Hammer goes Online

With the world going into lockdown, and the club closing its doors to over-the-board play, chess is very much alive at Planet Hammer.

We are moving all of our activities online, and that began with a simultaneous exhibition yesterday, from our German superstar, the one and only, Christof Brixel…

Covid-19 Simul Series – Part 1

After experimenting with a few platforms, lichess was chosen as the most user-friendly app for conducting a simul. Play kicked off at 6pm sharp, when four juniors – Andrew, Cian, Laith and Zain, put their chess skills to the test. The time control was 30 | 30, with Christof needing to play all four games in that time.

GM John Emms was lucky to escape with a draw vs. Christof in their recent match in the London League

He did not go easy on the youngsters – crushing them with a resounding 4-0 scoreline.

At 7:30, the adults were up. This time Christof had 12 opponents to take on, still with just 30 minutes on the clock (2:30 per game). With white on all boards, Christof saw this as a chance to put his 1. d4 2. Nc3 3. Bf4 Jobava London System under the microscope.

lichess’s simultaneous exhibition feature uses a smart algorithm to pick the most pressing game (from a time perspective) for the exhibitor to focus on

Again, he played excellently, but this was a different kettle of fish. He ended up with an impressive score of 7.5/12 (+7=1-4), following up by sending each entrant a detailed analysis of their game. What a legend!

We’ll no doubt be holding more simuls over the coming weeks, so be sure to follow the club on Twitter and Facebook to find out when they’ll be played. We’ll also be maintaining a scoreboard to log the best challengers, with a fantastic prize to be presented to the highest scorer at the end of the lockdown (perhaps a 4 pack of Andrex?).

1= Andrew Cuff (1.0)
1= Cian Ward (1.0)
1= John White (1.0)
1= Moritz Reuter (1.0)
5 Kostis Nikolis (0.5)

Please get in touch if you’re a first-teamer keen to take on the challenge. Rumour has it that IM Peter Roberson may be conducting the next event, with double points available to anyone who posts a result!

And now for an important message from Lord Clueless…

El Chessico – the 2020 Corona Edition

Hammers, the challenge is on – but online – we are arranging this year’s El Chessico against Battersea online.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we cannot play this event over the board. So, after consultations with the frenemies we want to see if we can do it online. Read on if you want to take part.

There is a long and noble history of chess matches being played in a different way – here are a few from the past.

  • The 1945 radio match between the USSR and the USA – which gave notice to the world of the Soviet Union’s 25-year domination of world chess. The Soviet Union winning 15.5-4.5
  • The 1946 radio match between the USSR and Great Britain – again another dominating win for the Soviet Union by the same score.
  • At a tournament level, Bobby Fischer, due to the US embargo on Cuba, played the 1965 Capablanca Memorial in NY and had his moves transmitted by telex to Havana where his moves were played at the board by Jose Raoul Capablanca Junior.

So, we are following a well-trodden path by chess legends.

I am looking for 30 plus Hammers who want to take part in this unique event.

Hammersmith have won every El Chessico ever to have been played – could this be Battersea’s year?

So, if you want to fight for Hammer, win and retain the trophy and bragging rights then please email Lord Clueless on john.white@healthpoint-europe.com (please note change of email).

Next up we have an incredible offer from one of our top players – Jim “El Loco” Stevenson…

Corona Coaching – Exclusive to Hammer Members

In this post Coronavirus landscape, and having plenty of free time on my hands as the schools abandon chess classes, I would like to take the opportunity to offer free coaching/ training to my fellow Hammers who are interested in adding 30 ECF points to their grade, while studying chess in a fun but serious way.🤣

Possibly by Skype, as we must respect governmental and club directives on social distancing etc, but also in very small groups for those who are corona negative, and place trust in their own good judgement and common sense precautions.

If there is sufficient interest, probably in separate sections of U160, U130, U100 to provide the most appropriate training.

Absolutely free to all Hammer members, the only requirement is a willingness to open your (chess) mind and to try your best! If this is of interest you can contact me on jimovsky23@gmail.com.

With a grade of 193, and years of experience under his belt, only a fool would decline Jim’s most generous offer

And finally, on to our series of online blitz tournaments to see you breeze smoothly through quarantine…

The Corona Cup – Round 1

Hammer now has two online clubs you can join:

Last night we trialled a Swiss tournament on chess.com.

Unsurprisingly, with most of the world’s population under lockdown, their servers were under a very heavy load. Of the 11 entrants, 3 players lost their connections and got booted out. IM Peter Roberson came out on top, with Tony Niccoli a point behind.

lichess’s servers seem to be coping a little better, so will be used for the first round of our Corona Cup. This will be a 2-hour battle arena, exclusive to Hammer members, in which you’ll play as many 5-minute blitz games as possible within the allotted time. If you want to play more games, or are confident you’ll thrash your opponent, you can “go beserk”, halving the time on your clock in exchange for bonus points if you win!

This will take place at 7:30pm on Friday 20th March, and you must join the lichess Hammersmith Chess Team in order to play. If you don’t quite make it for the start, you can still join, but you won’t have as much time to score points.

Again we’ll be maintaining a scoreboard over the entire series, with scores handicapped slightly according to January ECF grades (exact method tbd).

Please get in touch if you have any questions.


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