The Champions!

Yes, my fellow Hammerites, your eyes do not deceive you – Hammer has won its first Division 1 title in its 57th year. It has been a long wait, but boy is it worth it!

Cue “We are the Champions” by Queen, copious amounts of fizz and congratulations all round!

Under the superb captaincy of Captain Wily (aka. Bajrush), Hammer sewed up the Thames Valley Division 1 Championship on a glorious night last month, befittingly at the Anvil.

In a dramatic match against Ealing, Hammersmith ran out 5.5-2.5 winners to convincingly win the title. Just take a look at the final table – it is simply fantastic:

A score of nearly 88% in match points – 10 wins, 1 draw, and a solitary defeat – this was a season of domination by the Hammers in a tough division. This is a definite new high for our club.

The match card looked like this:

In honour of this great achievement, here are some of the games from that exciting night.

Board OneRyszard playing like only Ryszard can:

Board TwoThomas the “T-Bone” in awesome form:

Board EightJim tearing up the Smith-Morra:

Chris scored the vital point to secure the victory and was followed by Tony Niccoli (“The Surgeon“) winning a long game – Hammer at 5.5-0.5 – the losses for Wily and the Great Dane did not figure.

I have to say that Carsten deserved a lot more than a cruel loss in time trouble. Bajrush had one of those nights we all want to forget about at the board.

However, those defeats did not dampen the joy of victory and a huge squad effort – Captain Wily had two bottles to share out and boy did they not last! We then retired to the Albion to continue the celebrations well into the night.

Hammer has come of age!!!

Charity Begins at… Lyric Square, this weekend!

The 3rd Annual Hammersmith MIND Charity Day – Saturday 11th May 2019

As the football (and chess!) seasons draw to an exciting end, it’s time again for the annual Hammersmith Chess Club charity jamboree in Lyric Square – where HCC takes chess to the public, in association with Hammersmith & Fulham MIND, to raise awareness and money for a great cause!

We’ll be setting our stall out in Lyric Square, the heart of Hammersmith town centre, and taking on all-comers to drum up support for a worthy cause.

It’s one of the highlights of the year for our club, and a fantastic way to combine chess, charity, and a bit of socializing, whilst raising the profile of MIND and Hammersmith Chess Club in the local community.

We’ll be there from 11am through to about 4pm, so if you’d like to come along and volunteer your chess services, we’d be very grateful. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 3 hours, your involvement is valuable and much appreciated!

John is organizing, so please drop him an email if you’re keen to get involved in any way – john.white49@ntlworld.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

No-Holds-Bared

30.04.19 – Thames Valley Division 3: Hammersmith vs. Ealing

Another no-holds-bared encounter in the Valley – read on…

Welcome to two newcomers – Jack Esiri, and John McDonagh.

Jack, a junior, comes here from Richmond Juniors and has a solid ECF A grading.

John plays like a veteran and I rate him e115, especially when he is wearing his trademark “newsboy or horse-trainer” cap!

With not a draw in sight, the match was drawn 3-3, as we did the previous week. This result skates over the concentrated efforts of the protagonists.

Luckily we had our four veteran top-boarders and I was hopeful we could remedy a previous loss to Ealing.

On board 3, Matteo looked all set for a draw, with his two rooks and knight against his opponent’s two rooks and bishop, but the bishop was landlocked: all its’ open squares were held by Matteo. Matteo moved his knight to attack the bishop, even though well-defended. His opponent thought to move the bishop to Matteo’s back row, where his rook lurked. And the rook woke up and grabbed the errant bishop! Such a simple and harmless looking position, a blunder out of the blue! So, score 1-0.

Next, on board 5, Jack was playing an experienced opponent, ten games this season, mostly losses. Bad luck to be playing him! For well over an hour and a half the game looked winning for Jack, material ahead, I thought. But after a sudden inaccuracy, Jack had to resign. Jack’s opponent has previously beaten Nikolis. Score 1-1.

About this time, on top board, with almost even position, Paul suddenly got up, with him signalling a down thumb. Score 1-2. Total surprise!

Meanwhile I was watching Brian Dodgeon on board 2 with the white pieces, completely eclipse his opponent with a beautiful attack. Enthralling game! Score 2-2.

See the game here with Brian’s comments:

John McD on board 6 was looking good – a minor piece up and winning, his opponent resigning, just after Brian’s win. Nicely done! Score 3-2.

Last to finish was veteran Charlie on board 4, who had a bishop and knight and 3 or 4 pawns, against rook and some 5 or 6 pawns. A very interesting position, and I reckoned it was not a lost cause, as Charlie would fine the one resource to win the game and the match. But it was not to be.

Somehow his opponent gained a winning end-game, and Charlie painfully threw in the towel. His opponent had just recently drawn against a high 140 graded player, but only played 3 or 4 matches this league, so clearly improving.

Match drawn, 3-3.

Robin.

Hammer B v Kingston B

23.04.19: Thames Valley League Division 3 – Hammer v Kingston

This match was Kingston’s return grudge match, and for  a while I thought we could win it. It was truly no-holds-barred contest, and both protagonists walked off the field wounded, but still alive, with thumbs up from noble Caissa, and standing spectators! No draws in sight, all wins or losses, very unusual . But then, chess can be strange like that.

Fine wins were recorded by maestri C.Brixel, M.Bezzini, and J.Hoong. Bad luck to juniors Nadhmi Auchi (a promising attack with minor piece sacrifice and open g-file fizzled out) and Amaya MacDonald (fell to knight fork early on, but the Surrey captain of the U120 team was 3 pieces and finally a Queen up and avoided the stalemate trick). Our top boarder, P.Kennelly adjourned after a promising attack also fizzled out and two pawns down, he resigned overnight, very sporting.

Christof on board 2, with the black pieces commented:

“There was no exchange of an piece for the first 18 moves. Then the Kingston opponent grabbed a (poisoned) pawn and it was game over in 5 moves.” Brilliant!

Matteo on board 4 looked about equal with a rook each, and par on pawns. Something happened, because when I looked back 5 minutes later he had 2 passed linked pawns, and capitulation came. Word is he is at least 10 points better than his grade, maybe 160-170 territory.

Jonathan on board 5 with the white pieces said he opened with a Scotch Gambit, a double-edged opening but then it got locked up. However he waited patiently, redeploying his heavy pieces and bishops, and his attack was overwhelming, soon enough. Nice!

Final score: 3-3

In our two match home and away summary between ourselves and Kingston, we scored 1 win and 1 draw. I’ll rate that as a creditable success!

Robin.

 

May is Women’s Chess Month at Hammersmith

Yes, starting 7th May 2019, Hammersmith Chess Club will be running events tailored for women, aimed at beginners and intermediate players, seeking to encourage woman to participate in the game we all love!

The initiative is a first for Hammersmith and is a demonstration of our drive to become the club of choice for women chess players in London, and help redress the balance of underrepresented groups in the chess world. We are grateful to the English Chess Federation for their support and funding. Read on!

The following events will be FREE of charge to all women (and girls!) that wish to attend – please drop us an email to register your place at any of these events in May – john.white49@ntlworld.com

All players are welcome to attend – men and women – however we will be giving priority to women at all of these events:

7th / 14th / 21st May – Women’s Master Maria Manelidou
  • Tuesday 7th May, 6pm – A Chess Lecture from Women’s FIDE Master Maria Manelidou on “Opening Themes
  • Tuesday 14th May, 6pm – A second lecture from Maria on “Check Mate Patterns
  • Tuesday 21st May, 6pm – A third and final lecture from Maria on “Basic tactics
FIDE Master Maria joins us at Hammersmith in May
21st May – Women’s Tournament – £250 Prize Money

After the final lecture on 21st May, we will then be hosting a women-only rapid chess tournament wth £250 of prizes on offer. It will be a Swiss tourney, 10 minutes per player for all moves, with cash prizes as follows:

  • Winner: £125
  • Runner-up: £75
  • Third: £50
Special Offer to Join Hammersmith in May

Finally, to round off Women’s Chess Month at Hammersmith, any female players who want to join the club can do so in May for the special price of £40, which will cover membership for the remainder of this season and all of next season – up until June 2020 – including ECF membership worth £15!

This gets you full club membership, and English Chess Federation membership,  providing you with rated games, all club tournaments and activities, lectures, training, and much more!

It’s going to be great – please get in touch to register your interest and secure your places! john.white49@ntlworld.com

Important Announcement to Hammersmith Chess Club Members – Club AGM

Dear Members, the Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is rapidly approaching – this year it will be on Monday 3rd June at Lytton Hall.

As is usual, the Club’s Committee recently met to discuss the usual club business and agree Motions for debate and voting on at the Meeting in June. The following 2 Motions have been adopted by the Committee as recommendations to be voted on by the Club’s Members at the AGM:

Motion One

The Committee will propose deletion of Article 7.3 of the Club Constitution, which reads: “No Committee member can stay in their position for more than three years in succession“.

Motion Two

The committee will propose deletion of Article 7.10 of the Club Constitution, which reads: “The Committee has the power to co-opt on two extra members [to the Committee] if required“.

The Committee wishes to replace these two positions, with two permanent positions that will be electable like the other Committee Officer positions. These two permanent positions will be: (i) Diversity Officer; (ii) Member without Portfolio.

Reasons for the Proposals:
Motion One

When the constitution was originally drawn up, Hammersmith Chess Club only had 30 members, and the club had recently emerged from a period of mis-management. We are now approaching 100 members – a truly amazing achievement in less than 5 years. There are critical decisions to be made over the next 12 months – larger venue, new initiatives, more teams etc. – and to lose the experience of the current, well-functioning committee that has steered the club to our current position, would be precipitous.

The Committee functions in a truly democratic fashion, is effective in providing oversight, and there is now little danger of one person dominating the Club.

The Committee therefore believes that the Club is best served by allowing experienced Committee members to continue in post, with appropriate oversight from the Committee and the Club membership, and we wish to drop the three year limit on individuals holding Committee positions.

Motion Two

The Committee recognises that the Diversity Officer needs to be a permanent voice on the body, to broaden our membership and be more representative of the community in which we exist and draw our members. There is much work to do here, and we must therefore make this important role a permanent position.

The Committee Member without Portfolio will assist with the workloads of Club Captain, and Secretary, recognising that the huge increase in members requires further support for both of these positions. The role holder will also take on support for other Committee roles at the discretion of the Committee as the club evolves. They will report to the Committee through one of those Officers.

If these motions are passed, the Committee will consist of the following roles:

  • Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Club Captain
  • Webmaster & Social Media
  • PR & Events Officer
  • Auditor
  • Diversity Officer
  • Member without Portfolio

These new roles will be defined under an updated draft of the Constitution.

With this in mind, our Committee will now consist of the following nominated individuals – plus two open roles – for election by the Members at the AGM:

  • Chairman – Bajrush Kelmendi
  • Treasureropen to nominations
  • Secretary – Adam Cranston
  • Club Captain – Ben Rothwell
  • Webmaster – Andy Routledge
  • PR & Events – John White
  • Auditor – Nadim Osserian
  • Diversity Officer – Rubinder Gill
  • Member without Portfolioopen to nominations

Any member can stand for any position on the Committee,  but must have their nomination seconded by another member and give notice to the Secretary 30 days before the AGM.

Therefore, if you would like to seek nomination for a position, please contact Adam: adam1234321@googlemail.com

Thank you for your continued support!

REMINDER: The AGM is on 3rd June 2019 at Lytton Hall – see you there!!

April Updates from Planet Hammer

Welcome dear readers – it’s been a while! Please read on for a slew of match updates, and the conclusion of this Season’s Hammersmith League!

The North London Trilogy – March 2019 – Disaster and Foundation

This is a painful report that has been delayed by your correspondent as it was truly a case of March madness. This report from Middlesex 2 and 1 sectors, makes grim reading and is a tough one to put down on paper let alone a website.

Hammer 2 took on Muswell Hill 2 and Hendon 3 in bruising encounters whilst the ray of light was shone by Middlesex 1 – in a bloodthirsty encounter with a real powerhouse Hendon 1 – in possibly the most heroic performance since Horatius defended the Pons Sublicus in the 6th Century AD. Total Clueless hyperbole you may say, but wait and read the full report.

Furthermore, the use of Foundation in the title of this report is a nod to the Foundation Trilogy written by Isaac Asimov and arguably the most influential Sci-Fi series ever written. The story of the Foundation being the shining light preserving knowledge and science as a decaying imperial empire unwinds, contrasts very well with the Hammer and Hendon chess clubs. I leave you to decide which is which.

Middlesex 2 needed a win against Muswell Hill to keep up in the battle against relegation. As you can see from the scorecard we just fell short. It was a tough night for the Hammers and the result was in doubt right down to the last seconds of the final game to finish.

First to the Hammer heroes – Javier S and Paul M – both played great games with Javier allowing zero counter-play whilst gradually squeezing his opponent – it was a commanding performance. Paul M played a model endgame and was able to convert his plus pawn advantage into a good technical win.

There were draws for Eddy, Neil and Captain Clueless. The first two played very solidly and were never in danger, whilst Clueless overlooked a queen manoeuvre in the Scotch which might have yielded a win – such is chess.

Tough losses for both Charlie and Javier G with the latter though a pawn down, had the initiative and all the pressure. Due to my own game I did not see what happened but it was sudden and hence I can only put it down to an error on Javier’s part, it was just one of those games.

Charlie decided to be aggressive form the start and was launching his K-side pawns up the board against the castled white King. A tactic much utilised by our beloved Chairman. Unfortunately, his King was not safe and his opponent took full advantage – Charlie was left with a passive position and little could be done to save the day.

The most impressive performance of the night was that of Paul K – aka “Dead Eye” – he played a game that reminded me of Fischer in the second game of the 1992 rematch with Spassky. Through sheer gutsy defence and tenacity, he emerged a pawn up in an endgame which saw white with rook, bishop and knight versus Paul’s two knights.

Dead-Eye gradually improved his position and started the march of his passed pawns – alas the position was so complicated he consumed too much time on his clock. I think there was a study-like win there, but would have required a Magnus Carlsen to find it. In the end searching for the firebird, our man went down in flames – he was so unlucky.

The second encounter that week saw the Hammer 2 team travel to a nemesis of ours – Hendon 3. Clueless could not attend and Brian stepped into the breach and took control of the team. This was the grimmest of nights where the Hammer heroes were out-graded on average by approximately 40 points a board.

The score-card tells the story – a really tough night for Hammer 2 – no disguising it.

All I can say is I feel your pain and was frustrated not to be there.

The only way to respond to this is to move on – we and especially Captain Clueless, will do better next time.

The ray of sunshine was the following scorecard from Middlesex – Hammer 1 lead by the legend that is Zeus.

The Hammer crew took on the winners of the Middlesex League for the last eight season – Hendon 1. Just take a look at the score-card – Hammer were out-graded by 44 points a board – Hendon fielded two of England’s top 15 players on the top two boards.

Zeus had trouble getting a full team out – Sorted and Clueless answered the call to arms, yet we came within a half point of drawing the match – and in some ways we should have won it.

There were huge wins for Carsten, Bajrush and Zeus – all three downing opponents whose ECF rating is something you do not see every day of the week.

One of the abiding memories of the night is the sight of all seven Hammer players surrounding the board as Carsten found his way to a deserved win. This was real Hammer spirit from the lads and a stellar performance from Carsten. This is what makes a club and a team – you could feel the collective will in the room. There was only the non-playing captain from the Hendon side to urge their man on. To me, that is what Hammer is all about.

Please forgive the scarcity on detail here but my game was totally absorbing and demanding.

Board One saw Chris take on GM John Hawkins, British Chess Champion from 2015, despite downing an IM in the last 4NCL weekend, this was a bridge too far for Chris. He was also unwell and answered the call to arms despite that – he is a true Hammer and Tiger blood.

Board 2 saw Thomas lose on time to an IM rated 247 – the fact was he had made it to a drawn position – he was so unlucky. Unreal performance.

Our Great Dane on board 3 just won by accumulating pawns – he harvested well and scored a superb win.

Bajrush, played a dream of end0game where his opponent was relying on error to save the day. Wily was just so technically right and scored a decisive win – just brilliant.

Sylvain, was also under time pressure and it cruelly robbed him of a deserved draw – he was so unlucky.

Zeus on board 6 was in his best form – he basically won at a canter. It was superb – Hammer at this stage were level on the scoreboard.

Charlie was out-graded by 60 points, he defended the black side in a French and although two pawns down put up a great fight. He did Hammer proud.

Clueless on board seven should have won – the fact he did not has haunted him for the past 8 days. I basically outplayed a guy graded 58 points higher than me – this was possibly the best chess I have ever played. I was gutted that all I achieved was a draw – but it was a pure failure of technique. This was the position:

I thought I could win by chopping the rook off and grabbing the pawn – then I would gain the opposition and Queen my pawn – I was so wrong. Put it into Stockfish and see how the brain wins it.

This Middlesex 1 result was probably the best performance by any Hammer team in our 57-year history – we put in an average team rating of 216 across all eight boards – amazing.

Hammer is going in the right direction – doing it the right way – our best days are ahead of us. Our new tagline on the web site is “More than a chess club” – this is what we are.

Hammer Royalty enjoying the delights of the Duke of Cornwall after the Hendon 3 encounter.

So there is light in this report and possibly the start of something very special. Captain Clueless urging all Hammers to stay true and keep the faith.

1st April 2019 – Staines A vs Hammersmith B

This match took place in a very prosperous part of Surrey, in Egham – read on about our adventures there!

A country walk that is quite remarkable is that from Egham to Runnymede, where the Magna Carter was signed. Egham is a satellite hamlet a few miles from Staines, that has accumulated much wealth over the years as a prosperous commuter centre to Londinium.

We welcome Christof Brixel who debuts to our team in this match, on board one. Here are his comments:

“It was not a fairly tale start of my retirement and of my first game for Hammersmith.

It was not as I envisaged, losing in 3 tough hours when my opponent avoided all mating tricks (or I didn’t find the ultimate winner)”

The critical moment in his game follows: can white win?

Nadhmi had the black pieces on board 2. His opponent was FIDE-rated, ex-Olympiad and a chess coach, according to credible sources. Nadhmi’s mum takes up the story:

“She played the London system and developed a strong centre… eventually Nadhmi broke the centre open and laid a trap… she fell for a fork, losing the exchange. The end game was rook and 3x pawns for Nadhmi, against a Rook; it was won, when she flagged.”

Nadhmi said afterwards that he used time to his advantage, he had at least 10 minutes more than her by the end of the game and at times during the game up to 25 minutes more than her early on.

Well done! Everybody else draw, although Jonathan had adjourned first.

We went down to the wire this match and lost by one point: Staines 3.5 – 2.5 Hammer B.

Had I planned properly and got a proper train ticket, and had I beaten the kid with under e100 rating, we might have won, so I award myself the “wooden spoon”.

9th April 2019 – Hammersmith B vs. Staines A

Another week, another report, but why Hercules? Read on…

Hercules, son of the Greek God, Zeus, is turned into a half-god, half-mortal by evil Hades, God of the Underworld, who plans to overthrow Zeus. Hercules is raised on Earth and retains his god-like…

Although he was seen as the champion of the weak and a great protector, Hercules’ personal problems started literally at birth. Hera sent two witches to prevent the birth, but they were tricked… Hera then sent serpents to kill him in his cradle, but Hercules strangled them both!!

Welcome to Andrew Macdonald, a junior who debuts in the team this season.

We had black on top board. First to finish was board 6, Andrew who eclipsed his guy in record time using a 2 piece combo attack to win a rook early on. Nice!

Then came Jonathan Hoong with a draw, about an hour later, from a symmetric rook and minor piece and pawns each, not surprising. Score 1.5-0.5

Then came John White against a seasoned FIDE rated player, S.Schmitt on board 3. Looking about equal for a long time, having 2 doubled rooks in play, perhaps John was winning. But then the rooks got separated, and his opponent got prolonged checks on 7th and 8th ranks with a rook and bishop which John doggedly defended without being mated and without pawn loss.

Eventually though, a pair of rooks were swapped, and pawns were lost, John’s lone rook had an uphill battle against a bishop and 2 or 3 linked passed pawns, one of which queened and he was forced to resign. Score all square at 1.5-1.5

Paul Kennelly had a very tough game but had the edge, down to the wire with minutes to go, right at the end, his opponent somehow left his rook en pris, possibly with Paul having an intermezzo check. He immediately resigned on losing the rook. Well done Paul! 2.5-1.5

Our two juniors Alexander Jamieson on board 1, and Nadhmi Auchi on board 3, got into long endgames that looked like wins, but were inconclusive at the end, a Herculean effort. I thought Nadhmi was winning for a while. Bad luck!

Alexander was facing the Staines captain on board 1, who never let any real advantage occur even in double extra time. Draws reluctantly agreed. Very sporting! 3.5-2.5

Congratulations to Paul K and Andrew M for their wins, which secured our  victory.

Hammersmith League – Round 5 – The Finale 2019

The Hammersmith League contestants once again do battle at The Anvil. The first four rounds had seen some bloodthirsty encounters as well as some subtle positional efforts with three teams vying for the coveted title of Hammersmith Rapid League Champions.

The maths was simple: if Football Radar win, they would be crowned champions. If they lost, they could be overtaken by either Battersea or Tony’s Tigers. This was the perfect finale to the tourney.

A dramatic night unfolded once again… I invite you to read on.

The final round threw up the following match-ups:

  • Football Radar v Hackney
  • Battersea v Tony’s Tigers
  • Hammersmith v Tony’s Lions
Football Radar v Hackney

To be honest the Radar were in Fischer mode, not only did they sweep the Hackney crew aside but they did so in imperious form… just unstoppable. Great credit to Adam and his teammates, they really won the title in style.

The Radar were unbeaten – scoring 90% in the tourney and winning four matches, with one draw.

Our deserved champions – they have come a long way in less than two  years.

Battersea v Tony’s Tigers

The second match saw the potential challengers face off… Battersea and the Tigers… this was a match of two halves with Nadhmi and Gregg both pocketing two points each in powerful displays.

Battersea won the first round 3-1 but the Tigers reversed that in Round 2. A drawn match was the fair result, with both teams demonstrating great sportsmanship and tenacity.

I must single out Chris Rebbeck here, whose sportsmanship was of the highest quality. A total gent.

Hammersmith v Tony’s Lions

To the final match which was a real fight for honour. A close match ensued between the Hammers and the Lions.. this was the wooden spoon game. What followed was a fascinating match.

In the early kickoff, Amaya over-powered Charlie in both games with a real neat mating finish in game one. The second saw her more experienced technique carry the day. Hammer 2-0 up.

Connall and Ben completed their two drawn games at a rapid pace… the quality was there, it is just they did not hang around. Two draws on the top board.

Dave on Board 2 lost a piece early on to Kamrans and was always on the back foot. Somehow he swindled his way back in and won. I know he felt very guilty about it. It takes great strength of character to come back from that, but Kamran showed loads of it, to comfortably draw the second game.

Debut player Daniel played two excellent games against Nadim to score a 2-0 win… this was a great performance and made the final score 4.5-3.5

The final table:

 

Heaven & Hell in London Division 4

Emerging from a truly – and I’ll have to watch my language here – “disappointing” defeat against Kings Head in round 9, Hammer 2 had a great opportunity to put things right again as we faced up to a quick fire double-header against Wanstead & Woodford and then Metropolitan 4.

Fortunately all is well with the world as we rebounded with a resounding 7-1 WIN vs. Wanstead & Woodford.

How do you follow that? That’s easy – with another 7-1 WIN a week later against Metropolitan 4…

So, first up was Wanstead & Woodford.

A near perfect performance from the Hammer crew, aided in part by the no-show of David’s opponent on Board 6. Nadhmi’s game was particularly interesting to watch (and no doubt painful to play) as he tortured his opponent, Magnus Carlsen style, for 20+ moves searching for that elusive win. Looked drawish to me; he managed to crowbar open the door slightly, but it wasn’t enough.

Brian’s match is presented here; by his own admission a wild example of the O’Kelly Sicilian.

Onto Metropolitan 4:

Another match where we were effectively handed a head start, this time 2-0! Jonathan and David (again) were forced to sit out, with walkovers announced shortly before kickoff. The grading differences also helped (!) but everyone went about their business in the right way and brought home the victory in short order.

It’s worth a word on our 3 debutants on the night – Andrew, Javier and Christof – each scoring the full point apiece.

  • Andrew roundly bested his junior peer in record time, taking advantage of some rash tactics to take a material lead. He’s developing into a player who demands respect over the board.
  • Javier wasn’t far behind, coolly taking advantage of imprecise play from his opponent. He must have been cold as he wore gloves throughout the match…! (but can he do it on a Tuesday night in Stoke?)
  • Christof professionally and methodically ground down his man despite facing a most stubborn of defences from his English counterpart. The Brexit analogies are obvious, but at least Mr.Hamilton had the good grace to shake hands and admit defeat when all hope was lost.

Here’s Christof’s game:

It’s a pleasure captaining you lot! Onto the next one.

Dave.

Eventful at Hammersmith

Hammers – an update on some upcoming events & a match report from one of our Reporters of the Year! Read on…

The Grandmaster Danny King Evening -29th April 2019

Yes, the next blockbuster event, brought to you by 21st Century Hammer Chess Productions is an evening with GM Danny King – chess player, media start, author and all-round top bloke.

He will be, for one night only, holding forth at The Anvil – home of Hammersmith Chess Club. This will be another brilliant night for Hammer members. Read on for the juicy details…

The evening will be part lecture, and part question time.

Those of you who attended the Jon Speelman evening in February last year will know what an evening like this can do for your chess knowledge.

Hammer members attending will be asked to make a voluntary donation on the evening, but you must register prior to the 18th April, as we are limited to 50 people at Lytton Hall. So if you want to attend and guarantee your place, please let our PR Officer know via email – john.white49@ntlworld.com

Please note: WhatsApp or text messages will not count!

If there are spare places after the 18th April it will be opened up to Non-Hammer members at a cost of £7.

Hammers – it’s over to you!!

MIND Day – 11th May 2019

Yes, the Hammer chess club’s major community event is coming up, celebrating it’s THIRD anniversary! This is an amazing day where the Hammers boss Lyric Square for the day, introducing the general public to our brilliant game, and raising money for Hammersmith MIND, not to mention further enhancing the camaraderie of the club!

In the last two years we have raised over £1,200 for MIND and recruited a number of new members – this all happens because of the volunteer mentality endemic in all Hammer members.

Hammersmith MIND will also be there, and coincidentally it is the weekend before Mental Health Awareness Week!

The day will cover the hours from 8.30am to 4.30pm. The timetable is as follows:

  • 8.30am – Meet at Lytton Hall to pickup chess equipment, tables and chairs
  • 9am – Setup in Lyric Square
  • 10am-4pm – Play chess against the general public and raise funds
  • 4pm-4.30pm – Breakdown and return kit to Lytton Hall
  • 4.30pm onwards – chess, beer and food in “The Albion”

This cannot happen without you volunteering – even for a couple of hours.

So, Hammers, it is time to clear the diary and get involved. Email the PR Office – john.white49@ntlworld.com – stating that you want to get involved, and what times you’re available for.

Two members have already volunteered, and the committee will step up as usual,  but we need the mass participation that we get every year to make this a day to remember – now it’s your turn!

Hammersmith MIND and Hammersmith Chess Club – together it makes sense.

18.03.19 – Thames Valley Division 3: Hammersmith v Wimbledon

Come what may… groan!, this was a draw 3-3, lessons to be learnt… please read on.

I thought we could get a positive indicated result, but our two juniors were to be cruelly done in.

Board 6 saw junior Amaya Macdonald quickly handed her King by a very experienced player who was fide rated 50 or 60 points her superior. 0-1

Board 5 saw Edward Goldman with the black pieces, facing an English opening with a Botwinick pawn structure. Eddie’s defence was actually an attack on the white trenches. White was strangely passive, dithering with his queen side pieces, never castling. Eddie attacked with 7 out of 8 pieces. A knight sac started the hunt, soon the white king was running bit couldn’t hide in the g1 corner. Carnage really, with a won end game but the opponent had had enough and resigned. Well done Eddie! Score 1-1

Board 4 saw a fine win also by Charlie Sturt who was seemingly losing to his opponent. Charlie on his back foot suddenly unleashed a 3 move combo attack on his opponents back row, with mate to follow. So it was the opponent who resigned and Charlie was triumphant! As Kingscrusher admonishes, paraphrasing Sun Tzu (The Art of War), “put yourself beyond defeat, before you attack“. Score 2-1

Board 2 was a hard fought struggle, indeed, by our second junior, Nadhmi Auchi. Nadhmi with the white pieces slowly increased his space advantage and looked to be winning. But as the expected finale came, and the clocks wound down, illegal moves were made under stress (discovered checks that were not announced) causing clock penalty. This happened first to Nadhmi’s opponent, but then immediately following to Nadhmi. He found he was a piece down and he resigned or lost on time. Bad luck! Score 2-2

For much of the evening, I saw Paul Kennelly concentrating fiercely on board 1, and he looked like he was in time trouble also. Just after Nadhmi’s game expired, Paul managed to get a magnificent draw against ex-Hammersmith veteran Yasser. We were lucky. Score 2.5-2.5

Board 3 saw an adjournment by John White, with the black pieces against an English opening, the Wimbledon captain arriving late, as in Strasbourg. But the adjournment was amicably settled as a draw almost immediately. And the match was drawn, score 3-3

You can see Edward Goldman’s win on board 5 here:

Conclusion:

This was a grudge match with Wimbledon, where previously we were crushed, this time we drew with a much stronger team on our Hammer side. So, a small success, which I’ll take anytime.

Match Analysis:

The rating  differential shows as zero on board 6, and the other boards are slightly heavier on the Hammersmith side. As we drew, Wimbledon may yet get credit with a point win, if rating differentials are used in closely matched season end results.

Hypothetically if the fide rated opponent’s rating using ecf equivalency were to appear on the score card rating differential, the point win might be reversed. That apparently is a big ask, but I mention this anyway.

The Future of Club Nights

Attention Hammers – we need your input!

As the club continues to grow, we will be hiring Lytton Hall on Monday AND Tuesday evenings next season.

This is being done to ensure we can dedicate one evening to home matches – allowing players a quiet, calm atmosphere in which to play their games; and one evening to Club Nights – where we’ll host casual games, organise competitions, hold events and lectures etc.

It’s going to be a really positive change, allowing us to provide the perfect atmosphere for those important matches, and giving us the space and freedom to run events and casual chess, all in the same week.

With great change comes great responsibility though – and we need your input as to which of the two evenings should be our “Club Night” – Mondays, or Tuesdays. It’s DECISION TIME!

It’s an important decision, so we are putting it out to our members for guidance & have created a poll for you to vote on – below.

Things you may wish to consider when you cast your vote: your personal weekly schedule; other chess commitments, logistics of getting to Lytton Hall on different nights, work, family life etc.

Let us know what you think – feel free to post a comment below too – we’re keen to hear the views of all our members. Thanks for your time!

Would you prefer Club Nights to be held on Monday or Tuesday next season?