The London League 2006-7 saw Streatham Second Team edge promotion into Division 2.
The First Team, meanwhile, started the season hoping only to avoid another relegation dog-fight in Division 1, like the one we just scraped ourselves through the year before. But all our expectations were surpassed. Captain Martin Smith looks back.
Memories are made of this……... and looking forward to next season, I guess the only thing to add is: good luck!
If you dig in to the Past Champions page of the London League website you can have a “where are they now?” moment. Clapham Common Chess Club, who played al fresco chess in living memory, but no more. Or a “where or what was that?” moment with the clunky Lud-Eagle Chess Club. Or a “haven’t I heard of them before?” moment with Wood Green. And with Streatham - a “will they ever do it again?” moment.
Yes, Streatham had its glory days, 1976/77, 1981/2 and 1984/5 - when we were the Champions. Maybe, like Clapham Common, someone, somewhere remembers. But could we ever do it again? Not, this season, we couldn’t. But coming fourth with 6/11 points is our best result for really quite some time. And certainly better than last season when we were scrabbling to avoid relegation.
The magic ingredients - solid and strong top boards, dependable middle order and enthusiastic reserves - all came together to give us a highly satisfactory result. The season also saw two brilliances from Jeremy Leake and Robin Haldane, and good wins by John Carlin and Adam Fysh-Foskett, and Tom Chivers. Oh, that we could all play games of this quality.
So, let’s muse again on the question: will we ever win the League again to add another title to our current hat-trick? Not with Wood Green fielding GMs down to board 7 we won’t. But if we can maintain something like our squad for next season, we could make sure that unlike Lud-Eagle, future players will at least recognise our name.