The much-maligned Chamakh came up with the only goal of the game on 42 minutes when he rose to power a header into the net from five yards out from an inch-perfect Barry Bannan cross.
New Palace boss Tony Pulis managed to get the response he was looking for in his first home match in charge, but he also needed a little help from referee Lee Mason to ensure his side escaped with three points.
Mason decided to disallow what looked like a perfectly good goal when Stewart Downing drove the ball into the net from 10 yards out midway through the second half, but Mason penalised Joey O'Brien for a spot of jostling off the ball with Chamakh that was deemed to be shirt pulling when both men were culpable.
Sunderland drop bottom of the table with Palace two points ahead of Gus Poyet's side. They are level on points with third from bottom Fulham.
29' - NOLAN MISSES CHANCE: Nolan dashes onto the free-kick, but can't make contact with the volley. Glorious chance for the visiting side. Not taken.
33' - DOWNING BLOWS IT: Another chance for the Hammers fails to drop as Cole bounds clear. Sets up Downing, but he can't convert from five yards out. Didn't seem to expect that coming into his path. More frustration, but on we go.
42' - GOAL PALACE! Marouane Chamakh rises to head into the net from five yards. Delightful cross from Bannan. Palace into the lead. Fine header, fine cross.
44' - DELANEY TO THE RESCUE: Diame with a fabulous ball into the middle. Picks out Downing, but his volley at the home goal is deflected over by the leg of Delaney. Fine piece of defending, it must be said.
49' - JASSKELAINEN SHOWS CLASS: Puncheon sees a shot tipped away by Jussi Jaaskelainen as the home side push for a second goal. What a chance that is.
52' - JEROME DENIED: Jussi Jaaskelainen comes off his line to make a fine stop from Jerome after he was played in Jedinak. West Ham having to weather a Palace storm here.
90+1' - KEBE SQUANDERS GLORIOUS CHANCE: Kebe lifts the ball over the bar having eluded Jussi Jaaskelainen after he had come out of his goal. Should have been the clincher there and then. Palace not putting this game to bed.
90+6' - MORRISON COLLECTS BOOKING AFTER THE WHISTLE: Morrison has collected a booking for a push on the face of Ward. He should have been red carded after the full-time whistle.
Palace get just their third win of the season. However, their total of 10 points is still the worst they have ever had after 14 matches in the Premier League.
West Ham have 13 points – the only other two times they’ve had less than 14 points at this stage in a PL season, they have been relegated (09/10 – 9 points, 02/03 12 points).
West Ham have scored just two goals in the final ten minutes of matches this season, and they both came against Fulham last weekend, when they were already 1-0 ahead.
Half of Chamakh’s Premier League goals have been scored with his head – five out of 10 (4 for Arsenal and 1 for Palace).
Palace haven’t scored more than once in a PL match since they beat Sunderland at home 3-1 on the 31 August – before tonight, they had scored just three goals in total in the PL since then.
TALKING POINT: Should Downing's goal have stood? Yes, to be blunt. It was a tough one to take for the visitors as they would have been right back in the match at 1-1, but a linesman didn't see it that way in alerting the referee who went along with the decision. Bad call on a forgettable night for the visitors.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dean Moxey, Crystal Palace - Could have given it to any home defender, but Moxey was very effective in closing down space. A fine team performance from Palace.
Crystal Palace: Speroni 6, Ward 7, Gabbidon 7, Delaney 7, Moxey 7, Jedinak 7, Dikgacoi 6, Bannan 6, Puncheon 6, Chamakh 7, Jerome 7..subs: O'Keefe 6, Williams 6, Kebe 6
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen 5, O'Brien 6, Collins 6, Tomkins 6, Rat 5, Noble 5, Nolan 5, Morrison 5, Downing 6, Diame 6, C.Cole 5...subs: McCartney 6, Maiga 5, J.Cole 4
THE MATCH IN A TWEET