My name is Martyn Hamer and I’m an accountant and games player. Don’t worry, I’ll be focusing on the latter here! The main reason I’ve created this website is basically as a bit of an experiment, to learn some new skills and to see how easy (or otherwise) it actually is to build a website. Intended features are some blogs on the various games that I play, some annotated chess games and a video of my one and only (so far?!) television appearance. Any feedback, positive or negative, would be hugely appreciated.
In case you’re wondering, the name of the website is an anagram of my name, it’s also the name I use for my Twitter handle.
I play a very wide range of games including Chess, Poker, Backgammon, Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) and Pacru. I compete regularly at the Mind Sports Olympiad, now held annually in London, my most notable achievement was winning the Pentamind World Championship in 2009, the central competition of the Olympiad that takes into account the best performances of the players in 5 different events. That year I was the outright winner in events for Chess, Backgammon, Pacru, Azacru and Alfred’s Wyke.
Chess is the game that I play and enjoy the most though. I play in several local leagues in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Manchester. I also represent Lancashire in the County Championship. The first club I joined was Great Harwood, near Blackburn, since then I have also joined Crusaders (based in Blackburn), Heywood, Todmorden and Calderdale. I also represent the Manchester Manticores in the 4NCL (the national chess league). The event I look forward to most is the excellent tournament in Gibraltar at the start of the year. I am a regular attendant and have been fortunate enough to play some very strong players there.
On the 4th of November 2014 I appeared on the TV program Countdown. I am a huge fan of the show and have basically grown up with it. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a game show with letters rounds (make the longest possible word from 9 chosen letters), numbers rounds (reach a target using 6 chosen numbers) and a final conundrum (unscramble a 9 letter word). Despite losing it was a very close contest, we both had the lead at various points and it was only decided in the final round. There were several mistakes by both of us (mainly me), most notably the final numbers game which I solved right away, but then decided for some reason that I’d miscalculated… It was a fantastic day though and I have since been back in the audience on several occasions.