The chess season is well and truly underway! We have three reports for you, courtesy of PR Officer John White.
Round One of the Hammer Blitz Tourney Cycle
Yes the opening round of our blitz cycle took place this past Monday at the Anvil. This is one of the most awaited events of the club year where even the most lowly chess devotee can take down one of the big names.
Defending champion Chairman Wily was there to see off the competition and retain his title. But the competition would be stiff with T-Bone, The Surgeon and a host of junior talent to face.
Seven rounds of no quarter given blitz would answer all questions.
Hammer also played host to two visitors from Lubeck Chess Club…Andrea and her son Fabian.
As usual Secretary Pickle was in charge and did a superb job with the pairings.
Your reporter Lord Clueless was reduced to the role of casual observer.
Without fanfare here are the results with some notable performances amongst them.
What the final table demonstrates is that reputation counts for nothing in this format.
Round One say new Hammer Laurie (aka Supermac) take down Wily…an excellent performance.
Round Two saw the Clash of the tourney between the T-Bone and The Surgeon. I reckon they played a 120 plus moves each in 10 mins. This equates to the clock being hit every two seconds.
The Surgeon had a won game but the sheer will-power of T-Bone saw him triumph on time. A phenomenal game.
Outstanding overall performance of the evening must go to Conall who scored 5/7 for a superb third-place tie.
Indeed all the juniors Amaya, Zain, Cian and Taymour scoring well. Hammer’s future is in very safe hands.
So Round One is done and dusted with the pride of Marianne T-Bone winning by a clear point and taking an early lead in this year’s tourney. A real dominant performance.
To all other Hammers remember it is your best three scores that count out of the five cycles. So even if you have missed this opening night you have four more attempts to register results.
Just remember you have to be in it to win it!!!
Hammer’s Night at the Club Oscars
Yes the most important chess award ceremony of the year preceded the opening round of the Hammer Blitz Tourney.
Hosted by our own Chairman Wily this is the occasion where Hammer honours, publicly, it’s heroes and heroines.
It was a great occasion and once again demonstrated how youthful the club is becoming.
Long may it continue!!!
2018-2019 Players of the Season
Thames Valley 1 – Tony Niccoli
Thames Valley 2 – Matteo Bezzini
Middlesex 1 – Bajrush Kelmendi
Middlesex 2 – Paul Kennelly
Middlesex 3 – Liam Fleming
Middlesex 4 – Ben Rothwell
London League 1 – Chris Skulte
London League 2 – Nadhmi Auchi
London League 3 – Robin Lee
London League Major – Andrew Macleod
London League Minor – Taymour Auchi
Most Improved Player of the Season – Taymour Auchi
Hammer Overall Player of the Season – Jim Stevenson
Winners in the Hammersmith Rapid Play Tournament
Open Section – Tony Niccoli 6/7
Rooks Section – Nadhmi Auchi 4.5/7
Bishop Section – Kostis Nikolis 4.5/7
Knight Section – Ken Kwabiah 4/7
Chairman Wily also had the pleasure to confer book prizes to all our juniors who have made an outstanding contribution to our Club and represented their country – Amaya MacDonald, Alex Royce, Zain Patel, Cian Ward, Conall McBrinn
A really great ceremony and all our winners are to be roundly congratulated.
Hammer 2 kicks off in Middlesex 2
Yes the Hammer boys were at it again in 2019. Our opening fixture at the Anvil was against Albany -tough opposition at anytime.
Captain Jonathan put the team together but could not be there due to work commitments so asked Lord Clueless to take charge.
Fortunately, despite many Hammers not being able to play he picked a team of fighting gauchos.
New Hammers Laurie and Will were given their debuts and a nice mixture of youth and experience made up the rest of the team.
Due to a slight mix up Brian “The Hat” was a no show but luckily Christof by the miracle of modern transport was able to deputise (he flew in from Munich!!)
Lord Clueless had the cunning plan of playing Christof on board 2 instead of himself.
Then Chairman Wily asked if he could have Christof for their tough opener against Richmond in the TV. Clueless graciously conceded and the match got underway, with Clueless a late substitute on board 4.
Keep up with me please..
The Hammer team lined up as follows and in the time honoured tradition the assignment of nicknames is also accorded. Lord Clueless thanks to his recent elevation to the peerage bestows the following
- Laurie aka “Supermac”
- Liam aka ” An fear ciúin”
- Pavel aka “Spock”
- John aka “Lord Clueless”
- Eddy aka ” Edgy”
- Benjamin aka ” Soie”
- David aka “Toffee”
- Will aka ” Banksy”
I also designate the following nickname to Christof…”Der Vater”.
Yes I have used Irish, French and German nicknames to emphasise the diversity of our amazing club.
To the match… outgraded on average by 29 points a board Hammer faced an uphill struggle. Luckily we are built of stern stuff and we were determined to punch above our weight.
The first game to finish was Spock where showing real “enterprise” he sacked a piece for two pawns plus preventing the black king castling. This was great tactical chess with his opponent one step away from disaster all the time. In the end the Albany man defended accurately and was relieved to take the draw.
Edgy on board 5 also drew but held the initiative throughout a full-blooded contest. He reckoned he missed a win..but by any reckoning a superb result as he was outgraded by nearly 40 points. Hammer at 1-1.
Supermac had a tense struggle… playing white, in an endgame two pawns down, with a rook and opposite coloured bishops. Laurie showed the fighting spirit inherent in all Hammers. He manoeuvred his passed pawn to a6 where it tied down his opponents bishop and then used his king and rook aggressively to prevent any progress from his opponent. A truly brilliant rearguard action. Hammer tied at 1.5-1.5.
Soie on board 6 making his debut unfortunately lost… I did not see the game but he is a most welcome addition to the Hammer ranks. Better luck next time. Hammer trailing…
Next to finish was Lord Clueless playing black in a Bb5 Sicilian. These lines though can be quite dull with white having an edge but in reality hoping for a black mis-step. If you want to see a masterpiece in this line check out the classic Ivanchuk-Kasparov encounter from Linares 1991.
Clueless played a quiet opening, definitely the influence from my 4NCL experience last year, plus following a touch of Speelman wisdom… wait for your opponent to make a mistake… they will.
Hammer at 2.5-2.5… the fight was really on.
Next up was Toffee on board seven against a familiar opponent… Howard from Battersea… but playing for Albany in the Middlesex.
As always Toffee went down fighting. Despite a knight for a rook exchange down he made Howard fight for the win.
Hammer down 2.5-3.5.
All eyes turned to Banksy making his debut on board 8 against an experienced 149 opponent. This was great to watch with the Banksy snaffling an early exchange and then breaking through a wall of pawns across the board. This was the performance of the night and an outstanding win. Afterwards he was reflecting on how different OTB chess is to its online brother.
There is more artistry to come from Banksy… where will he strike next?
The last game to finish was Liam (The Quiet Man) playing an opponent who over the past three seasons when playing Hammer has lost to Clueless, beaten T-Bone and lost to Showbag. A real roller coaster of results.
Liam’s play in the last six months has come on leaps and bounds… he is a tough opponent to beat and plays really solid chess.
This was a really tense game with action all over the board. Liam strived to hold the line but in the end his opponents greater experience won through. This was a tough loss especially after the fight our man had put up. Really unlucky.
So a Hammer loss 3.5-4.5… the strange thing is it felt like a victory… with a lot of big guns returning I think Hammer are well set for Middlesex 2 this season.
Clueless delighted to be handing back to Captain Jonathan… the fight is on.