It's a year since I visited our neighbours at Streatham Library Chess Club, who meet between 3pm & 8pm each Wednesday at Streatham Library - so it's time for an update. And I'm pleased to say things continue to go well. The same friendly welcome awaiting any newcomers, numbers continue to grow, players continue to develop.
Indeed at the time of our last report the Library players were in the middle of their first season of competitive chess, having filled the majority of boards for the Streatham & Brixton Chess Club team entered in the Croydon & District League division 3: Twelve months later and they have started their second campaign in convincing fashion, a team made up of captain Mel Rabain, Jori Lahderperi, Zornitza Chiderova and Barry Blackburn enjoying a 3 – 1 win over Crystal Palace. Having missed winning the league last season by just half a point, the team is ambitious to take the next step this time around. Their next two fixtures are away on March 5th & 13th but they are back at the tennis club for a home match with West Wickham A on March 18th.
The cooperation involved in fielding such a league side is just one of a growing number of links between the library club and Streatham & Brixton Chess Club. A number of Library players took part in last year's Club Championship, as well as this year's Mid Season Rapidplay - see especially here. Many have become regular attendees at club nights.
The library setup is achieving growth in its own right with numbers swelling and matches becoming ever more competitive. A former S&BCC member could finish no better than seventh in their 2007 Club Championship and their winter rapidplay tournament is now in full swing. It's a seeded, grouped event but the seeds are toppling and competition is fierce for the six coveted places in the top group for the second round.
There is no doubt that the chess being played at the library is improving and they're pretty determined to see that this continues. They have cajoled myself, Angus French & Martin Smith into putting on a series of opening clinics for them aimed at improving their understanding, events that will publicized in due course as they are scheduled, and all are welcome to attend. (In fact my session has just been confirmed as taking place on Thursday March 6th.)
So, whether you're an established player looking to get more involved in south London chess, or a beginner who wants to play some chess in a friendly environment, you should check out the chess club at Streatham Library one Wednesday afternoon or evening.
Thanks to Stan Rodrigues for his help in writing this report. You can also email Stan for more information about the club if you would like to.