History of the Hammel Cup

The Hammel Cup, or to give its full title "The Joseph Hammel Memorial Cup", was originally presented to the Belfast Chess Club in 1949 and was awarded to the winner of the club's annual Handicap tournament. That competition ended with the demise of the Belfast club in 1971. Thanks to the efforts of Alex Beckett, the Hammel Cup came into the possession of the UCU in 2002 with the intention that it would be awarded to the winner of the UCU Summer Tournament which Alex organised over a prolonged period. The previous winners of the tournament, which dated back to 1991, were inscribed on the Cup.

From the Minute Book of the Belfast Chess Club

“On the 11th April, 1949, at a ceremony in the club room, presided over by the President (Mr. Davies) a large Silver Cup for annual competition was presented to the Club by Mr. David Hammel (for his mother) in honour of his father..

Alpha [Rev. J.K.L. McKean – ed.], in seconding Mr. Davies’ proposal of a vote of thanks to Mr. Hammel, said we were happy to accept the gift of such a magnificent trophy. It would help us to keep green the memory of one whose aim was always the promotion of the game of chess, and the welfare of the Belfast Club.

Mr. G. Dunlop also spoke and said that he must place it on record, that it had been his experience of the late Mr. Hammel, that he had gone out of his way to help the less experienced players on every possible occasion. He had himself been invited to Mr. Hammel’s house on several occasions for practice games and advice.

The Cup was subsequently presented by the President to Mr. W.L. Brown, who by winning the Handicap Tournament, thus becomes the first holder of the new trophy.”


The inscription on the trophy is:

Belfast Chess Club
The Joseph Hammel Memorial Cup
Presented by Mrs J Hammel 1949

Winners of the Belfast CC Handicap 1949-1971

1949 - W.L. BROWN

1950 - B. McROBERTS

1951 - A.L. DAVIES

1952 - J.L. FINLAY

1953 - D.S. TICE

1954 - H. GRAHAM

1955 - J. MAGAURAN

1956 - H. GRAHAM

1957 - H. NELSON

1958 - W.E. MORTON


1960 - J. GIBSON

1961 - W.D. TAYLOR

1962 - J. ORR

1963 - D. BEATTIE

1964 - J.M. NEMTZOV

1965 - H. NELSON

1966 - W.E. MORTON

1967 - A. LONG


1969 - A. COOTES

1970 - A. COOTES

1971 - J. MCGROGAN

Winners of the UCU Summer Tournament 1991-2009

1991 - C. O'SULLIVAN

1992 - R. DEVENNEY


1994 - G. LEWIS

1995 - I. CARTER

1996 - B. WALSHE

1997 - M. REDMAN

1998 - N. GREEN

1999 - S. SCANNELL


2001 - P. McLOUGHLIN

2002 - S. McCONAGHY

2003 - S. SCANNELL


2005 - S. SCANNELL

2006 - S. SCANNELL

2007 - S. SCANNELL

2008 - S. SCANNELL

2009 – E. WALLS

2010 - S. SCANNELL

2011 - M. CHAPMAN

2012 - P. COLEMAN

2013 - G. ANNESLEY

2014 - G. ANNESLEY


2016 - Daniil ZELENCHUK

2017 - Dmitry ZELENCHUK

2018 - R. RAJAN

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