Introducing… The Sledgehammer


We are pleased to announce the start of our brand new, Hammersmith Chess Club, season-long, internal long-play competition…. the Sledgehammer Tournament!

This is a quick-start guide for you to understand how it works, how to register, and start playing!

  1. Send an email to to register.
  2. We will send you an updated contact list of the other participants on a regular basis (please keep it confidential… GDPR and all that).
  3. Contact any of the other participants on the list, and book a game with them. You are free to select any other participant, and play them in a standard ECF rated game no more than once per season (from June 2019 to end of May 2020).
  4. You can play anywhere, anytime, as you convene with your opponent at the club on a Monday evening, or elsewhere.
  5. Games need to be Over the Board (OTB) and played in one session.
  6. The default time is 60 minutes + 30 seconds increment, but players can agree longer time controls if they both want to.
  7. This is a handicap-based tournament, so players beating stronger players will get plenty of points counting towards the cup.
  8. Send the results and PGN file not more than one week after the game was played to
  9. We will send updated results and standings on a regular basis, and keep updated results on the club website.
  10. Game results will be sent to ECF for grading by the end of the following month.

The full details and rules of the tournament can be found here: Tournament Description

We’re eager to kick-off this new tournament ASAP, with the aim to provide plenty of standard chess playing graded game opportunities within the club, and increase interaction amongst our members!

Note that by registering for this tournament you agree for us to share your contact information with the other participants.

Thanks & good luck!!

2 thoughts on “Introducing… The Sledgehammer”

  1. Excellent idea! I remember something quite similar at my first chess club- must admit it was fun beating all the club champions as a kid.

    I can’t promise I’ll have time to accept every challenge (plus I might be too scared Charlie), but count me in!

    El Loco

  2. Fantastic initiative! I’ve been playing a little bit in the online *Slow Chess League* and definitely want to increase the number of non-club match slow play games I play during the season as I find it really helps allow you to try things out or sharpen things up for actual matches.

    A couple of ideas to consider:

    1. The “challenge” element for Sledgehammer makes a lot of sense but to Jim’s point, regarding time and ability to accept challenges; it might be worth smoothing out how many times certain of the club champion players or top-rated ones get challenged per season, perhaps along the lines of how a Squash Ladder operates: i.e. : There is a regular Sledgehammer ladder list published on the website ranking Sledgehammer members in *performance* order and players move up the ranking by challenging and beating those listed above them.

    If you successfully challenge another member (i.e., you win), then you move up to your opponents’ position on the ladder, and your opponent falls by one place. If you are unsuccessful (you lose), then both players stay in the same places as before. To make things as competitive as possible, players on the ladder can only challenge others who are a certain number of places up above them, for example, you can challenge players up to 10 places above you.

    2. No doubt, there will be some real crackers in terms of good quality games, so it would be great if each month, we selected 1 or 2 of the top Sledgehammer games for deeper analysis in the newsletter either based on instructional value or sheer entertainment.

    I’m in!!

    Kool Kat

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