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.


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, 5pm to 7pm aimed at children aged 8-12 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 graded 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 (above and in the side panel). 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.

New website, old website

The website your are reading right now, is our new web location. While it already has many things to read, it is in the early stages of being built. Our previous site is still available and can be visited 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 grading.

What is a grade? In the ECF Grading System, a grade is a three digit number calculated by applying a formula to each player’s results.

There are two separate Grading Lists each grading Period. One is for Standard games, the other is for Rapid games. (Blitz games and Lightning games or not graded.)

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

The ECF Grading 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, this guide explains formats and timing schemes in use.

Standard play The format for serious match chess. Average move times are 2½ minutes a move, with, variously, rates of play being 75 minutes for 30 moves, followed by the addition 15 or 20 minutes for the rest of the game, or 90 minutes for 36 moves with unfinished games adjourned and resumed on a later date. “Incremental” rates of play are typically All moves in 80 minutes with each player receiving an addtional 10 seconds every time they make a move.

Rapid Where each player has less than 60 minutes for the whole game. Rapid format games are often played at the rate of 30 minutes for each player for the whole game, but can be as little as 15 minutes. Rapid games will also use an incremental rate of play, such as each player having 20 minutes + 10 seconds a move for the whole game.

Blitz chess is the fastest format, meaning each player has 14 minutes or less, typically 5-8 minutes each player, or an incremental format, such as 3 minutes + 2 seconds a move.

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.

The penalty for exceeding the time limit, in every case is loss of the game… provided the opponent spots that the time limit has been exceeded and makes a correct claim!