Our plans for LOCL season 2

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Sunday 21 February, 2021

Season 2 of the London Online Chess League starts on 3rd March, and I’m pleased to announce that we will be increasing our participation to three teams (up from two in season 1)!

Anyone wishing to play for Hendon in season 2 will need to fill out the player registration form in advance of their first match, even if they played in season 1. As always, only club members will be eligible for selection.

You can find the match dates in our calendar and updated League rules and instructions here. As always, we’ll keep this website up-to-date with news of our participation!

Hendon Chess Club has a history of inventive team names: for example our top four Middlesex League teams are called the Lions, Tigers, Jaguars and Ocelots. We didn’t manage to uphold that tradition in season 1, and I wanted to remedy this for season 2, so I asked club members for their suggestions.

A number of good ideas were raised, but in my mind there is a clear winner: Stanley Jacobs' suggestion to name our teams after RAF fighter aircraft. Hendon is home to the RAF Museum, on the site of the former Hendon Aerodrome. It’s a great idea, rooted in our local area and history, and I can’t believe we’ve never thought of it before!

Therefore, I’m pleased to announce that our teams will be named as follows:

  1. Hendon Hurricanes
  2. Hendon Spitfires
  3. Hendon Harriers

It was tricky to decide exactly which aircraft names to use. The Tornado and Mosquito were also suggested, and I was sorely tempted by the Hornet, to give us three “H"s! However, being the stickler for accuracy that I am, searching the RAF Museum Collections I found that neither the Mosquito nor the Hornet seem to be represented in the Museum. The Tornado is a much more recent aircraft (only recently retired), and not exclusively of British design and manufacture.

The ordering of the team names is mainly based on chronology. The Hawker Hurricane inflicted 60% of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain (according to Wikipedia). The Spitfire also contributed heavily to that campaign, and superseded the Hurricane later in the war. The Harrier was a much later development (just like our third team!). All three are iconic British planes, with specimens at the RAF Museum here in Hendon.

Thanks to all who provided suggestions, and I look forward to the season! Hopefully the enthusiasm of our members will remain strong, even if (as looks likely) lockdown rules are relaxed during its course!

Update (2nd March 2021): The LOCL season 2 divisions have now been announced by the League. The Hendon Hurricanes are in the top division, the “Queens Division”, which has no grading limit. The Spitfires and Harriers are in the third division, the “Bishops Division”, which has a grading limit of 2100. Unlike in season 1, this is a hard upper limit, so no player graded higher than 2100 can play in this division.