I joined Hammersmith Chess Club some seven years ago – at the time we met at the Lytton Community Hall in West Kensington. The first night I attended there were four people playing chess – all white, aged 70 plus and it was grim. I almost decided there and then this was not the club for me. Fortunately, Mike MacKenzie, the then secretary, persuaded me otherwise and following a popular uprising at the AGM later that year the club’s fortunes changed dramatically.
We grew quickly with a new modern website, utilisation of social media, charity events and a dynamic Committee committed to living up to the ideal of being more than a chess club.
We have won trophies, run amazing events and travelled to Amsterdam, Cork and Wroclaw to take on chess clubs. Hopefully next year Lubeck will be our destination.
Last year pre-Covid we moved to the YCBC premises at Goldhawk Rd and now we moving to a purpose-built facility – the Mindsports Centre in Hammersmith. This will be the best premises of any chess club in London and will set new standards in club facilities. The playing area is superb and there is a bar and restaurant for all, especially parents, to enjoy.
Next year is the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Hammersmith Chess Club -It has been a long journey, with many peaks and troughs, and I think our founders would be extremely proud of what the club has achieved in the past six years.
It is time for a new chapter, and I know Hammersmith are ready for the new challenges modern chess provides in a Covid aware world.
This coming Monday, September the 6th, is the first time we will come together at the Mindsports Centre. This will be from 7 pm and is very much an evening of getting used to the new venue and surroundings.
The 13th of September will be the first time our junior club will meet from 6pm and again this will be very much an introduction to the new premises. However, this will be followed by a very special event when we have an evening with GM Simon Williams – aka the Ginger GM.
Plans for the next 12 months are in formation and here is a brief overview of what we have planned.
- League chess – the London league, Thames Valley, the Middlesex and the Central London League
- A challenge match – home and away legs- with the Chess Centre in Bradford
- A full-bloodied OTB match with the ultimate frenemies for the El Chessico trophy – Battersea
- A clash with the Hackney Chess posse
- A charity event in Lytton Square – in May 2022 – I am happy to take suggestions from club members for the charity that will receive the funds. Previously Hammersmith MIND has been the recipient.
- A trip to Lubeck in June next year for a weekend of chess GM simul displays, a junior program with special events as well as loads more to celebrate 50 years of our club.
So, I hope to see you all this Monday coming for the most exciting chess year in the history of our club…. the new Anvil awaits
John White aka Lord Clueless