LL 3 – Tough Start for Hammer 1!

A Tough Match to Start the London League Season for Hammer 1, by Captain John White

Hammersmith went down 3.5 to 6.5 away to Cavendish in our opening match for the newly-promoted team.

We really missed the experience of Paul Kennelly and Jeremy Hodgson owing to holiday and other commitments. However, new members Jay Hinolan and Matteo Bezzini stepped up to the plate.

Jay suffered a loss in his first LL match – due to a heavy cold he was not in the best of form. He’ll be back stronger – having seen him beat Sue Maroroa in the simul during the Summer, I know he was well below his best here.

Matteo playing black got a draw – a solid start to his London League odyssey.

Both of these guys will be great assets for Hammersmith in the London and other Leagues this season. Welcome aboard!

To the rest of the games – the highlight was John Woolley’s return to form with an excellent win. Fighting draws from Brian Dodgeon, Bajrush, John Goodacre (great to see him back!) and yours truly.

Sheikh, Safi and Alex all had tough losses – early season blues I think.

A disappointing result but we were out graded by 15 points or more from boards 2 to 6.

We’ll be back, and stronger next time!



Full scorecard on LL site here.

Opening Night!

By our London League 3 Captain, John White

Hello fellow members – the most memorable evening since Hillary and Donald decided to get it on, took place last night in the Valhalla of West London Chess.

Chess is back at Lytton Hall!

Last night Hammersmith Chess Club returned to its home and the prospect of a tough and exciting season of league chess, blitz tourneys, events and great chess got a lot closer.

The evening was dominated by two events. Firstly – the presentation of merit awards to our most deserving players for their performances in the Thames Valley, London, and Middlesex Leagues last season.

Winners included our Chairman, Bajrush, Brian Dodgeon, Robin Lee, David Lambert and your humble correspondent.


Special mention should be given to John Ryan who received the award for the best increase in rating achieved over the 2015/16 season.


Once again the Club is indebted to our brilliant Secretary, Mike Mackenzie, who put in a lot of work to the awards to make it a special occasion.

HCC gets digital clocks in 2016!

With the gongs out of the way we got down to the first of four 10-minute Blitz tournaments of the season.

A new initiative this year, the Club will be operating a season-long series of four Blitz tournaments where members can rack up points according to their finishing positions. At the end of the final round the Club will crown our inaugural Blitz Champion.

Seventeen people took part in this first round, including a number of new and potentially-new members – we extend our warmest welcome to Phil, Ken, Paolo, Giovanni and Matteo. Pleased to say that Matteo plays his first game for the Club this Thursday – good luck!

The nuts & bolts of the evening saw our Chairman Bajrush beating League 4 Captain David Lambert in the hotly-contested final. A well deserved victory for Bajrush and a solid placing for David – a great night was had by all. Full Roll of Honour and points awarded as follows:

  • Winner – Bajrush (17 points)
  • Runner Up – David (16 points)
  • 3rd (Joint) – Brian, Matteo (15 points)
  • 5th (Joint) – Chris, John W, John R, Robin (13 points)
  • 9th – Sheikh (9 points)
  • 10th – Giovanni (8 points)
  • 11th (Joint) – Paolo, Matt (7 points)
  • 13th (Joint) – Ken, Rich, Danny, Mike (5 points)
  • 17th – Phil (1 point)

Congratulations to all concerned and all the best for the coming season!!

Don’t forget – if you haven’t done so already, please get your Club Membership Fee and ECF Membership Sorted – both essential if you wish to play League Chess for Hammersmith. Please get in touch for details.

Middlesex Fixtures & the Return to Lytton Hall

We have now confirmed all our upcoming fixtures in the Middlesex League – full details available on our calendar, and on the Middlesex website.

Please take a moment to check the fixtures in advance – with Hammersmith entering 7 teams across 6 leagues this season, the fixture list is busier than it has been in a long time! Thames Valley fixtures should be confirmed next week.

In addition, we are pleased to confirm our return to our home venue Lytton Hall on Monday 26 September, after a very successful (and hot!) Summer at the Albion.

It will be a busy evening – starting with a short presentation ceremony for our players of the season, closely followed by a blitz tournament for all-comers. Promises to be a great opener to the season & we’d love to see as many faces down there as possible!

2016/17 Fixtures, and some updates!

As the new season rapidly approaches, we’ve got a couple of notices and reminders for you:

  • London League fixtures for the coming season have now been released! All games have been added to the Hammersmith Calendar, and are also available on the London League website. It will be a busy year for Hammersmith with an additional team in League 6, named in honour of the late Ken Hedger, as well as teams in Leagues 3, 4 and 5, along with our Thames Valley and Middlesex League teams!
Not long to go…
  • Library evenings at Shepherds Bush, and Kensington libraries are suspended until week commencing 26th September. Apologies to anyone wanting to attend, but owing to other commitments we won’t be there for a few weeks.
  • Monday 26th September also sees us re-locate to Lytton Hall for the new season. We’ll be waving goodbye to the Albion until next year!
  • September 15th sees an interesting tournament at Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club over in Teddington, West London: The Abraham Neviazsky Memorial Tournament. All games to start with 1.b4 (The Polish). Entry is £5  – full details on their Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/325250471147570/


Hammersmith Chess Club – Summer Report 2016

This Summer at Hammersmith saw a change from the usual downtime that accompanies the end of the league season and the long wait for the new one to begin. Members were lucky enough to take part in a number of events involving competitive – and in some cases not-so-competitive – chess during July and August. Club Sec Mike Mackenzie presents a summary.

Monday 18th July
A special evening of chess saw Hammersmith take on Battersea in the first game of our Summer double-header, dubbed “El-Chessico”. Members of both clubs seemed very much up for the event, with 12 boards turning out for this rated game at the Albion Pub. Full report can be found here.

Our inaugural Summer double-header against Battersea saw 26 boards across the two games!

Monday 25th July
This scorching hot evening saw a splendid simultaneous over 14 boards by our very own Sue Maroroa. An excellent turnout, coupled with Sue generously waiving her fee and donating it to the club, saw a thrilling evening of chess. Full report can be found here.

Sue Maroroa – knows a thing or two about chess!

Tuesday 26th July
The concluding game of El-Chessico saw a huge turnout at Battersea’s home venue in darkest South-West London. Fully 14 boards took part in this second leg as Battersea sought to salvage some pride…. Full report here.

With a draw in the second leg, Hammersmith took the tie 1.5-0.5

Monday 1st August
Saw 7 members turn out at the Albion pub for an evening of chess.

Monday 8th August
9 members showed up for what turned out to be a very interesting evening of chess. John, Mike, Jorge, Paolo, Shaun, Javid, Tomas, and Matt turned out, along with top club player Carsten, who was kind enough to analyse several games played by the other members, as well as enjoying a spot of recreational chess himself.

Monday 15th August
A whopping 13 members showed up at the Albion, plus Danny’s flatmate, and new recruit Matteo.

Monday 22nd August
8 members including John, Mike, Phil, Anda (our terrific library organiser!), Rich and Jorge turned out for the evening, plus a graduate from one of our library evenings, Marc, came down to see what it’s all about.
Pavel also turned up and sadly let us know he’ll be moving back to the Midlands in the next few weeks. Best of luck Pavel!

Monday 29th August
No chess due to the Bank Holiday!

The Life of a King

It’s not often a film about chess comes along – though the recent biog of Bobby Fischer stands out – but here are some details about an upcoming chess-themed cinematic event…

The film “Life of a King” is being screened on Tuesday 30th August at Walthamstow Empire cinema. The film stars Cuba Gooding Jnr, and is an inspirational tale based on the true story of an ex-con who, determined to help at-risk youths avoid the mistakes he made, forms a chess club to offer them an alternative to street gangs. Tickets are £10.50 and the screening starts at 7pm – full details can be found here.

Move before you… dammit! 

As part of the screening, Hackney’s first team captain FM Bob Eames is giving a free simultaneous on the afternoon of Saturday 27th August. Keep your eyes posted on Hackney’s website for details.

Sue Maroroa vs. Hammersmith!

As regular readers will know, Hammersmith Chess Club had the enormous pleasure of taking on Women’s International Master Sue Maroroa in a Simultaneous display across 14 boards on Monday 25th July.

It was a sultry evening in the Big Smoke and the atmosphere in the upstairs function room of The Albion pub was no different. What little ventilation was on offer didn’t really help, as we just about managed to squeeze in enough boards to accommodate everyone!

Former Hammersmith player Sue had generously agreed to play us this Summer and it was an enthusiastic crowd that turned up, ranging from our old timers, recent new members, and the odd potential signing. Sue had hoped that the evening would be “quick and painless”. Whilst we could ensure an evening free of physical torment, with 14 boards it looked anything but rapid!

Play commenced shortly after 7.30 and it quickly became evident that Sue would have a fight on her hands – not only was Hammersmith fielding a former Punjab Chess Champion in Amit Sharma, amongst other strong opposition, but the setup of the pub meant a long walk down to the far end of the bar with every circuit Sue completed – Hardly ideal given the heat & humidity!

It was a loooong way to get round all the boards

First blood went to Sue however, with a brisk ten-move victory over Shaun (someone had to be first!). Your correspondent followed soon after, conceding after 26 moves. Sue gradually clocked up the victories and whilst the war was clearly being won by the WIM, there remained a number of intriguing skirmishes that would end with victory for Hammersmith.

Amit eventually ended up victorious from a deep strategic game that had Sue thinking hard all evening.

The ice-man… Amit. The coolest thing in the pub that night

John Wooley went two pawns up in a commanding position leaving Sue with little option but to concede.

Jay Hinolan wound up with doubled pawns in a tight endgame, but somehow managed to get one to an imminent Queening position, forcing Sue to resign.

Jay looking very happy with his position

Chris Moore sealed a draw by taking out Sue’s last pawns. He came agonisingly close to forcing the game but there just wasn’t enough material to get his last pawn to a Queening square. Bad luck!

Chris looked under the cosh early doors but ended with a brilliant draw

Club Secretary Mike Mackenzie managed to hold on with even material throughout a long game which looked to be heading for a draw, however Sue was able to push forward and claim victory.

The evening finished with Sue notching up 10 wins, 1 drawn game, and conceding 3. Congratulations go to those players who obtained a result – some terrific chess was played. Thanks also to everyone who turned out for the event, it was great to see so many faces.

Special thanks to Sue for donating her time and energy on a very warm evening in the capital – Hammersmith Chess Club salutes you, and we hope it wasn’t too painful!

For more photos of the evening please check out our Facebook Album, and don’t forget to check out Battersea Chess Club’s website if you would like to play in the Simul they are organising against Simon William, aka the Ginger GM!

The Ginger GM

Following the success of our Simultaneous game against WIM Sue Maroroa, and hot on the heels of a successful double header across 27 boards, our good friends at Battersea Chess Club have very kindly extended us an invite to a 30 board Simultaneous they will be hosting against GM Simon Williams (aka “The Ginger GM“).

The Simul will take place on the evening of Tuesday 6th September at Battersea’s home venue, with an entry fee of £15. Spaces are limited – if you’d like to reserve a spot please drop an email to their organiser, Aldo: aldocamilleri@aol.com

Come, come, Mr Bond, you enjoy a glass of Chardonnay just as much as I

Simon is an English GrandMaster (peak rating of 2550), an accomplished author with several titles to his name, a respected commentator, and has a significant online presence with his own highly successful YouTube channel and website, providing training and insight into his games.

El Chessico – The Result!

Tuesday evening saw the second and deciding leg of our Summer double-header against Battersea Chess Club, dubbed “El Chessico” by those in the know. We had the pleasure of visiting their home venue – Battersea Labour Club – and what a venue it is!

A lovely centre near Clapham Junction with ample room, audio visuals, and pints from £2.35!! Mike Mackenzie was overheard describing it as “a hell of a drum”. Our hosts were equally hospitable – I’m planning my return trip as we speak!

The Battersea Labour Club – rumoured to serve the cheapest pints in SW London

Down to business though – the 15-board return leg was fabulously well organised – credit to Aldo & the Battersea folks for the arrangements. It was an even match up across all boards and the game played out accordingly, with a handful of games going right down to the wire.

It could easily have gone either way, but by the end of the evening the teams couldn’t be separated and the match ended drawn at 7.5-7.5, handing Hammersmith a win over the two legs, 1.5-0.5.

A full house – 15 boards of chess!
Simon Cowell turned up with a glass of Pinot Grigio

A few of the Hammersmith results deserve a shout out – firstly to Paolo for winning on his competitive debut for the club; Jorge also picked up another win in his second outing for us; Chris continued his excellent form with yet another result!; Carsten secured a tasty victory with a 10 move forced combination, and Jeremy secured a hard-fought win after a hair-raising struggle in the middle game (described as “a humdinger of a game”!). John, Pavel and Paul all with creditable draws in the mix too.


Thanks again to our hosts and opponents, and to everyone who turned out over the two legs (27 boards in total – quite a feat!). Well done to Hammersmith for the narrow victory, and here’s to making this an annual fixture!!

Battersea’s match report can be found here.


July 2016 ECF Grades – Now Out

The bi-annual grading update from the ECF has taken place, and new grades for all registered players can be found here:


Topping the charts for Hammersmith are the following five players, all of whom added at least 9 points to their respective grades:

  • Chris M (+21) !!
  • Brian D (+12)
  • Robin L (+10)
  • John R (+10)
  • Gokhan K (+9)

Fantastic news & well done to all – keep up the great work!


And don’t forget the following two events happenings this week:

Monday 25th – Simultaneous vs Sue Maroroa
Tuesday 26th – 15 board games vs Battersea

See you there!