What’s on


This page represents the Club’s “normal” activities. In these Covid-19 pandemic times, a new programme is in force, comprising socially-distanced pre-booked Club Nights at Wanstead House (re-opened from 1 Sep 2020) with Covid-19 precautions in place, and online activities on the lichess.org platform. Members and prospective members are directed to the New Club Nights page.

Update 4 Nov 2020: The UK goes into a four week lockdown responding to the increased rate of coronovirus infections. Accordingly, Club nights are suspended for the duration of the lockdown. What happens beyond the lockdown we wait to see.


There is plenty of opportunity at Wanstead & Woodford Chess Clubfor those who enjoy social chess in convivial surroundings. Wanstead House runs a café and, for its members, a licensed bar.

We take chess into the community at the Wanstead Festival in September.

We hold an annual Club dinner in early December.

Our U126 Ladder competition runs from September to July inclusive and provides a friendly tournament for those who play social chess or little match chess and provides an ideal an ideal introduction for new members.

From time to time groups of members join together for tours to other chess clubs, our latest venture being exchange visits with Aix-en-Provence, or competitions such as the British Championships and the occasional congress.


On the first Tuesday of each month (Sep to Apr) we hold an event for all members to participate in:

Opening Night Caterpillar – a simultaneous display given by the Club Champion and other trophy winners;

Lightning Championship – move on the buzzer every 10 seconds;

Blitz Championship – a 7 round Swiss;

Handicap Blitz Grand Prix – a series of 5 time handicapped swiss tournaments, with points scored counting for the Grand Prix.

Other “all club” events:

Rapid Championship – a 7 round Swiss.

Our Club Championship, played over 9 rounds – a round approximately every four weeks, is well supported across the membership.

Late Summer – Hastings Away Day incorporating our Challenge Match.


We participate in local, regional and national team chess. During the main season we have teams that cater for all abilities across a number of different timed formats, with team blitz events starting and finishing our programme.

Standard play

Essex League

London League

North Circular League


Lawrance and Finchley league Cups


Capes Trophy & Essex Team Blitz

When run, we often enter teams in regional and national events too. We have been National Club Major Champions on several occasions.



Tuesdays in term time, 5 pm to 7 pm aimed at children aged 8-15 years who wish to develop an understanding of the game and become good players.

Player Development

A programme of training sessions for our weaker players runs during the main season (October to May) aimed at members ratingd below 120 and adult new members.


Titmas Trophy – best improvement by a weaker player in the main season

Roy Wagstaff Shield – for the player with the best all round performance in the Club’s activities

David Wood Board – for the player with the most points scored for the Club in standard rate matches

John Philpott Trophy – for the player with the most points scored for the Club in rapid rate matches


Between the month ends of May to September Rapid chess (at a rate of about 30 minutes for all moves) with a local clubs Summer League programme interspersed with Essex Knockout Cup matches.

The U126 ladder competition reaches its climax at the end of July.



  • All our events are listed in our interactive Planner, showing events, venues, results…
  • Details of our playing activities are accessible from the Activities selection from the Main menu. Full details are set out on the Activities Index page.
  • Within this, Team Fixtures, Team Results, Match Cards and more can be reached from the Player Stats Index.
  • There too you will find our Tournaments and Competitions Pages.
  • Club Constitution and Rules and other regulatory measures are located in the Corporate Menu, which can be found at the foot of every page.

Online Resources

Our Online Club for internal events is hosted on the lichess platform.

The ECF League Management System hosts our internal over-the-board and online ECF rated events in addition to our members’ ECF profiles.

New website, old website

The website your are reading right now, is our second new web location in a short space of time. While this new, new, location already has many things to read, we still have things to add. Our original site is now configured as an Archive and can be reached via this link:

W&W Chess Club old website

This and other links will always be available in the QuickLinks menu in the right side panel.


Our Club Night is Tuesdays, 7:30-10:30 at Wanstead House, 21 The Green, London E11 2NT

Click here for: MAP

The Club meets all the year round, with the exception of the last two weeks in August, when Wanstead House is closed for its annual holiday.

Wanstead House is also closed for Christmas and New Year; therefore, so are we.



All competitive chess games conducted at a Standard play rate or Rapid (see the next column) are submitted to the English Chess Federatoin (“ECF”) for rating.

What is a rating? In the ECF Rating System, a rating is a four digit number calculated by applying a formula to each player’s results.

There are two separate rating Lists updated monthly. One is for Standard games, the other is for Rapid games. (Blitz games and Lightning games or not rated.) Online games are rated by the ECF separately in Online Standard, Rapid and Blitz Lists.

How is a Rating calculated? The best way to answer this question is to direct you to the ECF Rating website, where the Rating System is fully explained. Follow this link to the site Help page:

The ECF Rating System explained



All competitive chess games are played using a chess timer. For the benefit of those not familiar with the terminology used for different timing formats used in competitive chess games, these notes will explain.

Standard play Each player has 60 minutes or more for the whole game, or, where a time increment per move is applied, the total of “core time” + (60 x the increment) is 60 minutes or more. Short term, e.g. “G80+10” = Game in 80 mins + 10 secs per move. “80+10”.

Rates of play we encounter:

  • London League: All moves in 75 minutes + 15 seconds per move (G75+15);
  • Essex League: All moves in 80 minutes + 10 seconds per move (G80+10);
  • North Circular League: All moves in 80 minutes + 10 seconds per move (G80+10).

Rapid Defined as each player having at least 10 minutes and less than 60 minutes for the whole game, or core time + (60 x the increment) is less than 60 minutes.

Rates of play we encounter:

Essex Team Knockout: All moves in 20 minutes + 10 seconds per move (G20+10).

Blitz chess is the fastest format, defined as each player having less than 10 minutes for the whole game, or core + (60 x increment) is less than 10 minutes. Typically 5-8 minutes each player, or an incremental format, such as 3 minutes + 2 seconds a move (“G3+2”).

Overall playing time at incremental rates of play: moves + increment = minutes per player. E.g. 80 moves + 10 seconds a move = 90 minutes for 60 moves per player, i.e. a playing session of up to 3 hours.

Lightning In this format, a buzzer sounds every 10 seconds. The player whose turn it is to move, must make his/her move while the buzzer sounds; not before, not after.