Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

A FEW lines this week about the club’s premier competitions, which have moved into their second half. Each division comprises 12 players.

Francis Rayner, returning to the Club Championship, looks set to regain it. At +5 with four games left he looks unstoppable unless he slips up; the only players who have a prospect of catching him are Bernard Cafferty and Paul Kelly (both +2), the rest trail.

Two of those leading three are Welsh so a Cymric victory is likely.

The second division, the Pelton Cup, has separated itself into two distinct packs, with five contenders and the rest a long way behind. It’s all very tight at the top: Conrado Quintos, returning to active chess after a spell out, has +5, pursued by Ollie Willson +4 and then Derek Cosens, Jim Wheeler and Gary Willson all +3. All still to play for.

The Rush Cup, our third division, has been beset by players not keeping up to schedule but the controller is now cracking the whip. New junior member Daniel Lowe from Battle has stormed ahead with a 100% +6, but has yet to play his closest pursuers, Keith Hossack and Alfred Mikurenda, both on +4.