Adult over-the-board activity suspended [but junior OTB restarted - see below] with online chess 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


With suspension of over-the-board play, Watford is currently playing online only with its most active communities being on Lichess - see main heading.

Both groups took part in the 4 Nations Chess League Online [and, in normal circumstances, the over-the-board version] and current Watford Juniors activities are shown in the right-hand column.

The club normally meets throughout the year on Monday evenings (6.0 - 10.45, usually ample free parking on Mondays) at West Herts Sports Club, 8 Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HP.    Juniors have priority during the first 90 minutes.  

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 and soft drinks.   The club plays in the 4 Nations Chess League and the Hertfordshire League with junior teams playing in the Junior 4 Nations 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.







Five Watford teams, including two junior teams, compete in the main 4NCL online.   Watford results/pairings as follows:

ROUND 1, DIVISION 1:  ChessPlus Alpha 3-1 Watford A   DIVISION 3:  Wessex Stars B 2.5-1.5 Watford B   DIVISION 5:  Watford Juniors A 0.5-3.5 Kent Kestrels D, Watford C 1-2 Battersea Pawnbreakers, Watford Juniors B 1-3 Uxbridge Knights.

ROUND 2, DIVISION 1: Watford A 2.5-1.5 Spirit of Atticus  DIVISION 3:  Watford B 3-0 Railsport, DIVISION 5: Grangemouth 1-3 Watford C, Bishop Auckland Knights 2-2 Watford Juniors A, Streatham C 2-2 Watford Juniors B

ROUND 3 [21 April], DIVISION 1: Watford A 3-1 Sussex SI, DIVISION 3: CSC C 4-0 Watford B, DIVISION 5: Watford C 1-3 Darnell & Handsworth, Watford Juniors A 4-0 BBC Foxes, Watford Juniors B 1-3 Bishop Auckland Knights

ROUND 4 [28 April], DIVISION 1:  Sussex Auguries v Watford A, DIVISION 3: Watford B v Shropshire B, DIVISION 5: Manchester Juniors  B v Watford Juniors A, East Kilbride v Watford C, Sheffield Deaf v Watford Juniors B.


Division 1 has four groups of eight teams each, with the top teams in each group clashing in the final rounds

1 Guildford Young Guns 3 3 0 0 6
2 Northumbria Vikings 3 3 0 0 6
3 Watford A 3 2 0 1 4
4 ChessPlus Alpha 3 1 2 0 7 4
5 Spirit of Atticus [L'pool] 3 1 0 2 6 2
6 Sussex Social Isolators 3 0 1 2 4 1
7 Sussex Auguries 3 0 1 2 1
8 Alba [Scotland] 3 0 0 3 3 0







Rounds 7-11 of this year's 4NCL will no longer take place on the original dates in April and May due to the present pandemic.   Tentative plan at present is reschedule these for later in the year with a knock-on effect on the 2020-21 4NCL which will accordingly not get under way until early 2021.    That could change - up-to-date information should be available on the 4NCL website although it is planned to summarise this here.

Main points to note are that 4NCL entails 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.  All games are ECF-graded and, subject to meeting the usual conditions, FIDE-rated.

Division 4 [34 teams] summary after round 6:  

  P   W D L   GP   MPts
1   Sussex Martlets 2 6   6 0 0   27   12
2   Fischer's Catch 6   5 0 1   21½   10
3   Wood Green Youth 6   5 0 1   20   10
4   Watford A 6   4 1 1   23½   9
21   Watford B 6   3 0 3   14½   6


Above -





The 2019-20 competition, which began on 30 September, has been suspended as a result of the present pandemic.  See 'Fixtures' page for a list of fixtures and 'Results' page for reported results.    No recent results reported here for Watford 1.

Watford 2 are well-placed in Division 2 and promotion back to Division 1 is not out of the question.


     P   W  D   MPs     For  Agst
1 Watford 2 8   6 1 1   13   26.5 13.5
2 B Stortford 1 8   5 2 1   12   24.5 15.5
3 H Hempstead 2 8   3 2 3   8   19.5 20.5
4 Borehamwood 1 8   3 0 5   6   17 23
5 Stevenage 1 8   2 3 3   7   21 19
6 Welwyn H'f'd 1 8   0 4 4   4   14.5 21.5
7 St Albans 2 8   2 2 4   6   17 23


In Division 3, Watford 3 is also doing well with four wins, three draws and one defeat, from its first eight completed matches.   Watford 4, in the next division, is in mid-table with three wins, two draws and four losses from its nine matches to date.    In the separate under-120 league, the Watford u-120 team has won five, drawn one and lost two of its first eight matches.



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





NEWSFLASH:   The under-12 section of the Western Hemisphere [Europe, the Americas, etc] Inter-Continental ChessKid FIDE Challenge was won [19 June] by Avy Dasgupta with 6.5/7.


OTHER NEWS:  On Monday 14 June, Watford Juniors played Uxbridge Juniors in what we believe was the first over-the-board club match in England in 2021. The match was double-round rapidplay over 12 boards.  Uxbridge came with a strong team, out-rating the Watford players on 10 of those boards, and went on to win the match 18-6, a reversal of three pre-pandemic encounters all won by Watford, but all enjoyed being able to play "real" chess.

BBC Three Counties Radio presenter Robert Perrone interviewed Roger Lancaster about the match, among much else, on Wednesday evening  - replay their talk at starting at approximately 3.41 on the recording.  Also see, picked up at



Watford juniors are meeting over-the-board.   Activities restarted with a 'Chess in the Park' afternoon on 29 March [but future outdoor meetings are weather-dependent] and, from 26 April onwards, indoor meetings have taken place from 6 until 9 on Monday evenings.

The club's usual venue, West Herts Sports & Social Club, is currently unavailable due to ongoing rebuilding work which is due to complete "towards the end of the year" so junior meetings are meantime taking place at a temporary venue off St Albans Road in north Watford.    Currently, due to HMG anti-Covid guidance, adult members of the club [coaches excepted] are unable to attend.   "Junior" means under 18.

The nature of Monday evening sessions [£5 charge to cover temporary venue costs] varies from week to week but the first 45 minutes are normally allocated to group coaching.  Starting 6.45, those juniors who are members of the English Chess Federation -  usually all, see next paragraph - should have the choice of one classical game [approximate playing time, 60 minutes per player] or two/three rapidplay games [15 minutes] where the results will be rated by the ECF.

[ECF membership is requested because the ECF charges clubs a fee for games, played by non-members, submitted by clubs for rating purposes.   Junior membership of the ECF is inexpensive and, in many cases, totally free - see for full details].

The club is open to a limited number of guests each Monday but, in order fully to comply with good anti-Covid practice and also to obtain directions etc, anyone wishing to make a guest visit is asked to clear this first with the club's juniors manager using the "Contact us" facility on this webpage - there's a limit to the number of guests we can sensibly accommodate on any one evening.   Please note also that there's presently a limit of two guest visits per person.

Once junior team over-the-board chess becomes more organised post-pandemic, Watford juniors will resume competing in regular over-the-board [as well as online] competitions.   The main team event already in the calendar is the first weekend of the Junior 4 Nations Chess League which is due to take place in Leamington Spa over the weekend of 25-26 September but, meantime, there's an over-the-board match against Uxbridge Juniors on 14 June.   We had been looking at the feasibility of an "Adults versus Juniors" match later that month but this is now postponed due to the national lockdown being extended beyond 21 June.

In all eventsour teams consist of bona fide members of Watford Chess Club under age 18 .   The club is currently still accepting new junior members - use the "Contact us" link to get in touch - but this will change on 1 July, as from which date new applicants will be asked to join a waiting list.  

Finally, we're hoping to resume the series of open-to-all under-12 rapidplays, held in 2018 and 2019 but a victim of the pandemic in July 2020, on a date during the school summer holidays, with Saturday 24 July looking a likely date.



The juniors aren't averse to competing in local tournaments.    Six-year-old Akshata [above, left] and Trivik, 8, were among four Watford juniors - Gautam and Maelys were the others - to win trophies at an Oxford tournament in mid-May.   Akshata went on to be joint runner-up in the Surrey Kings Minor on 3 June.   Also, over the 29-30 May weekend, Hamza Hussain was joint winner [+3 =2] of the strongish Oxford "B" tournament .

UE:   Over 120 teams worldwide, some led by grandmasters, have entered this event which boasts a $2000 first prize.  Watford Juniors have 2 wins and a draw from nine matches so far.  In the tenth and final round on 20 June, they  play Surrey University.
ONLINE 4 NATIONS LEAGUE - Arguably the toughest competition in which Watford Juniors compete, this ended in May.   Matches were almost invariably against strong adult teams including players of master-strength.
The 'A' team, in Division 4, won just one and drew one of its 7 matches. Although it won as many individual games as two of the higher-placed teams, it won fewer matches and was accordingly placed 7th out of teams and is likely to be relegated.     The 'B' and 'C' teams, in Division 5, found life even tougher with the former managing to win just one match and the latter losing all eight.
The next O4NL season, in common with its junior equivalent, will start in August.

ONLINE JUNIOR 4 NATIONS LEAGUE: This, the premier UK online junior league with five divisions, has now ended its third season. Watford Juniors 'A' finished 5th of eight teams in its Division 1 group.  In Division 2, the 'B' team finished 4th out of eight teams but the 'C' team lost all seven matches despite many being close affairs.   Next division down, the 'D' team finished 7th and was also relegated while the 'E' team had to withdraw due to a player shortage.

FIVE COUNTIES ONLINE LEAGUE: After the full 9 rounds, the "A" team had won four and drawn one of its matches against opposing [mainly adult] teams, finishing mid-table in Division 2.  The "B" team had a torrid time in Division 3 and finished last-but one.

HILLINGDON & DISTRICT ONLINE LEAGUE: This was a new event for us and, after five of the seven rounds, the A team has three wins and two losses.   The B team has drawn two of its five matches and the C team [the B and C teams play in the same competition as the A team] lost its first four matches.

OTHER:   The juniors also play a number of 'friendly' matches against - in contrast to the league competitions where, J4NCL excepted,  they face mainly adult opposition - school and other junior club sides.  

If your son/daughter wishes to joinplease use the "Contact us" link above to get in touch. Please note that, as from 1 July, a waiting list will come into operation for new applications.



Watford Juniors has been confirmed as the 2020-21 nomination of the Southern Counties Chess Union for a British Chess Educational Trust award.   Each such award, derived through the generosity of the late Sir George Thomas, comprises an engraved board, a wooden set and a digital chess clock.


Watford Chess Club

Annual General Meeting

held at

West Herts Sports Club, Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HP

on Monday 16th September 2019 at 7:30pm 


1.  Receive apologies for absence

2.  Approve minutes of September 2018 AGM (copies are attached)

3.  Receive report from the President on the 2018-19 year, and to approve the Accounts for the financial year ending 31st July 2019

4.  Agree Club membership subscriptions for 2019-20. The Committee proposes:

Adults Full £60, Associate £40 and Social £20. 

Juniors and students Full £35 Social £20.

Full membership entitles a member to participate in all Club activity.

Associate membership: a member can take part in the Club’s inter-club competitive activities (but not the Price Cup) but not otherwise use the club’s facilities on club nights, except for designated special events.

Social membership entitles a member to full use of the Club’s facilities on club nights but not to participate in any of the club’s competitive activities (including the Price Cup), except for designated special events.

The subscriptions represent an increase on last year because the club will pay next year for all (adult and junior) 4NCL fees. There will be a £2 discount in all categories for everyone who pays by bank transfer, with the member’s name as a reference, before 1 October 2019.

5. Present trophies to winning individuals 

6.  Elect Officers, Secretaries and Committee for 2019-20:


(** = committee) 

2018-19 post holder

Elected/appointed 2019-20

** President/**Treasurer (joint)

Hanisha Gurjar, Jennifer Hurrell

Hanisha Gurjar, Jennifer Hurrell

** Club Secretary

Paul Littlefair

Paul Littlefair

** Membership Secretary


Sandesh Tathare

** Juniors Secretary

Roger Lancaster

Roger Lancaster

Tournament Secretary

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone

Match Captains

Andrew Stone (Herts 1st, Russell)

Ernest Karumazondo (Herts 2nd) 

Cecil Sloan (Herts 3rd) 

Paul Littlefair (Sharp)

Geir Erik Nielsen/Pete Edwards (u140,u140ko)

Roger Lancaster (4NCL 1st)

Sanjay Vig (u120,u120ko, 4NCL 2nd)

Christian Bland (H&D)

Andrew Stone (Herts 1st, Russell)

Ernest Karumazondo (Herts 2nd) 

Cecil Sloan (Herts 3rd)  

Paul Littlefair (Sharp)

Sanjay Vig (4th , U140 ko, 4NCL 2nd)

Roger Lancaster (4NCL 1st)

Keith Hylands and Karthik Ramesh [joint] (u120,u120ko)

No H&D entry this year


Geir Erik Nielsen

Geir Erik Nielsen

Equipment Curator

Bradley Mead-Herbert

Bradley Mead-Herbert

** Other Committee members 

(up to 4 additional positions)

Simon Charles

Bradley Mead-Herbert 

Cecil Sloan

Sanjay Vig

Simon Charles

Cecil Sloan    

Sanjay Vig

Ernest Karumazondo


Philip Abbott

Philip Abbott

7.  Any Other Business  

Paul Littlefair



Ernest club champion

Jennifer Hurrell presents Ernest Karumazondo, joint 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. 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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Below, Watford v Uxbridge, June 2021. Watford juniors wholly or partially visible are Denis, Aarav, Seb, Leo, Dhairya, Ishaan and Joel.