Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

THERE were good results all round in the Mid-Sussex League.

Our firsts brushed aside struggling Lewes by 4-1. The visitors weren’t helped by turning up a man short, while we had wins from Francis Rayner and Bernard Cafferty, draws from John Sugden and Alfredo Luaces. The firsts have kept their title hopes alive with a series of narrow victories and it looks as if it may yet all be settled by their last match, away to Brighton in three weeks time.

The seconds, also in division 1, took their fate firmly into their own hands with a good 3½-1½ win at Worthing seconds. A win in either of their remaining two matches will see them safe from relegation. Howard Tebbs, Mel Young and Paul Kelly won, Jim Wheeler drew, but Ollie Willson lost.

The thirds overcame Brighton’s thirds by 3-2 in division 2 and remain unbeaten this season. Unfortunately a run of drawn matches earlier in the season means that they have probably left it too late for a promotion run. Laurence Butt and Steve Blewitt were our winners, Andrew Fleming and Jim Wheeler drew (the latter subject to adjudication) but Daniel Lowe lost.

And the fourths were promoted in their sleep, as it were! Recent results in division 4 were such that we are now guaranteed promotion so long as we simply turn up to our last two fixtures. The question is just whether we go up as Champions or as runners-up.

Looking inward, the Club’s second division Pelton Cup has a clear leader in Club Secretary Ken Lucas on +4, his nearest rivals being on +2. The third division Rush Cup has two out in front, George Jelliss on +4 and Gregory Chandler on +3.

And finally, the winter rapid play has two-horse races: in the top section Steve Blewitt +8 ahead of Alfredo Luaces +7, and they have yet to play; in the bottom section, Ken Lucas +7 has the lead from Alfred Mikurenda +5.