All posts by Marc Bryant

closed to members

To all club members
Will members please note that due government rules due to the Corona virus the club will again be closed to members from the 5th of November
Anyone wishing to make a private visit must do so within government rules and in consultation with the chairman
Marc a Bryant

2019/20 Winter Tournaments

Please note that its recent committee meeting the committee have decided to finish the winter tournaments all games will need to be played by the 24 of December at which point winners will be declared based on games played and points scored

Due to the Corona virus players are not obligated to finish these games however the tournaments will finish on this date

Also please note any player wishing 2 to arrange a sixth player all play all may do so on any date in consultation with the chairman

Risk assessment template

Chess Club name:Hastings and St leonards chess club                                                                             Assessment carried out by:M.Bryant

Date of next review:31/8/20                                   Date assessment was carried out:3/7/20



What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done

Transmission of Corona virus from player to player while attending chess playing session:

1 Through touching hard surfaces or equipment already touched by infected person.
1.1 Venue Features: Door Knobs, light switches, etc. Players, staff, visitors, volunteers acquiring virus by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. Things to consider:


·        Ensuring hard surfaces at the venue are as likely as possible to be virus free at start of session.


·        Cleaning and disinfect objects and surfaces that are likely to be touched regularly. Propping doors open as far as possible.


·        Providing hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser for all people coming into the club

Further things to think about:


·        Staff/volunteers regularly reminded to ensure cleaning procedures carried out



·        Asking players, visitors, staff and volunteers to wash or sanitise their hands on arrival, and then regularly throughout the playing session



What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.2 Venue Features: Catering Equipment Player acquiring virus by touch. Consider:


·        No catering


·        Players being asked to bring and take away any drinks and drinking vessels for their own use



Ensure that players are aware of procedures      
1.3 Cash Handling Player acquiring virus by touch. Consider:


·        No cash handling.




Ensure that players aware of procedures      


What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.4 Coats and Hats Player acquiring virus by touching another player’s contaminated clothing Consider

·        allocated coat pegs suitably spaced out

·        ask players to bring the minimal amount of outdoor clothing




·        .


·        Ask players to socially distance when arriving and leaving.



1.5 Toilets


Toilets will be available during the session

Areas in toilets may be contaminated by one player and touched by another Consider the following:


·        Placing antiseptic hand wash in each toilet


·        Placing antiseptic wipes in each toilet



·        Instructing players to wipe surfaces (BIN) and then use handwash thoroughly after using toilet


·        Instructing players to maintain social distancing if queueing.




·        placing signage that explains current hand washing guidance in the rest room area




What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.6 Players bringing the virus into the club on their hands Players may contaminate surfaces or equipment Consider the following:



·        Providing hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser for all people coming into the club



·        Regularly members not to attend if they are showing any symptoms


·        Signage throughout the playing venue promoting hand washing



What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.7 Chess Club Equipment:


Tables and chairs

Player acquiring virus by touching contaminated furniture Some examples you may want to consider:


·        Wiping tables and chairs clean before start of each session


·        Encouraging players not move furniture unnecessarily during the playing session


·        Discouraging players from storing coats etc on chair backs


·        Wearing disposable gloves when arranging the furniture prior to the playing session.


·        Keep movement of players/changes of opponent to a minimum during the playing session



·        Planning the playing session well in advance, with room layout and instructions properly communicated to members

·        Room layout and boards etc should be in place in advance of players’ arrival



What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.8 Chess Club Equipment:



Player acquiring virus by touch. Possible action you might take:


·        Storing boards for 72 hours prior to usage.


·        Cleaning boards prior to the start of each playing sessions


·        Wearing disposable gloves when putting boards and other equipment on tables.


·        Boards not to be moved during playing session.




·        Signage to remind players of the new protocols that need to be in place

·        The extra space that will be needed between boards to maintain social distancing will reduce the number of players able to play




1.9 Chess Club Equipment:



Player acquiring virus by touch. Possible action you may take:


·        Quarantine clocks for 72 hours prior to use.


·        Clocks to be laid out at start of session using gloves, and not moved unnecessarily until the playing session has ended.


·        If using DGT clocks, have the time controls preset before the start of each session


·        Provision of adequate wipes and bins for players to clean clocks throughout the playing session.




·        Signage to remind players of the need to clean clocks regularly during the playing session




What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.10 Chess Club Equipment:



Player acquiring virus by touch. Consider the following:


·        Maximising use of “bubbles”, especially where opponents do not change during the playing session


·        As with FIDE regs for blind players, use two boards for each match up, including calling out the moves


·        Providing each player with his own set of pieces for the playing session.  For informal games, relaxing normal playing conventions (eg removing your own pieces from the board when taken)


·        Provision of adequate hand sanitizing dispensers in the playing hall for use throughout the playing session.



·        Location of hand sanitisers, making the cleaning of hands easier

·        Any adjustments to playing protocols must be made within the laws of chess if a game is to formally graded.  The use of a “bubble”, or 2 boards for the same game would be acceptable

·        “Bubbles” can be created up to a maximum as stipulated by HMGov in their guidance.  Provided players agree, sessions could be organized in these “bubbles”, or with a number of “bubbles” within the playing hall





What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.11 Chess Club Equipment:


Table Numbering Signs

Player acquiring virus by touch. Things to consider:


·        Table numbering signs being stored for at least 72 hours before each session or wiped clean after every session with a sanitising wipe.


·        Disposable gloves being worn when putting table numbers on tables.


·        Players instructed not to touch them.

1.12 Chess Club Equipment:


Scorecards and pens

Player acquiring virus by touch. Consider:


·        Instructing players to use their own pens


·        Adequate supply of scoresheets on each table prior to the start of each playing session


·        Players to take scoresheets home







What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
1.13 Chess Club Equipment:


Other equipment

Player acquiring virus by touch. Consider:


·        Demonstration boards to be used by one person only for the duration of the session

    ·        Hand cleansing prior to reading books or magazines, and quarantine literature for 72 hours after session  
2 Through inhaling droplets breathed out by infected person.
2.1 Players standing or walking without observing social distancing in car park


Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. Consider:

·        arrangement of parking spaces

·        social distancing signage

·        floor signs to encourage social distancing

·        Mandatory wearing of face masks




Adjustments made to take social distancing fully into account will be different for each venue.  Clubs should individually their playing hall to ensure risk of Covid 19 infection is minimized.





2.2 Players clustering as they approach the playing hall. Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. Consider:


·        Arrange for players to queue if necessary, with appropriate social distancing

·        Mandatory wearing of face masks





·        Ensure players are aware


2.3 Players passing each other without distancing as they take their places Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. Consider:


·        Mandatory wearing of face masks whilst in the playing hall



What are the hazards? Who might be harmed and how? What controls are required? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action? When is the action needed by? Done
2.4 Players passing each other without distancing as they leave. Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. Consider:


·        asking players to collect outdoor clothing etc,

2.5 Players breathing on each other at the table Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. ·        Players will be advised to bring their own face mask, to be worn at all times in the playing venue.


·        Clubs have a stock of disposable single use face masks to use as necessary.


·        Ensure layout of the playing tables fulfils social distancing guidance in place at the time


·        Ensure playing venue is properly ventilated, with windows open and doors propped open




·        Planning the room layout, with the venue management, well ahead of the playing session, in accordance with the HMGov guidance in place at the time

·        Ensure room is laid out in accordance with the plan

·        If as is likely the number of playing boards is reduced, use a booking system to ensure numbers of players do not exceed maximum capacity


2.6 Players breathing on each other as they change opponents Player acquiring virus by airborne droplet. ·        Mask to be worn at all times.

·        Names and board numbers called at the start of each round.

·        Where a session is less formal with more staggered start times, players should be instructed to maintain social distancing at all times.

·        Ensure layout of the playing tables fulfils social distancing guidance in place at the time





·        With the planned room layout, include a one-way path around the room from which players can access their table.

·        Effectively communicating the room layout and walkways in advance to members attending




Covid 19

Dear Club Member                                                                                                    3rd July 2020

As the restrictions that have been in place to fight Covid 19 are being relaxed, the Committee has decided to re-open the club on a partial basis from Saturday 4th July.  Set out below are the initial measures that need to be adhered to in order for the Club open and remain open, yet be as safe as possible.  A copy of this guidance will be placed on the noticeboard in the Richard Almond Room.

This guidance cannot be exhaustive, and it will rely on members using good common sense to ensure all members are kept as safe as possible throughout this difficult time.  It is not a policy that can or will be “policed” at all times, but it will be assumed that members wishing to enjoy a game of chess at the club will be trying to follow this guidance.  The club has a number of members who have been shielding for the past 12 weeks, and we need to create an environment where they will feel safe and welcome should they too wish to attend.

This guidance will be under continuous review, and members should as a matter of course check the notice board for any changes.   Any changes of major significance will be communicated electronically as soon as practicable.

The intention is to make the club available for playing recreational chess, and to enable members to complete games in the internal winter tournaments, during normal opening hours.  It is not envisaged that league matches will recommence for the foreseeable future.

Marc Bryant will be available from time to time to help members should it be necessary.  If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, please let him know.

The Committee of Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club



1.1             Whilst on club premises, all members must use a face mask, unless it is not practicable for medical reasons.  Masks may be moved or removed temporarily eg to take a drink.  Players are advised to bring their own, though disposable masks will be available for members to use.

1.2             Disposable face masks, hand sanitising gel, disposable gloves and anti-bacterial wipes will be available for members to use throughout their playing session in each playing room.  Bins will be provided for disposing of these safely in each room.

1.3             It should not be necessary to use gloves during general game play (but see 9.5), provided members wash their hands regularly and follow the guidance below on cleaning equipment.  Gloves are provided for extra peace of mind, for example when a member wishes to touch something which they do not know is clean and virus free, such as a book.

1.4             Whilst both playing rooms will be open for use, it will only be possible to allow 4 games to be played at any one time in each room.  Whilst members are welcome to turn up and play a game, members are advised they may want to book a table with Marc (especially a formal Championship match) to avoid disappointment.

1.5             Members wishing to watch games in play are asked to observe social distancing guidance at all times.  Under no circumstances should members crowd “shoulder to shoulder”, however interesting or exciting a game may be.  Each playing table will have 4 chairs, and provided the players are not disturbed, members may wash their hands before using a chair which is not in use.

1.6             Members who feel unwell, have at least one of the Covid 19 symptoms (high temperature, loss of taste, persistent cough etc), are awaiting the results of a test for Covid 19, or have been advised to self-isolate by a competent person, must NOT attend the club under any circumstances, until it is safe for them to do so.


2.1         Adequate hand gel/sanitiser will be placed in both playing rooms and the entrance hall for members to use.  Hands should be cleaned frequently, and in any event, when a “change” occurs (eg a trip to the toilet, changing opponents, before cleaning other equipment)

2.2         All members MUST clean their hands on entering the Club premises.  If there is no hand gel in the entrance hall (eg because it has run out), all members MUST make their way to one of the playing rooms and use the gel there BEFORE THEY DO ANYTHING ELSE.

2.3         All members should clean their hands regularly throughout their playing session.


3.1         Members are asked to refrain from bringing into the club any items that are not absolutely necessary.   Any item brought in increases the risk of contamination to other members and should be avoided.

3.2         The house keeper should be informed where it has been necessary to bring items into the premises eg shopping, so that they can be stored safely away until you leave.

3.2         Coats, hats etc that need to be brought into the club should be stored on the hooks provided in the downstairs hall way and the kitchen landing.  Please leave a gap between coats to avoid cross contamination.  Coats should not be stored on the back of a chair.


4.1         The premises is an old building with some narrow walkways and stair cases.  All members need to be mindful of each other when moving through the club-house.

4.2         Members should specifically avoid passing each other on staircases and the entrance hall.  Members should wait until their way is clear before progressing.

4.3         Members should use the landing outside the male toilets to wait until their way up or down the stairs is clear.  Members should avoid starting to use the stairs if it is obvious the landing is not free.

4.4         Members should avoid loitering on the landings and walkways, including the entrance vestibule and outside the playing rooms.


5.1         Until further notice, the kitchen will be closed for general use.

5.2         Should members wish , they can bring their own refreshments, but they must take any rubbish home with them.  Bins should only be used as per para 1.2.

5.3         Should members wish to bring a reusable drinking vessel, it will be permissible to refill it from the cold water tap in the kitchen.  Anyone using the kitchen for any reason should use disposable gloves.


6.1         Both rest rooms will be open for members to use.

6.2         After going to the toilet, members are asked to wipe down all surfaces they have come into contact with using the wipes provided.  After cleaning the surfaces, members should wash their hands.


7.1         At the start of each day, the 8 playing tables will each be laid out with: 2 boards, a clock, 4 chairs, a small pile of score sheets, a table number (table numbers should not be touched or moved).  Playing rooms will also contain gloves, hand sanitising gel, wipes and face masks for members to use.  The bins provided shoutheld be used to dispose of used wipes and face masks.

7.2         A fresh set of pieces can be obtained from the Kitchen On top of the filing cabinet     When you have finished your game(s) and the pieces are no longer required, members should put the pieces on the stairs going to the up stairs flat .

7.3         Where pieces have been stored without being used or touched for at least 72 hours, they can be considered quarantined and safe to use.  Ask Marc who will be keeping control of the sets.  If there is any doubt, each piece should be cleaned with a wipe prior to being used.

7.4         Wipes should be used to clean the board before play starts and the clock before it is set.  It is advised that only one player cleans and sets the clock.

7.5         A stock of score cards should be available in each room.  Players should bring their own pens to use if at all possible.  If a pen is needed to record a game and you do not have one, please speak to the house keeper.

7.6         The following paragraphs lay out suggestions for playing OTB chess in modified conditions.  It is essential to bear in mind they are all designed to minimise or remove all contact between members.  Used in conjunction with regular hand washing, they will make the club as Covid safe as it can be.


8.1         Exceptionally and where players agree, it is possible for two opponents to be part of the same “support bubble” and play chess in the normal way without any further modifications.  Further guidance on this can be obtained from HMGov website.  Where this is the case, players should still ensure equipment is clean before play begins.


9.1         In order to avoid the further cleaning of pieces, for informal games only, each players could use one colour from their own designated set exclusively during each playing session at the club.  They should use the pieces from their set, Black or White, depending on the colour being played.

9.2         In order to avoid touching an opponent’s pieces, players should remove from the board their own pieces which have been taken.  Players may need to indicate verbally which move is being made (eg “Queen takes d5”) in order to facilitate this.

9.3         The player making the move should press his clock after he has placed his own piece on the destination square, even if the piece is in the process of being removed from the board.  If the opponent is not at the table when the move is to be made, the player with the move may pause the clock until the opponent returns, but must make the move immediately the game resumes.

9.4         Once the game(s) with that opponent are completed, a player should take his pieces with him to the fresh board.

9.5         As an alternative to 9.1 – 9.4, players could wear gloves.  However, these should be changed regularly (eg when going to the toilet, when changing opponents).  It is preferable to follow the guidance in 9.6 or 10.2 – 10.8.

9.6         As a further alternative, where 2 members are playing a string of informal games against each other, players could play using the same set throughout, but when changing colour, simply swap the King and Queen over and play reverse.  Combined with 9.2, this would be an effective way significantly reducing contact between players.


10.1       The suggestions in 9.1 – 9.4 and 9.6 are not within the laws of chess, and should not be used for games which are to be submitted for grading.  If the provisions of 8.1 also do not apply, players should follow the guidance in 10.2 – 10.8 in preference to 9.5.

10.2       A full set of pieces should be set up on both boards on the table.  Both players should face the same direction, with the clock placed between the boards.  Players can have their colour towards them in the usual way.

10.3       When one player makes a move and before he presses the clock, he calls the move in a manner prescribed within the laws of chess (eg “e4” or “pawn to e4”).  If both agree before play resumes to use the old notation (eg “pawn to King 4”), this would be acceptable, though the modern notation should be the default.  When the move has been made on his board and clearly called, he may press the clock.

10.4       On hearing the move, the opponent will duplicate the move on his own board, and the game continues.

10.5       If applicable, games should still be recorded on scoresheets.

10.6       Players are reminded to be clear in their intentions when calling the moves.  The following are example phrases that could be used: “pawn takes pawn” where there is only one legal move that satisfies the description; “pawn takes e5” where more than one pawn take is possible; “pawn on d takes e5” where more than one pawn can take d5; “Knight takes Bishop”; “Knight on c takes Bishop” where more than one Knight can make the capture; “pawn to e8: Queen”.

10.7       Players are permitted to glance over to their opponent’s board to check they have both have the correct position.  Where there is any dispute, the clock should be paused until the situation is resolved.

10.8       When speaking, voices should be audible but low so as not to disturb any other players in the room.


11.1       Members should use disposable gloves when read books and magazines in the Almond Room.  Gloves should be disposed in the bin immediately afterwards, and hands should be washed.

11.2       Should a member wish to use the library in the Pountney Room, they should arrange via the house keeper in the first instance.  At all times, members should use disposable gloves when using the library, and ensure hands are cleaned immediately afterwards.

11.2       Until the situation in the general population improves, members are advised not to bring guests to the club.  Anyone coming to drop off or collect members are advised to wait outside.  Should exceptionally a member wish to bring a guest to the club in order to play, they should only do so with the advance permission of the Chairman, and guests should be made aware of this guidance before they arrive.

Mr Roy Richardson,

Mr Roy Richardson,

This is my sad duty to inform them membership of the death of Roy Richardson his wife Alison informs me of the following

I have some sad news to share about Roy Richardson, which I would appreciate your passing on to the other chess club members.


Roy, my husband, passed away on Friday, having had another stroke. Roy had many happy times at the club playing chess, which he loved.


Roy’s cremation is planned for 9am on Tuesday 14th July, without attendance in accordance with his wish to keep people safe. I am asking instead that on that day and at that time, people light a candle should they wish, and have a period of silence in which we can all join together in remembering Roy safely in our own homes.


When in time it becomes safe to be together in groups again, the family will meet to scatter Roy’s ashes on the sea at Pett Level as he wanted. Everyone who would like to will then be welcome to meet with us later on that day to share in a remembering and celebration of Roy’s life.


I will be contacting the club in due course about rehoming Roy’s collection of chess books through the chess club library and chess club members, which I know he wanted on his death.


Warm regards


Alison Green


Might I take this opportunity to just reflect a little I am sure that Roy will not mind Roy was not the strongest player in the club however what Roy lacked ability he more than made up in dedication and enthusiasm something stronger players could learn from including myself

Roy will be miss by the members of the club and myself

And I would like to take this opportunity of offering my condolences to Roy family on behalf of the club and myself

Marc a Bryant


Hastings and st Leonard’s chess club


simultaneous display

Hi Marc

Your club members may be interested in an event we are running online.

At time of writing there are 19 spaces remaining.

David Fryer

Secretary Crowborough CC

07919 402315

GM David Howell online Q&A and Simultaneous

Crowborough Chess Club are delighted to welcome back GM David Howell, former Crowborough player, FIDE 2700+ , World Top 40 and three time British Champion.

He will start by giving a talk and answering your submitted chess questions.

Sunday 21st June start 2:00pm

At around 3.45pm there will be a 15 minute break and then David will play an online simultaneous display against all entrants on Lichess.

The cost for this event is £5 and spaces are limited to 30 so book early.

This event is suitable for players of ECF grade 100 and above.

Book online

Open Blitz Championships Finals.

  • Dear Chess Player,

    We are sending this email bcced  to participants  in last year’s UK Open Blitz Championships Finals.

    The ECF is running an Online English Blitz Championships this year, with 2 qualifying Swiss tournaments  on Saturday May 9th followed by separate men’s and women’s knockout finals on May 16th. The qualifying tournaments are open to all ECF members or supporters who will also need to join the ECF members club on

    You can find full details and a registration form here:

    We will be publishing the tournament links tomorrow via the newsletter, web site, and club home page. Please note that you will need to be a member of the ECF members club to join the tournament(s) on the day:

    We very much hope you are able to take part in one or both of the group stage tournaments and wish you every success in the championship.

    Best Wishes,

    Nigel Towers and Ed Goodwin


Corona virus

Corona virus

Following the, governments announced today that all pubs clubs leisure centres cafes and restaurant are required to close and for individuals to avoid any unnecessary social contact

It is with great regret that the club committee have decided to close the club as of the 21st march

This decision will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and in line with government advice

You will appreciate this is a very hard decision considering club has been open for 140 years and with two world wars has never close

Consequently, the club championship is now suspended and will be completed as and when we can

It is unlike that we will be running summer tournaments

Should any club member wish to make a private visit to the club IE to play  a game or to look at the library they must now do so by contacting  the chairman who will ensure the you are able to gain access  this must be done via prior arrangement whereby the chairman will ensure  you are able to gain access

In all other cases you will not be able to gain access

You Will appreciate this is not the news that we wanted but we all have a civic duty to ensure we do not infect others


On behalf of the committee

Marc A Bryant

to: Team Captains and Secretaries

  • to: Team Captains and Secretaries

    In view of current events, including the advice of the ECF that evening leagues should be suspended, and the fact that some of our member clubs have already decided to curtail their activities, all MSCL matches are suspended from today, until further notice.
    I also note the following comments that the BBC website has just posted, following the Prime Minister’s remarks this afternoon:
    “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel,” the prime minister says.
    • Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days
    • People should start working from home where they possibly can
    • Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
    • Only use the NHS when we really need to
    • From tomorrow government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers
    As there can be no certainty when matches will be able to resume, no decision will be taken on how best to conclude the league season until the situation is clearer; the league AGM is provisionally planned for June 30th; should this go ahead, this may be an opportunity to agree the right way forward.
    Best wishes to everybody in these difficult times.



Hi All
We have decided to postpone all chess matches for the rest of the season until further notice. If circumstances change we will let you know.
The health and well being of all chess players is far more important. We wish everyone good health and please follow all guidelines as they develop.
Best wishes