The AGM & Season Finale

05.06.17 – @Valhallah – The last hurrah of the 2016/17 season at Hammersmith Chess Club took place on the 5th June 2017 in Valhalla, aka Lytton Hall for mere mortals.

Just an anecdote before we start, but pertinent to the tale of the evening.

A close friend of mine attended the AGM of Fullers Brewery many years ago as a very minor shareholder. The AGM, for a listed PLC, took seven minutes but there was an incentive – a free bar for the rest of the day!

The moral of the story is if you are offering free beer then things get done!

Now Hammersmith Chess Club can offer many things, but free beer sadly is not one of them, however we did have the incentive of handicapped blitz chess – the final round of our season-long blitz cycle.

To the AGM… It was chaired and superbly handled by Chairman Bajrush, ably assisted by Secretary Mike and Treasurer Chris. All the reports had been emailed to members beforehand and things ran very smoothly.

The highlights of the evening:

  • A lively discussion on investing in some new equipment. The Committee is going to buy several top-of-the-range digital clocks. This was approved by the AGM with the addition that the Committee also now examine boards & pieces as well. A fair request and we will look at this in September.
  • The financial report naturally received most scrutiny. The fact is that Hammer are in a much healthier position financially than we have been in some time. Costs are under firm control, and membership is up. We are now touching 50 members, and still growing. Membership fees will remain the same as last year.
  • The players of the 2016-17 season were named for each Hammer team, as well as the best overall player:
    – Middlesex League: Sheikh Mabud
    – Thames Valley League: Carsten Pedersen
    – London League 3: Matteo Bezzini
    – London League 4: Rich Wingfield
    – London League 5: Chris Moore
    – London League 6 (Hedger team): Nick Rutherford
    – London League 6 (MB): Chris Moore
  • The best overall Hammersmith player of the season: Sheikh Mabud. Congratulations to Sheikh, and all our winners!
  • A vote of thanks to the Committee from the floor initiated by John Ryan, was greeted with applause from all members.

From start to finish the AGM took 59 minutes – by 8.30pm we were ready for chess. Speaking to Mike afterwards, he recalled AGM’s stretching well past the three hour mark in the past!

So, at last, to the chess…

For the first time, we utilised some online software to create a Swiss tournament format that was superbly run by Adam. This added a welcome new dimension to the whole evening. The excitement of reporting results, seeing who you were paired with next, and seeing your name on our TV screen added to the drama. A total of eighteen brave souls took part.

To remind you, the final overall result would be determined by the summing up of the three best scores achieved out of the four legs of the tourney by each individual player.

Going into the final round our Chairman – the WOSF (c) himself – Bajrush, had an unassailable lead. So, although the destiny of the title was already decided there was no let-up in the ferocity of the chess.

The final standings for the season are as follows:

The last round of the cycle was won by new member Tomas “T-Bone” Bonn, who played a devastating sequence of games. He has a lovely positional style and even though he lost to the WOSF he was magnificent in his other games. A deserved winner.

The usual suspects Bajrush, Carsten, Paul, Pavel, Tony and Lucas (a guest for the evening) occupied the next few spots. The outstanding result of the evening was our treasurer Chris, who finished in 7th place with the lowest grade in the top 10 by a country mile. I think financial health in the Hammer bank account translates into improved chess performance! A superb effort by Chris.

Hardcore blitz action from the AGM

So then, the overall winner of the blitz cycle and still blitz champion of Hammer Chess, is our WOSF of a Chairman, Bajrush.

He won by a healthy margin and is a deserving winner. Who will knock him off his perch next year?

In strong second place was Sheikh, and in third your humble correspondent.

Ladies & gents, the mantra is if you want to win it, you’ve got to be in it! Only six Hammerites contested all four rounds. The table does not lie – the top four places were filled by members who played all four sessions. For the record, John Ryan was in 4th place.

So the end of the regular season has come, and we retire to our Summer Venue – the Albion Pub. However, we have a packed Summer program, so please keep abreast by checking your emails and the website.

To all Hammerites – have a great Summer, and remember, the best is yet to come!!


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