THE world-famous Hastings International Chess Congress kicked off this week with grandmasters from around the world descending on the town.
The event at Horntye Park Sports Complex was opened on Tuesday by council leader Jeremy Birch and deputy mayor Councillor Alan Roberts who both tried moves with some of the players.
More than 100 players from 21 countries are competing in the annual contest, which is in its 86th year, and runs until January 5.
The event includes the Masters Tournament for internationally-rated 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.
The Hastings weekend tournament, which has sections for all levels of players, will take place tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.
The New Year tournament will run from January 3 to 5.
The Congress will be visited on Sunday by “Egghead” CJ de Mooi who is also president of the English Chess Association.
At 12 noon he will present a giant chess set, on behalf of the association to staff and children from in2play, the organisation which runs the council’s adventure playground in Ore.
At 2pm he will open the Weekend Congress and Masters Tournament rounds.
Games from the event and full details can be found by logging onto www.hastings.chess.org.uk.
Players still have time to enter for the weekend and New Year events.
Admission for spectators is free and English grandmaster, Chris Ward gives a live commentary on the top boards each day from approximately 2.30pm.
For further information contact Pam Thomas on 07582149239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org