Chess grandmasters to descend on Hastings

England's David Howell, joint winner of last year's Hastings Masters

England's David Howell, joint winner of last year's Hastings Masters

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THE world-famous Hastings International Chess Congress will be taking place later this month.

Grandmasters from around the world will be competing in the annual event, which is in its 86th year, from Tuesday, December 28 to January 5 next year.

The event will be opened by deputy mayor Councillor Alan Roberts and council leader Jeremy Birch at 2.05pm at Horntye Park Sports Complex in Horntye Road.

The Congress is once again being sponsored by Hastings Borough Council, the White Rock Hotel and the Chatsworth Hotel.

Other support comes from Deutsch Limited, KC Computers, the Pig in Paradise and Gwalia Resources.

This is the world’s longest running grandmaster tournament and is famous in the world of chess.

The Congress includes the Masters Tournament for internationally-rated players, Christmas and New Year Tournaments and the 28th Hastings Weekend Congress with sections for all levels of players.

Entries in this year’s Masters include 11 grandmasters, among them last year’s four joint winners, Edouard Romain from France, Andrei Istratescu from Romania and Mark Hebden and David Howell from England.

Players from 19 countries are so far represented in this year’s event.

Grandmaster Chris Ward will provide a live commentary on the top games each day and a selection of Masters games will be broadcast live on the internet. Visitors are welcome to come to the Congress and admission, together with the commentary, is free.

Full details and entry form can be found on the Congress website at www.hastingschess.org.uk or contact Pam Thomas, public relations officer by email at pae123@aol.com or ring 01424 445348.