A View from The Hammer Chair – July 2022

First, I would like to thank the club for this opportunity to serve and continue the evolution of our amazing chess club.

I must also thank Club Captain Ben and in particular our Chairman Bajrush for their service. Both have played vital roles in helping the club get to where we are today. I wish Ben all the best in the fair city of Dublin and am delighted that Bajrush will continue to contribute with his knowledge and experience by serving on the Committee.

I must also welcome Robin and Gaston to the Committee. I know they will be successful and dedicated in their new roles.

Finally, I am immensely happy that Nadim, Benji, Adam, Chris and Matteo have agreed to stay on. With the exception of Chris, they are all continuing in their current roles and providing great service to the club. Chris takes over from as PR and Events Officer… certainly a role he will excel in.

We have achieved so much in the past 8 years it is hard to believe. Some of those achievements are staggering:

  • Our membership has grown from 19 (yes 19 !!!) to over 200 members
  • We have a thriving Junior section
  • We have moved into the Mindsports Centre – the best club venue in London
  • We have visited three chess clubs abroad in Holland, Poland and Ireland
  • We have had a guest speaker list that has been a who’s who of chess
  • We pioneered the idea of giving advantageous membership rates to girls and women to play at our club
  • We have run our first Chess Congress and want to make it an annual event.
  • We have won trophies and divisions across the 4 leagues we compete in

There are many other achievements that could be listed. However, what I am most proud of is that our chess club is welcoming, accepting, friendly, open to change and lives up to its motto “More than a Chess Club”.

This is an amazing legacy to build on and a sizable challenge for any incoming Chairman.

My focus on the year to come will be on the following – obviously there will be other challenges that inevitably come along:

  • Oversee the running of the club
  • Work with the Junior Officer and the Junior Sub-Committee to establish a working blueprint and program that meets the needs of all our juniors
  • Encourage and recruit club members to help out with the running of the club
  • Address the training needs for all members, regardless of strength, so they can develop their chess ability to the full
  • Helping all the Officers of the club to perform to the best in their roles
  • Establishing the legal status of the club and sorting out our relationship with the bank once and for all
  • Running Hammratty 2
  • Adding to the trophy cabinet… once you have the taste of success it is hard to suppress it
  • Helping Benji roll out the Hammersmith merchandise
  • As Chairman being available to all members if they have concerns they wish to raise
  • Making sure Hammersmith delivers value for money for all its members
  • A club members’ survey so we can understand what our members think and need from their Committee and Club
  • Plus, other new initiatives yet tba

As Adam has recently posted on the report of the AGM we have created a new Committee position – that of Junior Officer. The role and responsibilities will cover:

  • Forming the Junior Sub-Committee
  • Oversee the work of the Junior Sub-Committee
  • Manage the allocated budget for the Junior Section
  • Formulate a programme for the Junior Section
  • Liaise with the Child Protection Officer to ensure all protocols are being observed
  • Represent the interests of Junior Section on the Club Committee

This was backed and seconded by the Committee and agreed at the AGM. Jim Stevenson has agreed to serve.

I would also like to remind you that the December – Ostend trip is closing its book on the 31st July. You have less than 3 weeks to commit to the trip. I have written previously that the main issue will be accommodation as it is the first weekend of Ostend’s famous Christmas market… we need to get in early.

In the meantime the view from the chair is there are exciting times ahead for Hammer and its motley crew… roll on 22-23!!!

John White aka Lord Clueless

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