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Last Mid Sussex match and table

The last mid Sussex match played on Saturday was the first team at home losing to Brighton 1-3, the final table shows the first team 3rd and the second team fifth out of 8 teams.

Division 1

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Brighton & Hove 7 6 1 0 22 6 13 0 0 0
Horsham 1 7 5 0 2 19 9 10 0 0 0
Hastings & St Leonards 1 7 5 0 2 16 12 10 0 0 0
Lewes 7 3 0 4 11½ 16½ 6 0 0 0
Hastings & St Leonards 2 7 2 1 4 12 16 5 0 0 0
Worthing 7 2 1 4 11 17 5 0 0 0
Horsham 2 7 1 2 4 11½ 16½ 4 0 0 0
Eastbourne 1 7 1 1 5 9 19 3 0 0 0

Mid-Sussex League chess match Hastings second team against Horsham 2

28 April 2022

The Hastings and St Leonards second team played their final match in the Mid-Sussex League at home against Horsham 2.

Once again Hastings was facing a stronger team, with an average grade of just 1756, compared to Horsham’s 1844. Hastings got off to a good start with an early win by Paul Kelly, against David Roberts. Paul has been the anchor of the Hastings team, having played in every match, and achieving 3 wins and 2 draws. The visitors then caught up with a win by Philip Stimpson, against Hastings board 1 player Henry Cove. The next game to finish was Adrian Cload against Alex Taylor. This was always going to be a tough match for Adrian, as he was giving away 262 rating points. However, he played a strong game and lasted 42 moves before he was defeated.

With Horsham leading 2 points to 1, the result of the day rested on team captain Martin Fletcher, who was facing Roger Waddingham. Martin sacrificed a pawn early in the game in exchange for a positional advantage, and continued to press this advantage throughout. Roger was almost able to win the endgame with an advance of three central pawns, but Martin was able to use his king to stop the attack. And on move 58, when Martin moved his pawn to a7 it was clear that Roger was unable to stop this becoming a queen on the next move, and he resigned.

With this 2:2 draw, Hastings achieved a very welcome point, and finished the day in fifth place on the league table. A couple of the teams below them still have a game or two to play, so this may change. But Hastings will definitely not finish at the bottom of the table. For a second team in Division 1, this is a good achievement.

Martin Fletcher

Players trip to St Albans Chess Congress

23 April – 24 April 2022

Chess tournaments are a strange mixture of tension and excitement. The high points are really high, especially following a challenging win. And the low points are really low, especially when full of self-recriminations when making a foolish mistake, or failing to capitalise on a winning position. Five long games over two days is physically (as well as mentally) draining. Most importantly, chess is a social sport, and sharing the event with fellow club members is definitely to be recommended.

This was exactly what happened this weekend as a group of 10 chess players from Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club, with a wide range of abilities, travelled to St Albans for a weekend of chess. The event was split into five sections, with the lower graded players in the Minor event, and the strongest players in the Open, (with Intermediate, Major and Challenger in between). Hastings was represented in each section. The games were timed at 90 minutes for each player (with an extra 10 seconds added with each move), meaning that the games could last over three hours. With three games on Saturday and two on Sunday the time spent sitting at a chess board can easily mount up.

The club representatives were:

Minor section

Bill Filby

Martin Fletcher

Paul Buswell

Intermediate section

Marc Bryant

Major section

Steve Blewitt

Ted Filby

Challenger section

Brendan Ruane

Paul Kelly

Jim Wheeler

Open section

Rasa Norinkeviciute

At the close of play on Saturday there were three players with 2 points out the possible 3. These were father and son, Ted and Bill, and also Steve. Two of these were able to maintain their form, and were joined on day two by Paul Buswell in achieving a score of more than 50%. Paul and Steve both delivered a final score of 3, while Ted increased his score to 3½. With three draws, Ted finished his section in third place with no losses.

The overall winner on the day was Han Yichen, a 14 year old player from the Netherlands, representing Magdalen College School, who finished on 4½ points in the Open.

In the Minor section Martin delivered the first blunder of the tournament. Following an unforgivable lapse of concentration he lost his knight on move 4. It is generally believed that the loser is the player who makes the last mistake and that proved to be the case in this game. Both players continued to play steady chess, and the move 4 error was never recovered. Martin won his next game and also won the fifth game finishing in 34th place with 2 points. Bill was unable to improve on the two points at the end of the first day, and stayed on 2 points at the end, sharing 34th place with Martin. Paul Buswell played well in this section, with two wins and two draws finishing well up the rankings in 15th place.

In the Intermediate section Marc arrived on Saturday in high spirits, looking forward to some stimulating chess. However, the lack of regular practice started to show in his results, and he finshed the day with just half a point; a score which did not increase on day two.

The Major section was where the top action was seen with Ted’s podium finish. Steve finished close behind Ted with three points, and 9th place. This was achieved with two wins and two draws.

In the Challengers section Paul Kelly was hindered by the logistics of a chess tournament. On Sunday morning his train was cancelled and he missed the replacement bus. He was awarded a half point bye for game four and he lost game five, finishing the event with 2 points. This was disappointing as his first game in round one was, in his own words, a perfect game. Brendan Ruane finished on 2½ points with one win, two draws and a bye, with Jim Wheeler not far behind with two draws and one win for 2 points. Jim and Brendan took advantage of the pairing on Sunday morning. Finding they were playing against each other they delivered an early draw, giving them time to enjoy the local pub before the afternoon game.

Finally, in the Open section, Rasa finished 15th with two points achieved from two draws and one win. It was noted that Rasa spent the most time at the boards with her games nearly all going to the wire. When everyone else had finished playing on Saturday evening, Jim checked on the progress of Rasa’s game and reported back that after over two hours her game was just starting out, with a position everyone else was in two hours earlier. The late Saturday finish did mean that the evening meal was a takeaway just as the restaurants were closing. But it also meant that there was the maximum time spent in companionable converstation about all things related to chess. And that, after all, is what it is all about. Ted went home with a top three finish. The rest of us went home with happy memories and plans for the net tournament where we will do better, having learnt important lessons at this one. Don’t go to the pub before game five; check on train and bus arrangements; don’t leave all the action to the last five minutes of play; play some practice games before the tournament; and most importantly don’t move your knight to g5 on move 4.

Report from Martin Fletcher

The 46th Guernsey International Chess Festival

The Guernsey Chess Club & Federation will be holding the 46th Guernsey International Chess Festival this year from October 16th to October 22nd 2022 and I thought that it may be of interest to some Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club members.If you think that it may be of interest to any of your members please share the festival details which are available at with them.

I have included the main festival details below for your convenience.

Event: The 46th Guernsey International Chess Festival

Place: St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Start: 16-Oct-2022

End: 22-Oct-2022


Time control:

100’/40 moves + 40’/end & 30″ increment


Time control type:



Time control description:

100 minutes for 40 moves plus 40 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.


Number of rounds:



Tournament system:




Guernsey Chess Club & Federation



St James Concert and Assembly Hall, College Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 2NZ




Official website:

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us via e-mail at regards,Jon Hill

Festival Organising Committee

The 46th Guernsey International Chess Festival

Guernsey Chess Federation & Club

Les Cotils, L`Hyvneuse, Saint Peter Port GY1 1UU

Mid-Sussex League chess match Hastings second team against Lewes 7 April 2022

From Martin Fletcher – second team captain

The Hastings and St Leonards second team were playing at home in the penultimate match in the Mid Sussex Chess League. The match was a first division match against Lewes.

In recent matches the Hastings team has been substantially outgraded, and it was encouraging to face a team with almost identical grades – an average of 1736 for the visitors compared to Hastings’ 1759.

With such even pairings a draw was a distinct possibility, but team captain Martin Fletcher was hoping for better than that. Martin was playing on Board 4, facing Keith Osborne, the Lewes captain. Martin was white and facing a Sicilian defence. Martin played the unusual line Nc3 on move 2, and it was not long before he was in a dominating position. A Bishop on h6 prevented Keith from castling, and following a number of piece exchanges Martin was a bishop up. The game lasted less than an hour, and when Keith resigned on move 22 Hastings was not only one game up, but all three of the other boards were going well.

Next to finish was Paul Kelly against Jonathan Britnell, on Board 2. Paul won this game, giving Hastings a 2:0 lead. During the post game review both Paul and Jonathan said that throughout the game they each thought that their position was leading. However, it turned out that Paul was the one reading the board correctly. A key factor in the final result was time pressure. Paul was playing his usual rapid style, not least because he was well practiced in the line being developed. His clock showed over an hour remaining. However, Jonathan was being more reflective, and was down to under 5 mintues.

The third game to finish was Bernard Cafferty on Board 1, who was facing Richard Welford. This game was a draw, which meant that Hastings was going to win the match. Reviewing their game both Bernard and Richard spotted missed opportunities, and they agreed that a draw was a fair result.

The final match was Board 3. Adrian Cload had gained an early pawn advantage against Peter Weston, but Peter had been able to turn this around. However, Adrian’s superior play was too strong for Peter and this game ended with another win for Hastings.

With a final score of 3 ½: ½ Hastings produced a very decisive win, and have moved up the league table. They are now hoping to repeat this performance in the final match of the season – a home match against Horsham 2nd team on 28th April.

Rapid Play April 18th








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.

Also please note facemask rule below


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 11 April; £6 for later entry.

* or free for any player who has not played face-to-face since before the pandemic!

Book by contacting Paul Buswell, on e-mail or ‘phone 01424 444321.

No tournament if fewer than 12 entries by Monday 11 April.

Haphazard tea time refreshments (self-service) provided.

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

07875 712005 or

COVID: Facemasks and hand sanitiser will be available. No other specific COVID precautions will be taken, but please use your common sense, and especially do not attend if you have COVID symptoms or have recently tested positive. And please be sensitive to others’ approaches to COVID risk, which might not be the same as yours.

ETIQUETTE: in time of COVID failing to shake hands will not be thought discourteous.

LOCAL FACEMASK RULE for this event. If your opponent is wearing a facemask at the board, and if at the start of the game they ask you to wear one too, you must do so for that game.

Club still open every day

The club is now operating normally every day, including on Wednesday evenings as currently the junior club is closed.
We are currently running a 6 player handicap on Saturday afternoons and will be starting one on Tuesday afternoons from next week. These are unrated so open to anyone so if interested please let us know. More can be added if they prove successful.
The regular Friday evening handicap (The John Driver handicap) has been running now for the last month and is proving to be very popular again.
We are hoping to run the wonderful Paul Buswell rapid play again at Easter which is an event we all look forward to.
We are playing in the Sussex league only this year with 4 players per team with updates regularly appearing in the Hastings Observer which has encouraged new members to come along, I met one this afternoon who called in on the off chance so lucky I was there.
The club winter competitions are running well but coming to a close ready for the summer competitions so games need to be completed soon
We also have regular updates on Twitter and Facebook


We look forward to seeing you all again at Hastings chess club