International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

The UN has designated the 8th of March 2022 as International Women’s Day. The theme of this celebration will focus on:

“Women in leadership. Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”.

Some startling facts accompany this

  • Women aged under 30 consist of less than 1% of parliamentarians worldwide.
  • Only 22 countries in the world have a woman either as Head of State or Government.
  • At the current rate of progress, it will be another 130 years before there is gender equality in representation at the government level.
  • Across the health sector – the very people on the Covid frontline- men on average earn 11% more than their woman counterparts.

In chess, there has long been a disparity between what the top women players earn and what the top men players earn. You need to do the research but the contrast between the wealth and pay of the men’s World Champion Magnus Carlsen and his woman counterpart Ju Wenjun is stark.

Women in chess from the great Vera Menchik to Hou Yifan have had an enormous impact on chess and its history. Look at the names of these great world champions

  • Elisaveta Bykova – Twice a world champion.
  • Nona Gaprindashvili – World champion for sixteen years
  • Maia Chiburdanidxe – World Champion for thirteen years
  • Xie Jun – Twice a world champion
  • Susan Polgar – the eldest of the amazing Polgar sisters
  • Hou Yifan – The second highest-rated women’s player of all time, the youngest woman’s GM of all time and a three-time world chess champion.

Other greats include Pia Cramling, Humpy Koneru and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Finally, the greatest woman’s chess player of all-time Judit Polgar. She was ranked top 10 in the world and has beaten both Kasparov and Carlsen when they were number #1 in the world. She beat Bobby Fischer as well. She also has a plus score against Nigel Short. A truly amazing chess player.

In other words, women have made a huge contribution towards chess since the arrival of Vera Menchik. 

Hence, it is right that Hammer acknowledge this and to celebrate Women’s International Day we are delighted that IM Harriet Hunt has agreed to give us a chess lecture on the 7th of March 2022 at the Mind Sports Centre from 7.30 pm. The theme will be “Women in Chess”.

IM Harriet Hunt

Harriet is a five-time British Women’s Chess Champion – her personal chess odyssey is packed with huge achievements and notable victories – often against her male counterparts. Her highest Elo rating was 2463 – today despite playing less frequently she is still rated at 2400

Today, she is a lecturer, Dr Harriet Hunt, at University College Cork, in Plant Science. I will have to ask if she has visited our friends at Cork Chess Club.

So, Hammers I ask you all to attend on the 7th of March for a fascinating talk and insight into “Women in Chess”


Aka Lord Clueless


The Hammer Chess Congress 2022 – “Hammratty”

This year is a hugely significant year in the history of Hammersmith Chess Club. It is our diamond jubilee – we are 60 years old. The club has had many highs and lows but we are still here – with a membership past the 150 mark you could say we are enjoying our golden era.

To celebrate this huge landmark for the club, we will be running our first ever chess congress. It will take place from the 4th and 5th June at the Mind Sports Centre. On the Friday night (The 3rd of June) we will run a blitz tournament at the Prince of Wales with prize money and open to all.

This is an early heads up and some important notes for all

  • We intend to call the congress “Hammratty” in deference to one of the greatest international chess festivals – Bunratty. Hammersmith has a massive connection to Ireland with the Irish Cultural Centre based here and the numerous reminders around us of its very Irish past.
  • Depending on sponsorship, we are in final negotiations, we hope to run an elite six-player all play all elite tournament – that will not be rated – but just for glory and prize money
  • We intend to run four rating tournaments -like Bunratty- Above 2000, 1600-1999, 1200-1599 and under 1200. There will be prize money available.
  • The time control will be 75 minutes plus 15 seconds increment per move
  • The entry fee will be £40 
  • Adam Raoof will be the arbiter and tournament controller.
  • We intend to open the online registration and payment facility in the second half of March.
  • There will be a nominated charity for the event.

This will be an amazing event and the start of a years’ worth of great events to celebrate the history of our great club and its 60th birthday.

I urge you all to block the dates out in your diary and take part in a glorious celebration of our great game.

Hammer past, Hammer now and Hammer future.


Aka Lord Clueless


Blitz, simuls, training, lectures: an action packed Hammer spring schedule

With the majority of Monday home matches behind us, we’ve been very busy here at Hammer HQ – putting together a varied programme of events for the coming weeks.

As always, everything that has been organised can be found in our club calendar. Here’s a taste of what’s coming up.

Monday 21st February: Handicap Blitz

Round 4 of our infamous handicap blitz tournament. A 7-round Swiss system tournament – in which stronger players get less time on the clock – meaning that anyone can win!

Thomas “T-Bone” Bonn leads the way with 13 points from his best two tournaments, with young Andrew MacLeod just half a point having crushed the field in round 3.

There will be seven rounds in total, with the best four scores counting towards a grand total, and a trophy awarded to the winner at the end of the season!

Monday 28th February: Simul with IM Adam Taylor

International Master Adam Taylor will be taking on club members in a simultaneous exhibition.

IM Adam Taylor | photo: John Upham

You may recall that he played took on six Hammers in a blindfold simul last year, finishing amazingly with five wins and one draw.

Monday 7th March: Special Event – International Women’s Day

Hammer has long been committed to increasing diversity across the game. We have organised an extra-special event for International Women’s Day – watch this space for a full announcement coming soon!

Monday 14th March: Training Session (presenter TBA)

Following Gastón’s superb training session last week, we hope to bring you lots more classes in front of the demo board.

Please get in contact if you’d like to volunteer to run a training session, or indeed if you have any ideas for future Hammer events.

All events will begin at 7:30pm unless otherwise specified, and are open to all club members.

See you on Monday!

Adam Cranston