Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

WITH just three games to play the Club Championship seems there for the taking for Francis Rayner. St Leonards own Welsh Wizard has 6½ points from 8 games, with three to play, and the only person with any realistic chance of catching him is the wily veteran Bernard Cafferty with 6 points from 9. The two have yet to play and Cafferty can only hope to win that game and for Rayner also to slip up in another.

In Division 2 (the Pelton Cup) it looks as if young Ollie Willson will bounce back into the Championship next season: it is in his own hands. Conrado Quintos has finished his programme with 8½ points from 11 games; Willson has 8 from 10 but his final game is against one of the tail enders, so the smart money is on the Fairlight teenager.

Division 3 (the Rush Cup) looks like a straight fight between two players from Battle, another teen star, Daniel Lowe, and the eminent philosopher Keith Hossack - both of them relatively new to the club. Lowe has a storming 7 points from 7 games, four to go, but has yet to play Hossack on 6 from 7 in what is surely the decider.