The Twelve Reports of Christmas – Part 5: Hodgson

Hammersmith’s ‘Hodgson’ team is named in honour of the late George Hodgson. George was father to current Hammer – Jeremy Hodgson, as well as the legendary attacking Grandmaster Julian Hodgson, who was a member of the club in the 70s.

The team plays in the London League ‘Major’ division. We provide competitive club chess against opponents usually ranging between 90-150 ECF which is the upper threshold. I took over the captaincy this season and am keen to add more regular players to the squad so any new members of the club, please get involved!

So far this season, due to having to rearrange one fixture, we have had two matches – in Oct and in Dec – which has meant our start to the season has begun somewhat leisurely, we have won both matches fairly easily.

Our season started with the game against GLCC whose venue is located in the back of a beautiful church just off Holborn. Despite a small pre-match challenge as one member of the team unfortunately had to drop-out at the last minute due to illness, we managed to win 2.5 – 1.5 overall despite the default. Of note was a good win by club stalwart Charlie Sturt on board one who would have made the GingerGM proud by playing both h4 and g4 as he launched a fierce king-side pawn-storm in a Caro-Kann. Another win by myself on board two with a mating attack in a Nimzo-Indian alongside a solid draw by Nick Rutherford on board three managed to secure us the win.

Yours truly in serious time trouble as I try to calculate an attack.

Cavendish were next up. Brian Dodgeon on board one led from the front in true Hodgson fashion defeating his opponent in ten-moves using the dangerous O’Kelly Sicilian! Brian kindly annotated his game which is presented below.

1-0 to the Hammers. A couple of solid positional games by myself on board three winning with my trusty Nimzo again; and, Nick Rutherford on board four who played a very patient manoeuvring endgame to win in the English opening despite some controversy which must have been very distracting as his opponent made a complaint about him noting his moves down prior to making them!

Nick causing mischief as usual.

In the end, good sense prevailed as I had a quick chat with the opposing captain and Nick and the game continued without any further issues. 3-0 to the Hammers. On board two Charlie had a more difficult game against the Cavendish captain missing a tactic, and then sacrificing a piece for counter-play before succumbing at the end. However in the end a comprehensive 3-1 victory.

In the New Year, Hammer Hodgson has a very busy fixture schedule with games coming thick and fast, so please do get in touch in response to emails if you are available to play!

Have a fantastic Christmas!


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