Harrow Chess Club was founded by Mr A A Sainsbury on 14th January 1907. Harrow Chess Club celebrated its centenary on 14th January 2007. During its long history the club has competed in the Middlesex, Thames Valley, London and Hillingdon leagues and the English National Club Championship.
Notable visitors to the club include:
– F D Yates, 6 times British Champion, who gave simultaneous displays at the club in 1931 and 1932
– G Koltanowski, the Belgian Master, who gave a blindfold simultaneous display at the club in 1937
– B H Wood, who gave a simultaneous display at the club in 1940
– Leonard Barden, who made three visits to the club during the 1960s and 1970s
– GM Tony Miles, who gave a simultaneous display at the club in 1982
– GM Simon Williams, who gave a 42 board simultaneous display at the club in 2010.
The Harrow Club meets at Victoria Hall, Sheepcote Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 2JE, on Thursday nights from 7.30pm – 10.30pm, with coaching of Juniors from 6.00pm – 7.15pm. Our season runs continuously from the first Thursday in September until the second in July, with the exception of dates immediately adjacent to Christmas and New Year.
Harrow membership has continued to grow, this season the club had eight adult teams and two junior teams competing in three league competitions. There have been issues with fixture congestion running ten teams, with as many as four home matches being held on a single evening. Steps will be taken next year to provide more space to accommodate the Junior coaching and home league matches.
The most notable achievement in 2010-11 was that the Hillingdon league A team won both the Division 1 title and the Knock-out trophy for the third consecutive year, a unique achievement. The team beat local rivals Hayes 4-1 in the final to complete the hat-trick. There were three other adult teams entered in the lower two divisions of the Hillingdon league.
The Thames Valley A team finished second in Division 1, which is a great performance in their first season back in the top flight. The newly promoted Thames Valley B team finished mid-table in Division 2.
The Harrow Middlesex first and second adult teams finished mid-table in Divisions 2 and 3 respectively.
Harrow members have put in a lot of hard work again this season developing the Junior section of the club. The Juniors are coached by Harrow club member IM Colin Crouch. Two Harrow junior teams were entered in the Hillingdon league again this season. The Juniors have been encouraged to enter the Middlesex Mega-Finals again this year, as part of the English Chess Federation’s National Competition.
Support for external chess organisations
The Harrow members have links to external chess organisations. Two Harrow members serve on the Thames Valley league committee, one of whom holds the post of league secretary. Furthermore, two Harrow members serve on the Hillingdon league committee, holding the posts of league secretary and league controller.
Harrow internal tournaments and special events
Harrow ran the Club Championship Swiss, Quick-play, Lightning and Handicap internal tournaments again this year and they proved to be popular as ever. A total of forty six players have contested the Club Championship this season.
This season special events included the annual club trip to the Bourne End congress with fourteen club members competing. A thirty board simultaneous display by GM Stuart Conquest against Harrow club members is scheduled for June 9th at the Club’s premises. For the second successive year Harrow will be play a 20 board friendly match against St Albans at their venue on June 20th.
Harrow local community links
A chess demonstration was held by Harrow chess club in the Gayton Library on Sunday 28 November 2010 to give people who visit the library an opportunity to have a game of chess and meet club members. This event has been organised annually by Harrow club for many years and brings chess into the local community.
Website and Club magazine
A full history of the club and this season’s results can be viewed at the club’s website: www.harrowchessclub.org.uk
The club magazine ‘Harrow Chess Pieces’ marked its 200th edition in May 2010. The first edition was produced in September 1971 and has completed 39 years of continuous publication under the sole editorship of Roy Maddock, who next season celebrates his 50th year as a club member. The magazine includes chess puzzles and cartoons, feature articles, details of club events, plus match and club tournament results.