Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

OUR Mid-Sussex League teams, bar one, remain unbeaten as we reach the Christmas break.

The first team chalked up a home win against Haywards Heath, 3-2, dubbed ‘very satisfactory’ by the captain. Francis Rayner and Bernard Cafferty won, John Sugden and Ollie Willson drew, Paul Kelly lost. More results like that please!

However, around the second team the words ‘relegation struggle’ start to be whispered. A 4-1 trouncing by Horsham firsts didn’t help: there were good individual draws against stronger opponents from Howard Tebbs and Jim Wheeler but Ollie Willson, Steve Blewitt and Daniel Lowe all succumbed.

The fourths though made it three wins from three with a competent 3½-1½ victory at East Grinstead seconds. Wins from Jeremy Hudson, Keith Hossack and George Jelliss were helped in two of those by the opponents forfeiting by not making enough moves in the allotted time. Mason Woodhams drew, Gary Willson lost.

And our team in Kent League division 2 also remain unbeaten. A 3-3 draw at Rainham was perhaps a touch less than we might have hoped for on paper, but it was a long slog to north Kent on a December Sunday. Ollie Willson fils and Bob Elliston contributed the full point, Ray Brooks and Jim Wheeler drew, but our top board John Sugden and bottom board Gary Willson père went down.

And, not content with the Mid-Sussex and Kent leagues, the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club is also playing online at www.chess.com and has entered the 2014 World Cities League and 2014 World Cities Cup.

In the league we have drawn Glasgow, Bordeaux, Guadalajara and Helsinki in the group stages (a similar arrangement to the Champions’ League in football) and Hong Kong in round two of the cup after dispatching, quite comfortably, the Mexican city of Queretaro in round one.

Residents of Hastings and St Leonards are welcome to join us online at chess.com and play international virtual matches, an account is free and you do not need to be a member of the chess club to join (although we would certainly hope you would consider it). More details on all this from captain Mason Woodhams at mason@fabit.com.