Norman Hammond

Winner of the club championship in 1966.

N. G. Hammond

By Brian Denman

Born in about 1930, Norman Hammond was still a teenager when he made his debut for Kent . In 1947 the strong Russian player, Igor Bondarevsky, was defeated by Norman, when he gave a simultaneous display and another early success for the young player came in the British Chess Federation Congress at London in 1948, where he won the First Class ‘B’ event. Norman enjoyed some success in Kent tournaments, representing Lewisham St Mary’s in the 1951-52 and 1958-59 seasons, when they won the Kent teams’event. He also won the Kent individual championship in 1957. Another notable success was his winning the Battle of Britain Tournament in 1952. In 1958 his grading was 2a, the equivalent of 217-224 under the modern method of calculation. He followed this by winning the Premier Reserves ‘A’ event at Ilford in 1959 and also in that same year he scored a creditable 6/10 in the Stevenson Memorial Tournament at Bognor. In the 1960s we find him as a member of the Metropolitan Club in London and he also from time to time represented the Civil Service chess team (presumably this was his profession).

In 1965 he decided to move to Hastings for the chess and he joined the local club. This was a time when the Hastings CC was going through an exceptional period. London clubs regularly visited Pelton House and came away defeated. There was such strength in depth in the team that it was not very often that Hastings lost a match. I remember myself travelling to Hastings in 1965 with a Brighton side that was defeated by the score of 16-4, and I did not contribute to the Brighton total! In the National Club Championship for 1965-66 Hastings did very well, only losing to Oxford University in the quarter finals. Norman won his match on board 2 against the university, defeating the strong junior player, Andrew Whiteley.

In the 1965-66 Hastings Challengers event Norman did excellently to come equal third. He also represented the county and in 1966 won the Norman Award, offered annually by the Worthing Gazette for the best score by a Sussex player over the top 20 boards. When Sussex played Lancashire in the national semi final in June 1966, he made the journey to Birmingham and won on board three against C F Woodcock ( Sussex lost the match).

In 1966 he won the Hastings CC Championship and ended Arthur Winser’s great run of 11 consecutive title wins. Surprisingly his membership of the Hastings CC was not a particularly long one and the last season in which he seemed to represent the club was 1967-68. In 1971 he played for the Civil Service against Hastings and won his game on board 3. After that I do not know what happened to him. Did he give up chess or move to another chess club in another area? He may still be alive (he would be about 75).


Update 15 April 2013: Brian Denman writes: Ken Norman has informed me that Norman Hammond played for Richmond and Twickenham in Division 1 of the London League in the 1970-71 season. His results were not up to his usual standards and he did not play in the league again. Perhaps this was the end of his playing regular competitive chess. According to Richard James he died in August 2000 at Richmond. Having been born on 4.4.1930, he would have been 70 years of age.


Est. 1882