Chess goes ahead despite cuts

THIS year’s Hastings International Chess Congress will take place as usual despite a 10 per cent drop in council funding.

Hastings Borough Council has had to drop its financial commitments to local events due to the economic climate.

However, organisers of the popular annual competition are confident it will be just as good as previous years.

It will run from December 28 until January 5 at Horntye Park Sports Complex and will feature a host of international grandmasters battling it out for the coveted crown.

A number of local firms are backing the congress, including the White Rock Hotel, the Lansdowne and Chatsworth Hotels, KC Computers, the Pig in Paradise and Orion Energy.

And Horntye has reduced its hire charges as Hastings looks to build on its blossoming reputation as the home of English chess.

There will be tournaments for player of all abilities, from international grandmasters to local enthusiasts, and a selection of games will be broadcast live on the internet - with commentary covering top games each afternoon.

A spokesman for the event said: “Although the congress will take place again this year, we face a hard task working with a reduced budget and increased charges.

“Efforts are being made to secure additional funding from the local business community as the congress brings valuable income to Hastings each year.

“The hospitality sector already provides a valuable contribution and further help is offered.”

The congress is looking for a main sponsor, and any local firms interested in helping should contact Pam Thomas on email at or by calling 01424 445348. Entry, as always, will be free for spectators.