Victories in Sussex and Kent leagues

Two Hastings teams in both the Sussex and Kent leagues had great results this week. Our Third team in the Mid-Sussex Third Division took a big step towards promotion with a 4-0 win over Worthing(2), the Thirds are just one game away from automatic promotion. Haywards Heath(3) stands in our way to the promised land of the second division.

In the Kent league our En Passant team swept aside last years’ finalist, Weald of Kent 3.5-2.5 on Friday to set up a crunch game against top of the table Medway with the winners guaranteed a place in the play-offs. Hastings didn’t disappoint and scraped a narrow victory 3.5-2.5, and with a game in hand, Hastings can top the league and will play either Charlton or Sidcup in the semi-finals.

Hastings v Medway

Hastings v Weald of Kent

Hastings(3) v Worthing(2)

Hastings unbeaten run ends

Monday night saw Hastings Third team unbeaten run in the Mid-Sussex league Division 3 come to an end with defeat to rivals Brighton 1.5-2.5. This was a top-of-the-table clash with the winners most likely to go on and lift the title. Despite a blistering victory on top board by junior Leon Sazkissyan, a commanding performance by Mason over Robert Counsell and lovely attacking chess by Adrian and Derek it wasn’t to be. Hastings will now need to win their final two games to get promoted to the second division.

On board 1 rising star and junior Leon came flying out of the traps, banging out moves in a most unusual opening, forcing off queens very early whilst decimating the pawn structure of both sides, after the dust settled Leon had an advanced passed pawn on the e-file which when the game reduced to a rook and pawn ending he navigated the complications like a senior with years of experience. 1-0

Mason on board 2 had a very strong opening restricting Robert Counsell to just crumbs of opportunity and although he did manage some queenside initiative it soon fizzled out leaving Mason to rearrange his forces and prepare for an overwhelming attack. Robert at this point was just moving back and forth with a knight awaiting the oncoming storm. With 5 mins on the clock to Robert’s 3 mins and other results from the match undecided, it was time to launch the attack and Nxg6 was played!! Robert didn’t take and instead, Nf8 was selected and after Nxe7,Qxe7,Bg5 white is winning but with very little time on the clock the better player (Robert) found the right moves. 1-1 (Moral, don’t complicate a position when you don’t have any time!)

Adrian on board 3 found himself up against the popular London system and although setting up with the Grunfeld defence which featured in the “Game of the Century” between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer wasn’t enough for Adrian. Going a pawn down early doors but having the advantage of the fianchetto bishop versus a knight late on was too much for Adrian 1-2

Derek on board 4 playing Susan Chadwick had a great start with a three pawn centre v Kings Indian Defence, winning an exchange and a pawn, looked good for the win but Susan is no pushover a very solid positional player which Derek could not finish off. In the end a draw and Brighton take the honours.

In summary, Hastings played really well and at one point looked to be winning 3-1 but the extra quality of Brighton carried them through. New team member Leon was outstanding on top board and it won’t be long before he is knocking on the door of our second and even the first team!

Hastings play Worthing at home next before a trip to Haywards Heath for the final game of the season.

Come on you Thirds!


Easter Rapid play

April 1st 





CLOCKS START 2:00 p.m.

(arrive and check in by 1:45 p.m.)

7 Round Swiss of 10 minutes per game plus 5 seconds per move.

Results will be submitted for English Chess Federation rapidplay grading.


Many modest (sometimes silly) prizes to be won by players at all levels.

Prize giving is expected to be finished by 6:30 p.m.

Entrance numbers strictly limited to 22 utter absolute tops

and people will be turned away after that number is reached,

so advance booking is strongly recommended.

Entry fee: £3 before 30th March; £6 for later entry.

Book by e-mail to text or phone Adrian on 07518415429

No tournament if fewer than 12 entries by Monday 25th March.

Haphazard tea time refreshments (self-service) provided.

Visitors’ parking vouchers (cheaper than street parking) available from Jim Wheeler,

07875 712005 or

ECL R2 vrs Donetsk 2024 The European Cities League round 2 is now open for registration.

Hastings Club members and residents of Hastings & St Leonards with a account are encouraged to join this team match which starts on 17th December 2023

Players play two simultaneous games with up to 3 days per move allowed.

Hastings competes in Division 4 (minimum 7 boards) this season alongside:

  • Donetsk
  • Rome
  • Karagandy
  • Dnipro
  • Metz
  • Bologna
  • Maracena
  • Sheffield
  • Glasgow

For more information and match progress visit Hastings v Donetsk on

Previous rounds:

R1: Hastings v Glasgow


Monkey business against Haywards Heath(2)

Monday 20
Mid-Sussex League Division 3

Hastings(3) 2.5 – 1.5 Haywards Heath(2)

In league division three, Hastings thirds in second took on Haywards Heath’s seconds in third.  A top-of-the-table clash.

Jim Wheeler on top board played an unsual opening, an Orangutan with the black pieces. His brief before the match was, as your opponent is significantly lower graded than you just wait for the mistake and capitalise on it. Well blow me his opponent David Curtis didn’t make a mistake and played a very solid game opening with the Colle-Zuckertort which is characterised by developing the dark-squared bishop on b2. The typical plan is: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Nc6 6.0-0 Bd6 7.Bb2 0-0, where White, despite their apparently innocuous development, will eventually play for a kingside attack. A locking up of the pawns occurred and neither player could break through, eventually it ended with N+2R v B+2R and David managed to exchange off his knight for Jim’s Bishop doubling his pawns and with an even rook ending achieved a draw was agreed. This monkey opening might get put aside as our big game hunter looks for better beasts to hunt next time.

Board 2 saw Chris Hann with the white pieces face off against a reversed London System. A promising start from the visitor but instead of going full steam on the queenside against Chris’ KiA he was probing the kingside with not much success. Another game where all the pawns got locked up and this one resembling a draughts board at one point, a few huffs later and Chris found the winning moves. 1.5 – 0.5

Derek on board 4 had an exciting game with white against a Najdorf. In the hands of Bobby Fischer the Najdorf was an awesome weapon full of sharp lines and tactical goodness. In the hands of the 1400 player the Najdorf poses so many problems for the non booked student of chess. Derek on the other hand comfortable with the themes, rammed his d pawn all the way to d6 then plonked a juicy Knight on c7 for the majority of game. His opponent failed to deal with forward outpost and monster knight and Derek manoeuvred the rest of his forces around it going a pawn up then a pawn and piece up and eventually crushing and closing out the game. 2.5 – 0.5

Adrian on board 3 continued the theme of night of blocked positions (excluding Derek) and was made to work for a few paltry crumbs. Gradually making progress against his opponent James Falvey who was 100 grading points lower he eventually went an exchange up less a pawn, and so with a +1 advantage was looking good although it was unclear how to progress. Then in less time it took me to go upstairs grab a delicious Sainsbury’s mince pie and come back down again, Adrian had gifted his opponent an early Christmas present of a piece and an awful position in a 4v3 RvR ending which only lasted a few more moves. 2.5-1.5

A close result for the Thirds but enough to go back to the top of the table after Eastbourne(4) had deposed us a few days early. Monday 4th December will see the crunch match between Hastings(3) and Eastbourne(4), 1st & 2nd in the league respectively which could be a deciding factor in who might be favourites for the title.

Come on you Thirds!

Click for Full match card

Thirds Mediterranean night

Mid-Sussex League Division 3
Eastbourne(5) 0.5 – 3.5 Hastings(3)

Friday night had a Mediterranean feel to proceedings with two Italian games, a Sicilian and a Catalan, keeping us warm on a dark autumnal night.

Newly promoted to the top board, Marc opened with the first of the Italians and within a few moves treated his opponent to a tactic on

e5 & f7 exchanging two of his pieces for two pawns, a rook, and a lousy king position. It was pretty much game over but Marc being Marc cooked up some spaghetti moves in the middle game and bolognesed his position. Fortunately, his stronger end-game skills made mincemeat of his opponent to bring home the first point of the night.

Adrian on board two faced the Italian from the black side. With neither side castling in the early game and his opponent even starting a king-side pawn advance! Our in-form turbo Ferrari Adrian parked his prancing horse on an amazing outpost on g3 which was never going to be dislodged. Queen-side castling by both resulted in navigating usual Mediterranean waters for both before Adrian’s skill triumphed. Just before the end his opponent was even heard to say “That was good!” when Adrian hit him with a tactic to win a piece. You know it’s over when your opponent is muttering such utterances. 2-0

On board 4, Woodhams continued the Mediterranean theme with a Silician against Robert Smart, which evolved into an Alapin and thus a quiet game was had on those southern Italian shores. Equality achieved early doors and even -0.5 for most of the game until I missed a clean win. A pawn up in the end game with opposite B’s and two rooks each it was heading for a draw but then “Mama Mia!” a swindle out of nowhere and the game was lost for Robert. 3-0

Chris Hann on board 3 was up against Eastbourne junior Zeb Taylor and what game it was. Game of the night. Opening with a Catalan (well it was a KiA but saying Catalan to keep the Mediterranean theme), the game quickly settled into opposite side castling with all the fireworks on the board that that entailed. Chris managed to get the bishop pair in an open position but the resilience of the junior was amazing. The endgame resulted in KBR v KR+3 pawns which the youngster duly marched up the board, however, Chris managed to pick a couple of them off until we reached this final position, at which point we had to stop for the night and adjourn much to the disappointment to the 10 people watching the game. In this position black only has one move to save himself, everything else is losing. Can you find it?

Black to move and save game

The thirds win again on the road but now face the biggest test of the season with visits from Haywards Heath (2) and Eastbourne (4) in the next two matches. The two other top teams in the division.

Come on you Thirds!

MSL Div 3 Eastbourne(5) v Hastings(3) match card

Hastings start ECL campaign against Glasgow 2024 The European Cities League has started with Hastings playing Glasgow in the first fixture of the season.

Hastings members with accounts are encouraged to join the match which starts on 12th November.

Players play two simultaneous games with up to 3 days per move allowed.

Hastings will compete in Division 4 (minimum 7 boards) this season alongside:

  • Donetsk
  • Rome
  • Karagandy
  • Dnipro
  • Metz
  • Bologna
  • Maracena
  • Sheffield
  • Glasgow

For more information and match progress visit Hastings v Glasgow on


First round draw McArthur CUP and Paul Watson Trophy

Hastings have drawn local rivals, Bexhill at home for the first round of the McArthur Cup and Uckfield away in the Paul Watson Trophy. Matches to be played by Feb 10th and January 13th respectively.


Full details:

McArthur Cup:

1st Round:
West: Sussex University v Horsham
Bye – East Grinstead
East: Hastings v Bexhill
Bye – Lewes
For the semi-finals, the home team will be determined by whether the winners of the 1st round match were home or away in the 1st round (i.e. if the winner was away in the 1st round they will be at home in the semi-final).
1st round matches to be played by February 10th
Semi-Finals to be played by April 20th
Final to be played by May 31st
Paul Watson Trophy:
1st Round:
West: Shoreham v Sussex University
East: Uckfield v Hastings
West: Bognor v Horsham
Shoreham or Sussex U v East Grinstead (Home team dependent on winner of 1st round)
East: Lewes v Crowborough
Uckfield or Hastings v Bexhill (Home team dependent on winner of 1st round)
1st round matches to be played by January 13th
Quarter-Finals to be played by March 2nd
Semi-Finals to be played by April 27th
Final to be played by May 31st

Est. 1882