A double-dose this week – A pre-Christmas fixture report and one from the resumption of the league last week. After a slow start, Hammer are starting to get into their stride so a battle against league leaders Hackney, and one against one of the struggling teams – Imperial – would give a true indication of our team.
The first match was against Hackney – League leaders and one of the perennial powerhouses of London League Chess.
First of all, this was a superb performance by Hammer – IM Mark and Chris D were in scintillating form and played very forceful chess.
Here is the scorecard:
IM Mark was in awesome form against a tough opponent, and all-round good guy, Bob Eames. Mark was never in trouble and I ask you to just enjoy this demonstration of forceful chess:
Next up was Carsten, where he had to be very careful in a tricky position – I think his experience counted for a lot here when if he had over played the position, he could have ended up in a lost position.
Hammer 1.5-0.5 to the good.
Next up was Lord Hurricane himself, my fellow peer, in a tough complex Sicilian he was always under pressure – he battled to the end with a possible stalemate in the offing. However, it was not to be. Hammer pegged back to 1.5-1.5:
It all came down to the final game – and Hammer have new member Krasen (Chris) who was fighting for the match victory.
Krasen has a truly combative style – it is as if complications suit his temperament and bring out his best chess – this is a deadly positive in rapid chess.
This was spectacular stuff and worthy of close study:
Yes, not for the first time Krasen had ensured a Hammer victory – a great result and definitely a marker for the future.
The first match of 2021 saw Hammer taking on Imperial College – Jonathan’s old alma mater – this match on paper should have been a certain Hammer victory.
For once, life followed the script and Hammer duly delivered the win. Here is the scorecard:
A clear Hammer win – the only draw from Ryszard – but what a game! Indeed, the endgame is worth serious study – I know he has posted it on the Hammer chat.
All I can say is he stole half a point from the jaws of defeat after an uncharacteristic error in the opening. This is a fascinating game:
Hammer all square and up next was Carsten. I have to say that Carsten is probably the most classical chess player in the club – he is steeped in chess literature and is very correct. This was a perfect illustration of his style. Controlled the middle game and excellent endgame technique:
Hammer forging ahead 1.5-0.5
Next up was Krasen, whose game was first to finish. This was an all-out assault from about move 5 when he had four pieces in the game and his opponent one. This was hyper-aggressive chess with no holds barred attitude. This is a terrific attacking display. Plus it put Hammer 2.5-0.5 up – match point secured.
Finally, to our board 4 Jonathan, who was again in superb form. He was in control from move 12 and displayed a deadly accuracy at the end to finish his opponent in good time.
Hammer overwhelmingly winners at 3.5-0.5 – a fantastic result.
This gives the following table:
Lord Clueless is in excellent mental health and dead proud of these Hammer heroes.
On a final note – the hidden chess player in my last report was the unique Tigran Petrosian – probably the most different of all the World Champions.
I have not included one this week, but invite all readers of this article to share one good thing from the last 10 months of OTB chess starvation in the feedback. It does not have to be chess!
One good thing, I have conquered the skill of making puff pastry from scratch – none of your Delia cheating – this I regard as a significant accomplishment.
It is time to accentuate the positive and start looking forward to a hopefully better 2021 – world and chess wise.