Hammer’s Junior Hour is back

This week, Hammersmith Chess Club hosted not only Nigel Short, England’s most famous former chess prodigy, but also some of its own future prodigies when Junior Hour kicked off. The first evening was more of an introduction to the venue, to some of the participants, and to how we plan to conduct Junior Hour on a regular basis. It was encouraging to see how quickly and joyfully even the very young kids settled down to play each other, while others watched the demonstration games and advised on checkmating moves.

From next Monday onwards, we will start with a more structured program. The evenings begin with a few warm-up puzzles, going from easy to difficult, before proceeding to a 15-minute or so lecture on a specific topic, and these will provide a red thread throughout the season. After that, Juniors play games with each other, preferably against someone of a similar level. This is good preparation for a Junior tournament which we plan to do before the Christmas break.

We were glad to see so many young faces which tells us that we should initially focus our lectures on the beginners. Advanced players will not miss out though. They might refresh their knowledge in the first 20 minutes, and there will be the opportunity to play with one of the teachers present. And of course, everyone is invited to stay longer when adults come in after 7 pm.

WHERE: London MindSports Centre, 21-23 Dalling Road in Hammersmith, W6 0JD London. It is a 2-minutes walk from Ravenscourt Park Station (District Line).
The main playing hall is large, bright and well-ventilated. Adjacent is a small bar and kitchen, ideal for parents if they want to be there.

Who are the Hammer coaches? The club has a variety of coaches who will from time to time provide their lectures, each one with their specific background and focus, all experienced in teaching Juniors. The variety ensures that the game can be seen from different angles.
Point of contact and any question: Christof Brixel via email: cbrixel@yahoo.com.au

See you next Monday at 6pm!

This Monday: lecture by GM Nigel Short

Hi all,

Unfortunately, Grandmaster Simon Williams is sick and can’t make it on Monday. Though we have an exciting announcement that filling in for him will be English GM Nigel Short – who was one of the most successful chess players of the 1980s and 1990s and was still in the top 100 well into his 50s. The peak of his career came in 1993, when he challenged for the World Championship in a match against Garry Kasparov.

Winning - Nigel Short

We will also be selling his new book in the night – Winning by Nigel Short, which has been short-listed by ECF for book of the year. He is happy to also sign any copies of his book too!!!

Grandmaster Nigel Short realised that every tournament win has a unique narrative and challenge. In this exceptional chess book, Short discusses eight of his foremost tournament wins, describing the drama with insightful game annotations and entertaining anecdotes. For those wanting to win in chess, this book is the place to start.


A New Hammer is Born – Bringing Chess into the 21 st Century

I joined Hammersmith Chess Club some seven years ago – at the time we met at the Lytton Community Hall in West Kensington. The first night I attended there were four people playing chess – all white, aged 70 plus and it was grim. I almost decided there and then this was not the club for me. Fortunately, Mike MacKenzie, the then secretary, persuaded me otherwise and following a popular uprising at the AGM later that year the club’s fortunes changed dramatically.

We grew quickly with a new modern website, utilisation of social media, charity events and a dynamic Committee committed to living up to the ideal of being more than a chess club.

We have won trophies, run amazing events and travelled to Amsterdam, Cork and Wroclaw to take on chess clubs. Hopefully next year Lubeck will be our destination.

Last year pre-Covid we moved to the YCBC premises at Goldhawk Rd and now we moving to a purpose-built facility – the Mindsports Centre in Hammersmith. This will be the best premises of any chess club in London and will set new standards in club facilities. The playing area is superb and there is a bar and restaurant for all, especially parents, to enjoy.

Next year is the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Hammersmith Chess Club -It has been a long journey, with many peaks and troughs, and I think our founders would be extremely proud of what the club has achieved in the past six years.

It is time for a new chapter, and I know Hammersmith are ready for the new challenges modern chess provides in a Covid aware world.

This coming Monday, September the 6th, is the first time we will come together at the Mindsports Centre. This will be from 7 pm and is very much an evening of getting used to the new venue and surroundings.

The 13th of September will be the first time our junior club will meet from 6pm and again this will be very much an introduction to the new premises. However, this will be followed by a very special event when we have an evening with GM Simon Williams – aka the Ginger GM.

Plans for the next 12 months are in formation and here is a brief overview of what we have planned.

  • League chess – the London league, Thames Valley, the Middlesex and the Central London League
  • A challenge match – home and away legs- with the Chess Centre in Bradford
  • A full-bloodied OTB match with the ultimate frenemies for the El Chessico trophy – Battersea
  • A clash with the Hackney Chess posse
  • A charity event in Lytton Square – in May 2022 – I am happy to take suggestions from club members for the charity that will receive the funds. Previously Hammersmith MIND has been the recipient.
  • A trip to Lubeck in June next year for a weekend of chess GM simul displays, a junior program with special events as well as loads more to celebrate 50 years of our club.

So, I hope to see you all this Monday coming for the most exciting chess year in the history of our club…. the new Anvil awaits

John White aka Lord Clueless
PR Officer