merceda & I wish to thank all members of the Hammersmith Chess Club for their kindness & generosity in presenting us with such a wonderful gift.

We cannot express in words how thrilled we are to be going to Bunratty Castle for a chess tournament and then on to Cork for a visit with the family.

Thanks again to one & all.

Yours Sincerely,
Mike & Merceda Mackenzie”

 

On behalf of all Members past & present, Mike – thanks for everything over the years, enjoy your well-earned trip, and we’ll see you over the board soon!

The Champions!

Yes, my fellow Hammerites, your eyes do not deceive you – Hammer has won its first Division 1 title in its 57th year. It has been a long wait, but boy is it worth it!

Cue “We are the Champions” by Queen, copious amounts of fizz and congratulations all round!

Under the superb captaincy of Captain Wily (aka. Bajrush), Hammer sewed up the Thames Valley Division 1 Championship on a glorious night last month, befittingly at the Anvil.

In a dramatic match against Ealing, Hammersmith ran out 5.5-2.5 winners to convincingly win the title. Just take a look at the final table – it is simply fantastic:

A score of nearly 88% in match points – 10 wins, 1 draw, and a solitary defeat – this was a season of domination by the Hammers in a tough division. This is a definite new high for our club.

The match card looked like this:

In honour of this great achievement, here are some of the games from that exciting night.

Board OneRyszard playing like only Ryszard can:

Board TwoThomas the “T-Bone” in awesome form:

Board EightJim tearing up the Smith-Morra:

Chris scored the vital point to secure the victory and was followed by Tony Niccoli (“The Surgeon“) winning a long game – Hammer at 5.5-0.5 – the losses for Wily and the Great Dane did not figure.

I have to say that Carsten deserved a lot more than a cruel loss in time trouble. Bajrush had one of those nights we all want to forget about at the board.

However, those defeats did not dampen the joy of victory and a huge squad effort – Captain Wily had two bottles to share out and boy did they not last! We then retired to the Albion to continue the celebrations well into the night.

Hammer has come of age!!!

Charity Begins at… Lyric Square, this weekend!

The 3rd Annual Hammersmith MIND Charity Day – Saturday 11th May 2019

As the football (and chess!) seasons draw to an exciting end, it’s time again for the annual Hammersmith Chess Club charity jamboree in Lyric Square – where HCC takes chess to the public, in association with Hammersmith & Fulham MIND, to raise awareness and money for a great cause!

We’ll be setting our stall out in Lyric Square, the heart of Hammersmith town centre, and taking on all-comers to drum up support for a worthy cause.

It’s one of the highlights of the year for our club, and a fantastic way to combine chess, charity, and a bit of socializing, whilst raising the profile of MIND and Hammersmith Chess Club in the local community.

We’ll be there from 11am through to about 4pm, so if you’d like to come along and volunteer your chess services, we’d be very grateful. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 3 hours, your involvement is valuable and much appreciated!

John is organizing, so please drop him an email if you’re keen to get involved in any way – john.white49@ntlworld.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

No-Holds-Bared

30.04.19 – Thames Valley Division 3: Hammersmith vs. Ealing

Another no-holds-bared encounter in the Valley – read on…

Welcome to two newcomers – Jack Esiri, and John McDonagh.

Jack, a junior, comes here from Richmond Juniors and has a solid ECF A grading.

John plays like a veteran and I rate him e115, especially when he is wearing his trademark “newsboy or horse-trainer” cap!

With not a draw in sight, the match was drawn 3-3, as we did the previous week. This result skates over the concentrated efforts of the protagonists.

Luckily we had our four veteran top-boarders and I was hopeful we could remedy a previous loss to Ealing.

On board 3, Matteo looked all set for a draw, with his two rooks and knight against his opponent’s two rooks and bishop, but the bishop was landlocked: all its’ open squares were held by Matteo. Matteo moved his knight to attack the bishop, even though well-defended. His opponent thought to move the bishop to Matteo’s back row, where his rook lurked. And the rook woke up and grabbed the errant bishop! Such a simple and harmless looking position, a blunder out of the blue! So, score 1-0.

Next, on board 5, Jack was playing an experienced opponent, ten games this season, mostly losses. Bad luck to be playing him! For well over an hour and a half the game looked winning for Jack, material ahead, I thought. But after a sudden inaccuracy, Jack had to resign. Jack’s opponent has previously beaten Nikolis. Score 1-1.

About this time, on top board, with almost even position, Paul suddenly got up, with him signalling a down thumb. Score 1-2. Total surprise!

Meanwhile I was watching Brian Dodgeon on board 2 with the white pieces, completely eclipse his opponent with a beautiful attack. Enthralling game! Score 2-2.

See the game here with Brian’s comments:

John McD on board 6 was looking good – a minor piece up and winning, his opponent resigning, just after Brian’s win. Nicely done! Score 3-2.

Last to finish was veteran Charlie on board 4, who had a bishop and knight and 3 or 4 pawns, against rook and some 5 or 6 pawns. A very interesting position, and I reckoned it was not a lost cause, as Charlie would fine the one resource to win the game and the match. But it was not to be.

Somehow his opponent gained a winning end-game, and Charlie painfully threw in the towel. His opponent had just recently drawn against a high 140 graded player, but only played 3 or 4 matches this league, so clearly improving.

Match drawn, 3-3.

Robin.