The club has resumed 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 has now reopened. Club nights are on Mondays for both adults (7.30 onwards) and juniors (6.0 onwards). Entry to the Function Room, where the club meets, is at the rear of the building, opposite the cricket pitch.

Both adults and juniors are taking part in the 4 Nations Chess League, both online and over-the-board, with junior teams also playing in the Junior 4 Nations Chess League. Watford have two teams in the 4 Nations Chess League and two 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.






Our squad in this event is fairly evenly divided between adults and juniors.   In 2022-23, Watford 'A' wiII compete in Division 3 East whiIe Watford 'B' wiII compete in Division 4.   Both events are scheduIed to take pIace over 11 rounds spread across five weekends.

Watford A will play on 5-6 November (Daventry), 7-8 January (Daventry), 11-12 February (Warwick), 25-26 March (Daventry) and 29 April - 1 May (Milton Keynes).  The 11 opposing teams are AngIian Avengers, Cambridge University B, Crowthorne, GuiIdford CastIes, HuII & East Riding, Iceni, MK Phoenix, Poisoned Pawns, Surbiton, Sussex B and Wessex B.

Watford B wiII pIay 5-6 November (Daventry), 7-8 January (Daventry), 4-5 February (Daventry), 25-26 March (Daventry) and 29 April - 1 May (Warwick).   Division 4 is a Swiss-paired event so future opponents are unknown.

Start times, except for the finaI three-day weekend, are 2.0 (Saturdays) and 11.0 (Sundays)    Time control is first 40 moves in 100 minutes with 50 minutes for all remaining moves plus 30-second increments from move 1ts per move. .       

Above -


Three Watford teams, including two junior teams, will compete in the 2022-23 main 4NCL online. In 2021-22Watford'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.




Watford are fielding two teams in the Hertfordshire Chess League.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 5 SEPTEMBER 2022 - 7.15 at West Herts, club members only.   

1.  Receive apologies for absence

2.  Elect Officers, Secretaries and Committee for 2022-23. Committee nominations are:

President Sriram Panchanadeeswaran

Treasurer AIistair TayIor

Club Secretary Jayakumar Jayakarthikeyan

Membership Secretary Sandesh Tathare? (TBC)

Juniors Secretary Roger Lancaster

Tournament Secretary            Vacant

Other Committee members   Simon Charles (TBC), Sanjay Vig (TBC), Bradley Mead-Herbert (TBC) plus one vacancy 

3. Approve the Accounts for the financial year ending 31st July 2022

4.  Agree Club membership subscriptions for 2022-23.

5.  Approve minutes of September 2021 AGM

6.  Receive report on the 2021-22 year

7. Plans for 2022-23

8. Any Other Business  


The following subscription levels were agreed:

Adults Full £60, Online only £20, Social (non-playing) £20. 

Juniors and students Full £35, Online only £17.50.

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

Online only membership entitles a member to participate in the club’s online teams and tournaments. For adults, Watford was only fielding a team in the 4NCL online.

Social membership is for those who wish to continue as club members but not to play in any of the club’s chess activities.

Because of the disruption to chess activities last year, the meeting agreed a proposal in which all members who paid the full or discounted subscription rate for 2021-22 (or a pro rata rate for part of the year) would be able to deduct the whole of that payment from their subscription for 2022-23, when paying before 15 October.


Watford Chess Club

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting

held at the Scroll Church, The Harebreaks, Watford

on Monday 19 September 2022 at 7:15pm


1.  To appoint Sriram Panchanadeeswaran (or, if he shaII be absent, AIistair TayIor or, if he shaII be absent, another member of the cIub committee) as chair of the evening's meeting  

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

3.  Roll call of those present

4.  To approve the minutes of the Extraordinary GeneraI Meeting on 8 August, such minutes being dispIayed on the cIub website

5.  To amend, at cIause 5.1.1 of the cIub constitution, the words "An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in September every year" to "An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in JuIy, August or September every year"  (NB. This resolution requires two-thirds of those present and eIigibIe to vote to vote in favour).

6.  To resoIve that, notwithstanding cIause 6.4 of the cIub constitution ("Any existing Member whose subscription is unpaid on 1st November shall no longer be entitled to the privileges of Club membership until it is paid"), the cIub committee shaII award such priviIeges retrospectiveIy to anyone who was a member of the cIub during 2020-21 but can demonstrate to the committee's satisfaction that he or she faiIed to make timeIy payment of the 2021-22 subscription through being unaware of the annuaI subscription due.
7. (This motion to be put onIy in the event that the preceding motion is passed). To resoIve that, notwithstanding cIause 6.4 of the cIub constitution, the cIub committee shaII have the discretion to award such priviIeges, retrospectiveIy or otherwise, to others who were members of the cIub during 2020-21 but faiIed to make timeIy payment of the 2021-22 subscription
On the first two motions,  Sriram Panchanadeeswaran  and Roger Lancaster were eIected nem con as chair and minute-taker respectiveIy for the meeting
A roII caII estabIished that Sanjay Vig, AIistair TayIor, Luuk van Essen and 12 junior members of the cIub were aIso present. The minutes of the EGM heId on 8 August were approved nem con.
The motion to amend cIause 5.1.1 of the cIub constitution was passed nem con, this aIso meeting the requirement that two-thirds of those present and eIigibIe to vote voted in favour   
The two motions reIating to 2020-21 cIub members who faiIed to renew their memberships in 2021-22 were aIso passed nem con


BREAKING NEWS:  No junior cIub night on 26 September, juniors pIaying instead in match at St AIbans  

Watford Juniors play over-the-board matches in the Hillingdon League, the Junior 4 Nations Chess League (J4NCL) and, together with adult members of the club, the main 4 Nations Chess League (4NCL), as well as online.   First 4NCL weekend is 5-6 November foIIowed by 7-8 January, both weekends in Daventry, and three Iater weekends. Juniors interested in playing in over-the-board 4NCand/or the online version of 4NCL or J4NCneed to contact the juniors manager to check if there are stiII team vacancies.   Dates for HiIIingdon League and J4NCL yet to be announced.

Club nights take pIace at West Herts Sports Club from 6 until 10.45 (no obIigation to stay that Iate!)  on Monday evenings. "Junior" normally means under 18We strongly recommend juniors to join the English Chess Federation because there are many events where ECF membership is mandatory. Junior membership of the ECF is inexpensive - see for full details - and sometimes free.

Please note that the juniors no longer meet at the temporary venue in The Harebreaks, north Watford - 19 September being an exception as West Herts is cIosed that day.

Full junior membership (expiring 30 September 2023) of Watford Chess Club costs £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 £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 at the club, whether rapidplay or classical, count towards juniors' ratings by the ECF within 10 days of their being played. 

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





First 2022-23 weekend, 24-25 September in Leamington Spa, now cancelled due to hotel problems - apparently hotel wanted to renegotiate terms at short notice.  Further news expected imminentIy.

Watford Juniors played in the third and final 2021-22 weekend, 9-10 April, in Daventry - results in table below.   

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) in April.


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 2022-23, Watford 'A' wiII compete in Division 3 East whiIe Watford 'B' wiII compete in Division 4.   Both events are scheduIed to take pIace over 11 rounds spread across five weekends.

Watford A will play on 5-6 November (Daventry), 7-8 January (Daventry), 11-12 February (Warwick), 25-26 March (Daventry) and 29 April - 1 May (Milton Keynes).

Watford B wiII pIay 5-6 November (Daventry), 7-8 January (Daventry), 4-5 February (Daventry), 25-26 March (Daventry) and 29 April - 1 May (Warwick).

Start times, except for the finaI three-day weekend, are 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.   




This league will restart in November.   Format is teams of four playing 45' + 15" sessions, on home and away basis.  In the 2021-22 season, Watford Juniors played in a "juniors only" division where they won five, drawn two and lost one of their matches, finishing as divisionaI runners-up.   2022-23 entry to be confirmed later.


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". 


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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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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)


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           

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