Hammer Q&A with… The Queen of Katwe!


It is an honour to welcome Phiona Mutesi, Woman Candidate Master, also known to the world as the Queen of Katwe, for a meet and greet on Saturday, 27 March, at 19:00 GMT, followed by a Q&A session.

The Queen of Katwe – Photograph credit: David Llada @davidllada

The stirring life story of Phiona has inspired the Disney movie “The Queen of Katwe”, released in 2016. Check out the trailer:


Phiona is one of the first titled female chess players in Uganda, representing the country at four Women’s Chess Olympiads in Azerbaijan, Norway, Russia and Turkey. She is currently studying at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, where she has opened a chess club in 2017. 

Under Phiona’s leadership, the Northwest University chess club secured the Top Small College Team title in its first season of competition. 

Please do watch the movie if you have the chance and come prepared with your own questions for Phiona. It’s available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+!

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday! Please register your interest via the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JPLLMF8


And in other exciting news…

Junior Hour – April Residency with WIM Camelia Ciobanu

Following on from Camelia’s excellent workshop on Tuesday, she will be taking up residency at our weekly junior hour for the entirety of April.

I’d like to thank Christof for the huge amount of personal time he has put into running the junior hour so far this year. The committee and members are massively indebted to his commitment, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I offer our gratitude for the countless hours he has invested in bringing up the next generation of Hammers.

With a huge spike in interest from adult beginners, owing in no small part to Christof’s efforts and the success of The Queen’s Gambit, we have decided to rebrand the junior hour as the Weekly Workshop. Camelia will be hosting five sessions in April:

  • Thursday 1st April, 6:30pm
  • Tuesday 6th April, 6:30pm
  • Tuesday 13th April, 6:30pm
  • Tuesday 20th April, 6:30pm
  • Tuesday 27th April, 6:30pm

Zoom links will be sent weekly to all existing junior hour participants. If you are not on that mailing list, but would like to attend these sessions, please let me know. These sessions, along with all club activities, can be found in the club calendar.

Camelia is also hosting a simul on March 30th, in case you’d like to test out her tactical prowess before signing up! See this video for more details.



A Workshop with WIM Camelia Ciobanu


We are excited to inform you that WIM Camelia Ciobanu will be running a workshop for Hammersmith Chess Club members on Tuesday, 23 March, from 18:00 GMT.

WIM Camelia Ciobanu

Camelia was awarded the first National Champion title at the age of ten. She has won multiple competitions both in Romania and abroad. Since she moved to Italy, Camelia is currently most active in Sardinia, Sicily and Rome. 

Her chess lessons are known to be very inspiring and interactive. She is a well-versed chess coach in all aspects of the game: her sessions focussed on understanding the position, detecting weaknesses in the opponent’s position and making the right plan. 

The session on Tuesday will include tactics exercises, the analysis of a middle game, with other variations as well and the opportunity to ask Camelia questions and learn more from her experience as a titled chess player and trainer. 

The workshop will take place on Zoom instead of the Junior Hour, which will resume the following week on Tuesday 30 March 2021. All members are welcome. Please sign up to attend at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RJ32SZN

Raluca Stroe

P.S: Below is one of my favourite chess games of WIM Camelia Ciobanu. I hope you will find it as interesting.