The Cheshire Board has for many years heralded the new season as the annual challenge with Watford Chess Club. Typically the match is played over twenty boards.
At the start of the 2023-24 season Watford had difficulty raising a team as they recovered from the hiatus in over-the-board chess caused by the pandemic and added disruption caused by losing their previous newly refurbished venue which is no longer available for hire.
Fortunately Watford's has secured a new home at Herts Bowling Club, Bellmount Avenue, Watford WD17 3BT and should soon return as one of the strongest chess clubs in the county. Already they have an impressive membership of promising young players.
This season the St Albans challenge has been accepted by Hemel Hempstead in what is being called "Clash of the Titans".
In the 2022-23 season, Hemel achieved a rare double with their first team finishing as Herts League Division 1 Champions and their second team runners up.