The 91st annual Hastings International Chess Congress got under way on yesterday (Monday, December 28) at Horntye Park Sports Complex.
Entries from more than 20 countries around the world are currently represented, including Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina and Australia.
The congress opening was attended by mayor Bruce Dowling, Dominic Lawson, president of the English Chess Federation and Wayne Bradshaw, marketing director of Tradewise Insurance Services.
Pam Thomas, spokesman for the congress, said: “Hungarian grandmaster Ferenc Berkes continues to lead the field of entries in the Masters along with four of his compatriots. Igor Khenkin (Germany), who was joint winner of the Masters in 2013-14, is second in the running at present. English Grandmasters include Keith Arkell, Mark Hebden, Glenn Flear and Simon Williams.
“Playing in the Masters event is Russian grandmaster Oleg Romanishin who won Hastings in 1976 and he was joined by regular visitors to Hastings, as well as a good few newcomers.
“Tradewise Insurance Services is the UK subsidiary of Tradewise Gibraltar, sponsors of the prestigious Gibraltar Chess Festival, and we hope the addition on this welcome new sponsorship will bring about a regeneration of the Hastings Chess Congress in future years. Hastings Borough Council continues to support the congress as joint sponsor. Additional support comes from The White Rock Hotel, The Lansdowne Hotel and KC Computers. Thanks also goes to the English Chess Federation for facilitating the new sponsorship.”
There are Weekend and New Year events for more casual club players of all levels, and young players and females are particularly encouraged, she added.
Grandmaster Chris Ward will be entertaining visitors with his live commentary on Masters games from 2.45pm each day and admission to the event is free for spectators.
A selection of Masters games will be broadcast live during play.
There will be a Blitz event at the White Rock Hotel on Monday (January 4) from 8.30pm.
The congress runs until Tuesday (January 5).
Visit www.hastingschess.com for more details and information or 07582 149239.
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