Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

THE home team shot themselves in the foot in their home Kent League semi-final on Sunday, crashing out 2½-3½ to Petts Wood and Orpington.

With a maximum strength team we should have done better and the match was not as close as the score might suggest - some respectability was added by a fine win from Howard Tebbs against a stronger opponent, in the last game to finish after 3½ hours, by which time it was all over.

Impetuous play, overlooked one-move checkmates and failing to press home advantages all came together to make a disappointing ending to our hitherto unbeaten Kent season and skipper Ray Brooks’ capable organisation.

Draws from Bob Elliston, Andrew Fleming and Brooks, losses by Paul Kelly and Jim Wheeler.

Eighteen players assembled at the Club the previous Sunday for one of the regular rapidplays, where games are typically completed in 20-30 minutes.

John Sugden from Bexhill won a tightly contested event with an unbeaten 5½ points from seven games, ahead of Jim Wheeler on 5, an excellent result from the eighth-ranked Wheeler.

Category prizes went to Steve Blewitt, Mason Woodhams, Steve Oakman and Robert Smart.