Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

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Although a couple of matches have fallen victim to travel difficulties all three of the Club’s teams have seen New Year action in the Mid-Sussex League.

The ‘A’ team drew at Lewes, 2½ points each, a solid albeit just slightly disappointing result against useful opponents. It is starting to look as if we may be in a battle for runners up spot rather than the title, although there is still half the season to go. Francis Rayner went down on top board, which Howard Tebbs offset with a win on bottom board; in between there were draws from John Sugden, Richard Almond and Paul Kelly.

Our ‘B’ team notched up their first win of the season in their perennial fight against relegation from division 1 with an excellent result rather against form at home to Crowborough, 3-2. Particular credit to Alan Barton, who held the draw on top board when the stats predicted 76% that he would lose; and especially to Alfredo Luaces, who won the full point on board 2, despite the stats saying 81% that he should lose. Lower down the lists Howard Tebbs drew, Jerry Anstead lost and Mel Young won.

In division 2 our ‘C’ team are looking likely for a comfortable mid-table position after promotion last season. They lost by 3½-1½ at home to East Grinstead. Ollie Willson, Derek Cosens and Gary Willson held decent draws, Ollie especially (more stats: 79% predicted to lose), but it was a disappointing début from youngsters Jonathan and Thomas Finn, both of whom lost to much stronger opponents.