The club has a lively programme of events. Please check our calendar and news pages for the latest information.

Middlesex League

Our main league competition is the Middlesex League, in which we run several teams catering for all playing levels.

The League involves playing team matches against other clubs, both home and away. In a League match, each player plays one game against a counterpart from the opposing team. The team scores are then added up at the end to determine the winner.

League games are ECF-rated and played at a standard time limit (60 or 75 minutes per player, with either a 15-second-per-move increment or an additional 15 minutes at move 30).

Please see our player’s guide for full details.

Our club is always looking for new team players, so if you are looking for a chess club and opportunities to practise, look no further!

NOTE: You can play for two different clubs, as long as you play in different leagues. For example, you could play in the Middlesex League for Hendon, while playing in the London League for Cavendish and the North Circular League for Enfield!

We were the Middlesex League champions for 2019-20, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-2015, 2013-2014, 2012-2013, 2011-2012 & 2009-2010!

FIDE-rated Blitz tournaments

‘First Thursday’ FIDE-rated Hendon Blitz tournaments are normally held on the first Thursday of every month (though there are exceptions: please check our event calendar).

The typical format is six rounds of 10-minute blitz in a single evening, with a small entry fee (discounted for club members) and a cash prize.

Club nights

Our main club nights are on Thursdays from 7:30pm to 10pm.

People are generally welcome to play social chess on any club night. Our room at the Cumberland Club is larger than our previous venue, so there are rarely any space limitations.

However, we only have one room, so it is worth checking our event calendar to see what other activities are taking place, as it will affect the atmosphere of the club night:

  • As mentioned above, usually the first Thursday of each month is a blitz tournament. These are quite bustling occasions, with people moving around and arbiters making announcements between rounds.
  • On other Thursdays, there may be one or more Middlesex League home matches taking place, or rounds of our Club Championship. On these evenings we need to maintain a quieter atmosphere, for the benefit of people playing in the event.
  • Some club nights are entirely dedicated to social chess. These normally have a more casual atmosphere.

Regardless of what is going on, we try our best to have people on hand to welcome newcomers! Even if there is a match or tournament going on, there will usually be someone who can step outside with you for a chat in the bar area to introduce the club.

We have recently started experimenting with semi-structured social events like the Hendon Rapid League, where people play as many unrated rapid games as they like, with results entered into an individual league table. These are great for people who enjoy a feeling of friendly competition, but without too much pressure, and time for a chat in between games!

We take a break over the summer, and occasionally have to skip a club night or move it to another weekday for various reasons, so to avoid disappointment, please check our calendar before turning up.

Annual Club Championship

The Club Championship is normally played at the start of the summer, after the league season has finished and before we break for the summer. Historically this has meant the tournament starts in May and ends in July.

It is an ECF-rated Swiss-style tournament (where players are paired with someone on a similar score in each round), with about six rounds, one per week. We use a standard time limit (often similar to League matches). All members are eligible.

In addition to the main Championship trophy, we also award the David Jones memorial trophy (named in honour of our former chairman) to the winner of a rating-limited prize. In the recent past this has gone to the highest-scoring player with a rating below 1675 ECF (130 on the old rating scale), but this can vary from year to year: for example, we sometimes organise a separate rating-limited section if there is sufficient demand.

Open Rapid tournaments

Hendon Open Rapid tournaments are held occasionally, in order to provide members and visitors with opportunities to play rated games on Thursday with no matches.

London Online Chess League

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we ran multiple teams in the London Online Chess League, which was hosted on the Tornelo web platform.

The London League is currently not running an online competition, instead focusing on their over-the-board competition (which we do not currently participate in). They have said they are open to the possibility of running more online team competitions of some kind, but we currently have no specific information on this.

If such competitions do take place, we will strongly consider participating, to supplement our over-the-board activities, and accommodate members who don’t feel comfortable participating in over-the-board events.

Other events

We occasionally organise other types of event, such as a simultaneous exhibition with a titled player. These will typically be announced here on our website, advertised to our members via email, and listed in our event calendar.

Affiliated organisations

Being a member of Hendon Chess Club is one way to be eligible to play for Middlesex in the SCCU County Championship.

The Middlesex team is organised by the Middlesex County Chess Association, not Hendon Chess Club, but Hendon is a MCCA member club. Eligibility for county teams is based on your ECF grade, and where you live or work, or where you were born or educated. However, if you don’t qualify to play for Middlesex in any of these ways, membership of any MCCA-affiliated club also makes you eligible.