British Championship, final placings:   1 Adams 7/9 (after winning playoff); 2 McShane 7; 3= Howell, Jones 6.5;  5= Arkell, Eggleston, Fernandez, Fodor, Ghasi, Gormally, Pert 6.   British Womens champion - Houska 5.  
Watford Junior (u-12) Rapidplay on 30 July won by Ivan Chetverikov (£125) with 5.5 points from 6 games ahead of Emily Maton (£70) on 5 points with Kyrylo Tokar and Max Yau (£20 each) joint third on 4.5.   26 competed, full result below.
World championship match confirmed for London in November - go to for information



The club meets on Monday evenings (6.15 - 10.45) at West Herts Sports Club, 8 Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HP.   This includes public holidays except 24 and 31 December.  Exceptionally, this year it will also be closed 5 November.

Chess is played in the Function Room although members and visitors have access to the separate and comfortable lounge bar area - as well as alcoholic beverages, the bar serves tea, coffee, soft drinks and a limited range of snacks.   Juniors have priority during the first 75 minutes.   

There is usually ample free parking on Mondays, but less so when cricket matches are being played.   

Intending new members of all levels and abilities are welcome.   Club policy is that newcomers are allowed three visits as guests to sample the atmosphere and decide whether they wish to join the club - or, in the case of juniors, the junior waiting list.  (Juniors on the club waiting list are able to continue as guests).

Sunday evening sessions for juniors at Croxley are currently suspended.





Club champion Mace Carnochan will undertake the annual champion's simultaneous display on 3 September starting 7.0 at West Herts.   Space is likely to be limited so late bookings may not secure places.   To book a place, register with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (or you can use the contact facility on this page) as soon as possible.   Club members will receive first preference, followed by juniors on the club waiting list.




Club members will support Alzheimer's Society on Saturday 15 September with a 9 km walk through Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods.   Meet between 10.30 and 11.0 (for an 11.0 start) in the field between the Gade Avenue entrance to the park and the children's pool.   Please feel able to join us or, if you wish to contribute to the fundraising, go to

Whippendell Woods is an ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its diverse range of fungi and invertebrates, while mammals to be found there include bats, badgers and deer. Memory Walk Logo


 Watford, which headed the Hertfordshire League for the previous five years, ran four teams in the main section of the 2017-18 league (in Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively) and a fifth team in the under-120 league.    

By way of change, Watford's first team (14 pts) could only finish third behind Little Heath (17) and Hemel Hempstead (15).

None of the other Watford teams were promoted or relegated, each finishing in mid-table.   There's a separate under-120 league which the Watford team has won comfortably.  

As last year, the Watford team in the separate Hertford & District League (under-160 players only) was an all-junior side - except for one match where adults had to help out.   Our team won three and drew one of its 8 matches.

New players interested in representing the club in 2018-19 should get in touch!




Tired of playing the boring old computers that always beat you or play so weirdly you can't understand what is going on, asks webmaster Geir Erik Nielsen? Read our article on Artificial Intelligence and how you can install it at home

Also embedded in the updated article is now a video of how to get the best of Arena and Leela at home







There has been a change of plans over 2018-19 venues with the first weekend (29-30 September) taking place in Daventry, the second (19-20 January) weekend in Solihull with the third (2-3 March) back in Daventry.   We currently have a squad of 12 interested juniors - if you are among that number, you will have received an email about the first weekend on 10 August.  So, while it's hard to be certain 7 weeks in advance, it looks as though Watford will enter 2 teams.

Coaching at J4NCL - picture courtesy of Andrew Martin

To maintain its elite status, Division 1 is restricted to teams with average strength ELO1400 (or ECF standardplay equivalent) while Division 2 is open to teams with average strength ECF85 (whether standardplay or rapidplay).  

To meet FIDE requirements, Division 1 games will be played with a longer time-control, i.e. all moves in 80 minutes but with 10 second increments from move 1.   Saturday's games will commence 10.0, 13.30 and 17.0 with Sunday's games at 10.0 and 13.30.  Coaching sessions have been retained, aligned with the Division 2 timetable, but Division 1 players will be unable to attend these unless their games finish early.  These rules appear on the 4NCL website.

More background on J4NCL appears at



The junior waiting list is now open and will remain open until at least 21 August.   To join the waiting list, use the "Contact us" facility to notify a child's name, gender, and year and month of birth.

The club's junior team trials are now in progress (fourth round on 20 August) and anyone interested in taking part - standard games, 60 minutes each, starting 7.0 at West Herts - should contact us using the 'Contact us' facility.

Sunday evening training sessions at the Coach & Horses, Croxley Green have now been suspended with the last session having taken place on 1 July.





Club rapidplay on 13 August resulted in a 4-way tie between Simon Charles, Ernest Karumazondo, Nick Papathanasopoulos and Cecil Sloan, all on 4/5

Cecil Sloan 4/6 in Golders Green u-145 rapidplay, 16 July

Paul Littlefair 7/9 in simul against club juniors, 9 July

Neil Dunlop England board 2 in Deaf Olympiad, July 2018

Kian Shah, Jeff Tomy both 4.5/6 in UK Chess Challenge u-11 gigafinal; Judith Tomy 4/6 in u-7 girls, Siena Gurjar 6/6 (1st) in u-8 girls, 8 July

Maanav Nagda 5/6 (3rd) in UK Chess Challenge u-9 gigafinal; Kaveer Mehta 5/6 (6th) in u-10; Lettie Ganyushin 4/6 in u-10 girls, 30 June/1 July

Mace Carnochan won the club championship for the Price Cup with 6/7 ahead of holder Andrew Stone on 5.5, both undefeated, with Ernest Karumazondo, Darrell Pigott and Samir Yassir joint third with 4.5. 



Until this is updated, please refer to the ECF Calendar 






After an inaugural season, when Watford finished in mid-table, to familiarise ourselves with 4NCL, the club has decided to enter a second team (and possibly a third) in Division 4 for 2018-19 and for our first team to push for promotion.  

We currently have a squad of 26 interested members - if you are among that number, you will have received an email about the event on 9 August - but would like up to half-a-dozen more to ensure a third team.   With that in mind, the club is looking for more 4NCL players both from existing members of the club - adults or juniors - and from any new members who may be interested.   (You can use the 'Contact us' facility on this webpage to get in touch).

Next season will see four 4NCL weekends taking place at Daventry, Northants, and one at Bedford.  All are within comfortable driving distance of the Watford area. 

Main points to note are that it's one round each day, with the rate of play 40 moves in 100 minutes (plus 30 second increments from move 1) followed by the rest of the game in 50 minutes (again with 30 second increments). That means a 60-move game could conceivably take as long as 6 hours, far longer than local league chess.  

Starting times are 2.0 on the first day of a weekend, 1.0 on the middle day of a three-game weekend, and 11.0 on the final day with reserve games starting one hour later on each day.   All games are ECF-graded and FIDE-rated.

Go to for more information, game scores appear at


Jeff Tomy (left) collects his share of first prize at St Albans, April 2018, from chief organiser Ray Claret.


If you are a member of Watford Chess Club (the "Club") or a junior on the Club's waiting list, your personal data will be processed by the Club for the purposes of Club and membership administration and to facilitate your participation in club competitions and similar events.  For fuller information, click "Privacy Policy" link under "Policies and Procedures".



Watford coach Simon Charles plays a mini-simul against three juniors at the Coach & Horses - but Sunday evening sessions have now been suspended until further notice


Results as follows:   1 Ivan Chetverikov (£100 + £25 u-10 prize) 5.5/6; 2 Emily Maton (£70) 5; 3= Kyrylo Tokar, Max Yau (£20 each) 4.5; 5= Lettie Ganyushin, Tuhin Mitra, Ethan Yau 4; 8= Avyukt Dasgupta, Theo Hurrell, Dev Kotecha, Olivia Lisowski 3.5; 12= Harshini Mahesh, Elias Ruzhansky, Derek Yuan (these three shared £25 u-8 prize), Seb George 3;  16= Aarav Chavan, Parth Malhotra 2.5; 18= Daniel Ayoola, Timo Birke, Ishaan Chadha, Zara Dhorne, Oscar Kong, Rory Lynn 2; 24 Rohan Tathare 1.5; 25= Dhruv Kotecha, Thenral Manimaran 1.

Information regarding the 2nd Watford Junior (u-12) Rapidplay will be released neaer the date.



Incumbent FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has finally dropped out of this October's contest to elect a new president.    KI remains on the United States proscribed list for - and we will be cautious here - real or imagined misdeeds and the US has implemented sanctions against KI and organisations with which he is involved including FIDE, whose main bank accounts have been frozen.  

The three-way race to succeed him includes Georgios Makropoulos whose record as deputy president appears to show him, until recently, as supportive of his predecessor and many of his more controversial decisions.    Also standing is English grandmaster Nigel Short - on a platform of, among much else, cleaning up FIDE - and former Russian deputy premier Arkady Dvorkovich also advocating change.   The three candidates, and their supporters, are currently engaged in what might be politely described as a robust exchange of opinions.  

The ECF has decided to nominate Nigel's team although, rather confusingly, its international director Malcolm Pein is deputy president-elect on GM's ticket.   This column had earlier tipped GM as a clear winner but the outcome now looks less clear.



The 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday 10 September - the club secretary will be circulating details to members very shortly.   Based on latest available information, there are likely to be vacancies for the membership secretary and the 2nd team match captain.  There is also one unfilled position on the club committee. 

At the 2017 Annual General Meeting,  the following elections/appointments were made:   


(** = committee)




** President

Hanisha Gurjar & Jennifer Hurrell (joint)

** Club Secretary

Paul Littlefair 


Hanisha Gurjar & Jennifer Hurrell (joint)

** Membership Secretary


Juniors Secretary

Roger Lancaster 

Match Captains, 2017-18


Andrew Stone (1st, Russell)

Mace Carnochan (2nd, retired May 2018) 

Cecil Sloan (3rd)

Paul Littlefair (Sharp)

Sanjay Vig (4th, u-140 k-o)

Pete Edwards & Geir Erik Nielsen (joint u-120 & u-120 k-o)

Christian Bland (Hertford & District)

Sanjay Vig (4 Nations Chess League)

Various (Junior 4NCL)


Geir Erik Nielsen 

Equipment Curator

Mace Carnochan  (after April 2018, vacant)

** Other Committee members

(up to 5 additional positions)

Roger Lancaster, Cecil Sloan, Sanjay Vig, Darrell Pigott (retired May 2018), Simon Charles 


Philip Abbott 



Those interested in the history of this dispute can find details at ... cle?id=118  The FIDE Laws of Chess now include a new law 10.2 reading "The total score of any game can never exceed the maximum score normally given for the game ..." which covers this point.     






Everyone is welcome at Geir Erik Nielsen's YouTube channel at

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Watford Chess Club email address

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (allow up to 2 days for reply)

English Chess Federation (up to date)

Hertfordshire Chess Association (appears to be somewhat out of date)

Hertfordshire Chess League results (up to date)

Hertfordshire Schools Chess Association (variable but currently seems up to date)

4 Nations Chess League (incl. J4NCL) (up to date)