The club is resuming over the board chess; details of adult chess are in the left hand column and junior chess in the right hand column below. Online chess is also taking place - main club communities ["Watford Chess Club" and, for junior members and others known to us, "Watford Juniors"] are on Lichess but there are corresponding communities on Teams compete in 4NCL and other events


Watford Chess Club's venue at West Herts Sports Club, 8 Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HP is currently being refurbished. Currently club nights for adult chess are not taking place, although some members are playing casual chess in the temporary bar at West Herts on Monday evenings; we are hoping to arrange a permanent venue. Junior chess is taking place, see right hand column.

Both groups are taking part in the 4 Nations Chess League both online and over-the-board, with junior teams playing in the Junior 4 Nations Chess League too. Watford have three teams in the Hertfordshire Chess League.

Intending new members of all levels and abilities (with the obvious proviso that they know how to play chess) are welcome.  Club policy is that newcomers are allowed three visits as guests to sample the atmosphere and decide whether they wish to apply to join the club.   This website aims to give full information about the club but, if you find there is anything not covered here, please use the "Contact Us" facility and a committee member will get in touch.







See report in Juniors section opposite 



Four Watford teams, including two junior teams, compete in the main 4NCL online. Watford's first team compete in Division 1; they won their group and were beaten in the semi finals by a very strong Guildford Young Guns team. Watford's second team finished fourth in their group in Division 3.








Above -





Watford are fielding three teams in the Hertfordshire Chess League.

Watford Chess Club

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting

to be held at Ground FIoor, West Herts Sports Club, Park Avenue, Watford

on Monday 8 August 2022 at 7:15pm 




1.  To appoint Sanjay Vig (or, if he shaII be absent, Simon CharIes or, if both shaII be absent, Roger  Lancaster) as chair of the evening's meeting  

2.  To appoint Roger Lancaster (or, if he shall be absent, Alistair Taylor) as minute-taker of the evening's meeting 

3.  Roll call of those present

4.  Chair to propose a vote of thanks to the two retiring officers, Hanisha Gurjar and Jennifer HurreII, for their work over the past five years

5.  To eIect  Sriram Panchanadeeswaran as cIub president

6.  To eIect AIistair TayIor as cIub treasurer


On the first two motions, Sanjay Vig and Roger Lancaster were eIected nem con as chair and minute-taker respectiveIy for the meeting
A roII caII estabIished 13 cIub members present.
The chair proposed a vote of thanks to the two retiring officers which was passed unanimousIy to appIause.  
Sriram Panchanadeeswaran and AIistair TayIor were eIected nem con as cIub president and cIub treasurer respectiveIy.

Article in Watford Observer, 19 February:

Club rapidplay, 30 December 2019, results at

3rd Watford Junior (u-12) Rapidplay, 29 July 2019, results at

Club rapidplay, 8 July 2019, results at

Price Cup (2018-9 club championship), October 2018 to June 2019, results at

2nd Watford Junior (u-12) Rapidplay, 27 May 2019, results at

Club rapidplay, 13 August 2018, results at

1st Watford Junior (u-12) Rapidplay, 30 July 2018, results at                                                                                                                                                                                              


BREAKING NEWS:  ChessabIe British championships. U-16 Jeff Tomy 4/7 (9th=), U-14 Avy Dasgupta 4.5/7 (6th=), Jake Tomy 3 (19th=), U-10 Advait Keerthi Kumar & Jacob Liu 4.5/7 (8th=), Ramsey Dhairi 4 (15th=), Judith Tomy 3.5 (18th=).                 BREAKING NEWS: Club's summer rapidplay on 15 August attracted 16 entries, won by Advait Keerthi Kumar 4.5/5 ahead of Patrick Shine 4/5 and Jeff Tomy 3.5/5.

Watford Juniors play over-the-board matches in the Hillingdon League, the Junior 4 Nations Chess League and (together with adult members of the club) the main 4 Nations Chess League, as well as online.      

As from 8 August, club nights are from 6 until 11 on Monday evenings. "Junior" normally means under 18, although some events are open to those under 21.    We strongly recommend juniors to join the English Chess Federation because there are many events where ECF membership is mandatory. U-18 membership of the ECF is inexpensive - see for full details - and sometimes free.

The club's usual venue, West Herts Sports & Social Club, has recently undergone rebuilding work, during which time meetings took place at a temporary venue off St Albans Road in north Watford.  However, as from 8 August, the entire cIub wiII meet back at West Herts.   (But initiaIIy for members onIy - pIease disregard anything to the contrary in the LH coIumn).

Full junior membership (expiring 30 September 2023) of Watford Chess Club is expected (subject to AGM approvaI) to cost £35 and is subject, in the case of new members, to their already being able to play chess at a reasonable level, taking age into account.   "Online only" membership is expected to be £17.50.   

Most Monday evening sessions start with group coaching (6.0 to 6.40) following which training games take place.  The length of playing sessions means that we can stage classical games (typically 45' + 15") as well as rapidplay.  Some evenings instead have matches against other clubs.

We aim to ensure that all rated training games, whether rapidplay or classical, count towards juniors' ratings by the ECF within 10 days of their being played.

First match of 2021 was against Uxbridge Juniors - see (there's another pic further down this column) and the juniors have since had several more matches, including taking part in the first Junior Nations Chess League  weekend final Division 1 table below.  We have played seven matches in the new Hillingdon Junior League with one more to follow. 

Main competitive activities are described below with a fixture list on the separate 'Fixtures' page.





No news yet on the 2022-23 competition! 

Watford Juniors pIayed in the third and finaI weekend, 9-10 ApriI in Daventry - resuIts in tabIe beIow.   

1 Oxfordshire A   5 4 0 1 8 15
2 JHJ 1   5 4 0 1 8 14½
3 Staffordshire Spitfires   5 3 2 0 8 13
4 Welsh Dragons A   5 3 0 2 6 10
5 Leicestershire Juniors   5 3 0 2 6
6 Watford Juniors   5 2 1 2 5 9
7 Fantastic Six   5 2 0 3 4 11
8 3Cs Charmanders   5 2 0 3 4 10½
9 Warwickshire Bears A   5 2 0 3 4 9
10 JHJ 2   5 2 0 3 4 8
11 Harrow Juniors A   5 1 0 4 2
12 Manchester A   5 0 1 4 1 5


For the 2022-23 event, 'juniors' means those born 2005 or later. Watford teams typically consist of juniors rated 1100 or higher although there are often one or two reserve places for lower-rated juniors who it is believed will benefit from the experience. Each weekend consists of 5 rounds [3 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday] of chess, at either an 80' + 10" [Division 1] or 50' + 10" [Division 2] rate of play, between teams of four following a Swiss-paired system. BeIow ( to R) Avy, Maanav, Jacob, Ananya. Not shown, Aashna).



For this event, Watford Juniors combines with the adult section of the club - our squad is fairly evenly divided between adults and juniors - with two teams competing.   In 2021-22 both teams played in Division 3 South which, with 3 rounds cancelled due to Covid, this year comprised just 8 rounds.

Watford A won 4 matches, drew 1 and lost 3, leaving it in 14th position out of 33 entries.   Watford B, largely composed of juniors playing for experience, have just one draw but ran other opponents close.

Those results weren't sufficient to maintain Division 3 status so the teams find themselves back in Division 4 where Watford A are provisionally seeded 4th and Watford B 34th out of 38 teams.  Matches - except for the final weekend which takes place in Warwick - will altake place in Daventry with rounds 1 & 2 being played over the 5-6 November weekend.   

Division 4 is designed as an 11-round team Swiss-paired event, one round taking place each day, with start times normally 2.0 (Saturdays) and 11.0 (Sundays)    Time control is first 40 moves in 100 minutes with another 50 minutes for all remaining moves plus 30-second increments per move starting at move 1.  




A new junior division started in November.   Format is teams of four playing 45' + 15" sessions, on home and away basis, starting 6.30 or 7.   Watford Juniors won five, drawn two and lost one of their matches, finishing as divisionaI runners-up.


1)  5-round ECF-rated Swiss-paired (15' + 5") rapidpIay  
2) Open to aII cIub members who are aIso ECF members.   Advance notification of entry (before 4.0 that afternoon) needed as 'on the night' entries upset Swiss pairing.   To be cIear, this means no 'on the night' entries.
3) First round 6.45, subsequent rounds at approximateIy 35 minute intervaIs (but sooner if rounds finish quickIy) 
4)  Competitors to have option of taking one haIf-point bye.  This option to be exercised before 4.0 in the case of round 1 and, in the case of round 2 and Iater rounds, before the concIusion of the previous round.  (It's expected that most byes wiII be needed in either the first or Iast round).   
5)  NormaI FIDE ruIes appIy, eg two compIeted iIIegaI moves normaIIy result in forfeit.   

Ernest club champion

Jennifer Hurrell presents Ernest Karumazondo, joint 2019 winner with Andrew Stone, with the Price Cup


Watford players celebrate after beating St Albans in the season-opening Cheshire Cup match on 23 September 2019. Above, from left, David Shaw, Chris Russell, Alistair Taylor, Omowale Nelson, Barry David, Neil Dunlop, Paul Littlefair (non-playing captain), Sandesh Tathare, Sanjay Vig.



If you are a member of Watford Chess Club (the "Club"), 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". 


Everyone is welcome (to access, click on pictorial below) at Geir Erik Nielsen's YouTube channel at

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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.

As a teaser for it all, and as an incredibly instructive game, here is how Leela deals with the Benoni





Watford Chess Club email address

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(allow up to 2 days for reply)

English Chess Federation 

Hertfordshire Chess Association 

Hertfordshire Chess League results 

Hertfordshire Schools Chess Association 

4 Nations Chess League (incl. J4NCL) 

Tournament chess results (main site for this)

             ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 5 SEPTEMBER 2022 - 7.45 at West Herts, club members only.

AWARD:  Watford Juniors were 2021 recipients of a British Chess Educational Trust award, having been nominated by the Southern Counties Chess Union.  Each such award, derived through the generosity of the late Sir George Thomas, comprises an engraved board, a wooden set and a DGT3000 digital chess clock.
CLUB POLO SHIRTS:  Club polo shirts can be purchased at in varying sizes costing £6.50 to £7 [juniors] or £8 (adults) with £3.75 delivery charge.   T-shirts available at similar cost but disregard other items
IN THE NEWS:  Watford Juniors receive periodic coverage in the local media, including (late February) an interview with its coach/manager at   They were also mentioned in a piece about the West London Chess Academy in ECF magazine 'Chess Moves' and at