Happy New Year!

Sunday 16 January, 2022

Happy New Year to all members and friends of Hendon Chess Club! We hope you all enjoyed the holiday period and that you are ready for a great year of chess in 2022!

I’m pleased to report that Hendon 1 kicked off the New Year in style with a win over King’s Head.

Hendon 1 Hendon 1 Kings Head 1 Kings Head 1
Richardson, John R
2364 1 - 0
O'Shaughnessy, Conor
Willmoth, Robert F
2208 ½ - ½
Mackenzie, Colin
Stoica, Savas Marin
2119 1 - 0
Bourke, Alex
1 - 0
1 - 0
1 - 0
5½ - ½

Unfortunately, our opponents were not able to raise a full team, and started the match three games down, unable to achieve more than a 3–3 draw. When John Richardson defeated his opponent on Board 1, the match was already won, and Rob and Savas tied things off nicely with a further win and a draw.

Although this was a home match, it was not played at the Holly Bush, as the room we normally use was undergoing refurbishment; instead, we hosted it at the Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club in West Hampstead. This was a very successful experiment: the room is spacious and there is an excellent bar downstairs. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up hosting more events here in the future!

After a quiet December, we have a lot of matches coming in the first few months of 2022 – please see our events calendar and, if you’re a member, watch out for match invitations, as there are plenty of playing opportunities around the corner!

It’s an interesting time to be organising OTB chess events, with the COVID-19 situation still on many people’s minds. Many London chess club venues are operating a “mandatory face coverings” policy, but venues that serve food and drink tend not to require face coverings when seated. Some players would prefer clubs and leagues to impose stricter policies than what is currently required by law and government guidance, while others would prefer not to play at all rather than wear a face mask for several hours.

We are aware that some League competitions have imposed stricter mandates in regard to things like face coverings than our policy does. Personally, I think it is healthy for different competitions and organisations to take different approaches (within the constraints of the law and government guidance of course), so that as many people as possible have access to chess events that work for them. But it does make the situation tricky for everyone to navigate.

All we can do is try to look after each other by ventilating venues as much as possible, taking lateral flow tests before turning up to matches, listening to each other’s concerns and generally acting with respect and consideration.

With COVID-19 cases now falling again, hopefully this is something we won’t have to worry about for too much longer.

Thank you all for your support, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!