Puzzle of the Week #023

It’s been a couple of weeks, so here we go again!

Dipender takes the prize for last week’s puzzle, with his second bite at the cherry – well done Dipender!

Taken from a match in 1976, the finish was produced by 15yr old prodigy, Maia Chiburdanidze, on her way to becoming world champion.

To this week’s challenge then – Black to play and win. Answers in the comments:

2018-19 Fixtures are OUT!

With 11 teams to cater for this season, it has been no mean feat, but we have now finalised our fixtures for the coming season! You can check out all the details on our calendar: http://hammerchess.co.uk/calendar/

It all kicks off on September 24th at the home of chess (aka Lytton Hall), with our two teams in Middlesex Div 3 facing off. We then have a crazy busy October featuring 17 games!

This is followed by a steady flow of games in the run up to Christmas (don’t forget about the London Chess Classic in December!), and then back with a bang for 22 games in January, with the following three months also averaging 20 games a piece!

January 2019 – just the 22 games then…

Things slow down towards the Summer, with our current final (and 136th) fixture in early June. It is going to be a mad one!

Please ensure you familiarise yourself with our fixtures & the games you’re likely to be playing – our team Captains should have reached out to all of you to discuss which games you’d like to be involved in, and they’ll do their best to accommodate everyone when possible.

If you need to get in touch to ask a question or find out more info, you can find all details of our teams & captains (along with a link to their emails) here: http://hammerchess.co.uk/teams-captains/

Details of venues, addresses and match start times will be confirmed by captains ahead of each game. If you’re in any doubt, just drop them a line.

Amongst the fixture highlights this  year:

  • Newcomers Football RadarBBCA and Smartacus in London 5
  • Two new Hammer teams in the Middlesex League, meaning we will now play some home games at Lytton Hall on Tuesday evenings (we’ve reached capacity on Mondays!!)
  • New opponents East Ham (we’ve not played them in a while!) in London 2, and Maidenhead in the Middlesex League
  • We’ve also included the Celtic Tigers weekend fixtures on our calendar for the first time – a number of Hammer regulars are now playing for our sister team in the 4NCL

A final reminder – only players who have paid their membership, and are ECF-registered, are eligible to play league games for Hammersmith. If you want to get involved please ensure you have both of these sorted in time, else captains will be unable to pick you!

Get set… it’s going to be a great season!

The Return to Lytton Hall

It’s been a fabulous Summer – amazing weather, a packed calendar of Summer League chess, plus our own Summer Programme (tip of the hat to Mr Cranston for organising such a feast of activities!), but all good things must come to an end.

As of this coming Monday 17th September, we say farewell to our Summer home at The Albion, and return to the familiar surroundings of Lytton Hall until next Summer.

Lytton Hall… aka The Anvil… aka Valhalla

But this being Hammer, we are marking the occasion with our Annual Awards ceremony and prize-giving. If you’ve not been before, it’s a rip-roaring evening of fun, celebrating the best of Hammer, aided with snacks and drinks, to mark the beginning of the traditional chess season!

Chances of Hobnobs – Strong to Certain

This year we’re giving out no fewer than TWELVE prizes to the following individuals:

  • Paul McKeown
  • Andrew Macleod
  • Paul Kennelly
  • Simon Harding
  • Nadhmi Auchi
  • Robin Lee
  • Charlie Sturt
  • Tony Niccoli
  • Bajrush Kelmendi
  • Ben Rothwell
  • Chris Moore
  • Matteo Bezzini

The fun starts from 7.30pm, at Lytton Hall – see you there!

Coffee House Chess with IM Mike Basman – 4th Sep!

A last-minute shout for an interesting evening of chess kicking off tomorrow at Battersea Chess Club!

IM Mike Basman is hosting an evening discussing openings – four maverick ways to start your game as follows:

  • King’s Gambit Accepted: Basman Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3. Qe2)
  • Sicilan Defence: Paulsen-Basman Defence (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5)
  • St. George Defence (1.e4 a6)
  • Borg/Basman Defence (1.e4 g5)

Pretty unusual, I’m sure you’ll agree!

If it tickles your fancy, please add your name to the following Google doodle, and drop Aldo a line to let him know:


Aldo Camilleri: aldocamilleri@gmail.com

More details on the night available here: http://www.batterseachessclub.org.uk/join-us-for-coffee-house-chess-with-im-mike-basman/


The Cork Chess Congress, and FIDE World Championship Visit

Hammerites! We’re pleased to share details of some upcoming events which may be of interest to you all – keep on reading…

2018 Cork Congress

Our good friends over in Cork have announced details of their 2018 Congress. It’s a fantastic annual tournament, split into grade-limited sections, with an amazing €3,000 in prize money! Got to be worth a trip over! Details as follows:

  • When: 5th – 7th October 2018
  • Where: Gresham Metropole Hotel, Cork City, Ireland (easily accessible from Cork Airport, Train and Bus stations!)
  • What: 6-round swiss event, with 3 sections: 1600+, 1200-1600, and U1200, €40 to enter
  • Who: corkcongress@gmail.com to enter
  • Web: www.corkchess.com/congress

The hotel is running a special B&B rate for attendees, and loads more information is available on their webpage – link above.

All the best!

FIDE World Chess Championship

Hammersmith Chess Club presentsa trip to the FIDE World Chess Championship in London!

Members will be attending Round 5 – the eagerly awaited contest between reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, and his younger contender, Fabiano Caruana, on Thursday 15th November 2018 at The College in Holborn, Central London.

To secure a ticket, please visit https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/FIDE-world-chess

Further details are available from Dipender Gill (dipender.gill@imperial.ac.uk), who is organizing the Hammer visit! Friends & partners welcome!

The Last Night of the Summer League

A special Prize-Giving night for the Summer League will be held on Tuesday the 28th August at Battersea Chess Club – and you are all invited!

Various trophies will be presented to the winning teams, but more importantly – the ceremony will be followed by a mass (free) blitz tourney! It’s going to be epic!!

Please indicate to your Hammer SL captain if you wish to participate so we can get our logistics in order for the evening. Many thanks!

And Don’t Forget…

This coming Monday 20th August evening sees Hammers TonyThe TigerNiccoli hosting a training evening at The Albion.

He’s a qualified ECF coach, and his last few training sessions have been top notch – we expect this one will be brilliant too!

As always, it’s free to attend and all are welcome (inc. non-members!).

Our last few Summer Events are coming up over the next few weeks – make sure you save the dates:

Puzzle of the Week #022

Our last puzzle proved a bit of a thronker, with only one real solution proffered by the mighty Hammer faithful.

It’s Adam “Pickle” Cranson who takes the plaudits – congratulations! – with the following line:

  1. Nc6! Qc7 2. Re7!! – Winning the Queen for Rook & Bishop, with an easily won position.

This was from a game in 1954, Bykova v Kogan, at a Moscow-Ukraine match. Taken from The Soviet School of Chess, by Kotov and Yudovich, which apparently does actually contain some decent chess, amongst all the Soviet propaganda! East-side!!!

To this week’s thinker – white to move and win, answers in the comments:

The Hammer Summer Chess Pub Crawl 2018

The Summer of 2018 keeps on giving – just like your favourite chess club in West London.

Are you tired of heat, sunshine, chess and beer? Then Hammer has the perfect antidote… more of the same. Yes, Hammer is a devotee of the hedonistic Creed – if it doesn’t kill you it must be good. Hence, that superb event the Summer pub crawl with, wait for it…. chess. This year we go North to escape the sun.

This year’s festivities commence this coming Monday 6th August, at 7pm.

Previous editions of the Summer Pub Crawl – chess & beer – perfection!

The night kicks off at The Albion at 7pm where we shall assemble. At 7.30pm chess sets/boards in hand we will commence our night’s Odyssey.

The times and running order are as follows:

  • Assemble at The Albion at 7 to 7.30pm
  • The Queen’s Head pub, 7.30 to 8.20pm
  • The Brook Green Pub, 8.20pm to 9pm
  • The Havelock from 9pm to 9.40pm
  • The Beaconsfield 9.40pm to 10.30pm
  • Return to The Albion for the wind down

You can join at anytime but to get the best from the evening you need to do the whole craic.

There may be a competition – there might not be – it’s that kind of evening.

All I can say is the quality of chess generally deteriorates through the evening, but the imagination soars!

One thing that also improves is the conversation – so true Hammers, I call you to assemble and have fun. See you tomorrow!!

I am John White, and I fully endorse this message and recognise it as a genuine product of the John White Drinking Club.

Hammer Needs Your Help – Sunday 12th August

My fellow Hammerites, one of the mantras I have adopted in my business and personal life is if someone does me a kindness, I will never forget, and in the future, I will repay that kindness in some way. A much nicer version of Don Corleone from The Godfather films!!!

One of those situations has now arisen with Better Fitness Gym in Hammersmith. Those with keen memories (surely all Hammer chess players!) will recall how they helped us out on the MIND fundraising day in May, by lending us their very large gazebo, provided prizes to help with our fundraising (all free of charge!) and then let us hire the gym room for the Keith Arkell simultaneous as part of the Espion/Cork weekend, for merely a £50 donation to their partner charity Cancer Research UK.

They are holding a fundraising day on the 12th August 2018 from 10am to 5pm, in Lillie Road Recreation Ground, raising funds for Cancer Research UK. I have committed Hammer to support this event as a chance to raise money for a very worthy cause, help publicise our great club, and repay a moral debt.

So, I need your help – volunteering for two hours would be really helpful – please email me on john.white49@ntlworld.com asap so we can get a rota together. We will have two tables, four chess sets, and eight chairs to man.

Come and help our friends – they supported us when we needed help – now it is our turn to lend a hand.

Do not let me down, Hammer!


Puzzle of the Week #021

Straight down to business this week – last week’s puzzle generated a lot of responses (not all of them from Charlie!). It wasn’t until our very own Irish Ace – PaulDead EyeKennelly – got in on the act, that order was restored and the correct solution proffered.

Yes, the not-immediately-obvious 1.Rd7! was correct! Black resigned due to the line …Qxd7 2. Qxh5, gxh5 3.Bh7#

Rd7 was necessary as after an immediate Qxh5, black has the defence Qxh2+

Congratulations Paul!

To this week’s puzzle then… White to play – answers in the comments please: