Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

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Our Kent League captain Ray Brooks is now starting to scent a possible Kent championship - let’s hope that is not hubris. A 4-2 home win against Rainham has however probably clinched qualification for the next stage. Wins from Bob Elliston, John Sugden, Rasa Norinkeviciute, Andrew Fleming; losses Francis Rayner, Ray Brooks.

It looks good too for our Kent League Division 6 team who are likely to qualify for the Kent semis after a 2½-1½ home win over Medway: wins by Umberto Jozwiak and Harry Stephens; a draw by Anna Pontonutti; Adrian Cload went down.

Our firsts in the Mid-Sussex League had a routine 3-2 win at Crowborough. Wins: Francis Rayner, John Sugden; draws Andrew Fleming, Paul Kelly; loss Mel Young.

Two divisions lower down our fourths went down 3-2 at home to Horsham fifths: Marc Bryant and Daniel Lowe won on the top two boards but below that Mason Woodhams, Derek Cosens and Robert Smart succumbed.

It’s still very early days in the club tournaments. In the Championship John Sugden is clear leader with +4 with Bernard Cafferty and Steve Blewitt his closest challengers on +2. In division 2 (the Pelton Cup) Keith Hossack and Robert Smart lead with +4. In division 3 (the Rush Cup) Steve Oakman leads with +4 followed by Umberto Jozwiak with +3.

A recent time-handicap tournament was won jointly by Bob Elliston, Paul Kelly and John Sugden..

There was no success for club members in last weekend’s Bexhill Chess Congress, other than a category prize won by Paul Kelly in the top section. Truth be told, entries from local players were quite sparse: disappointing as if such events aren’t supported they will die, and there aren’t that many of them to start with.

Fixtures at the club in Cornwallis Terrace in the next week: Sunday, March 8, 2.30pm, Kent League division 1, v Maidstone.

Information on club activities can be obtained from info@hastingschessclub.co.uk or from 07933 742352.