Category Archives: Match Reports and Tables

Hastings Dominating Kent

Hastings’ teams in all four divisions/cups entered this season have reached the semi-final stage.

Our Harvey team was runners-up in the Mid-Kent division despite a thumping 5-1 win against Weald Of Kent our final game of the season. An away Semi-Final against Petts Wood & Orpington(5) tonight is the reward.

In the En Passant Cup, our team topped the division and have home advantage against Charlton on Saturday 11th.

Henry’s Super Stevenson Team scraped through as runners-up having the same number of match points and board points as third-placed Rainham but due to head-to-head results were given the nod. Another away semi-final match to Petts Wood & Orpington on Friday 17th. Charlton awaits the winners in the Final.

Umberto’s Underdogs were runners-up in the Tom Fuller Cup and now have a plum tie against Charlton away to look forward to on June 1st.

It’s very rare to have all our teams reach the semi-finals and may cause a bit of a problem if all make it through to the final as we may not have enough players, but that will be a nice problem to have if it happens.

Come on Hastings!

Kent County Chess Association Semi-Finals

17/05/2024 Petts Wood & Orpington v Hastings & St Leonards

En Passant
11/05/2024 Hastings & St Leonards v Charlton

03/05/2024 Petts Wood & Orpington v Hastings & St Leonards

Tom Fuller
TBA Charlton v Hastings & St Leonards


Hastings promoted!

Haywards Heath (3) 0.5 – 3.5 Hastings & St Leonards (3)

Congratulations to our Third team in the Sussex league who, on Thursday evening won their final game of the season to gain promotion to the second division!

Third placed Horsham fourths put the pressure on us by spanking Haywards Heath seconds on Tuesday night 4-0 winning their game in hand and coming within a point of our team. With one game each, Hastings had to win to seal the promotion , a draw may have been enough but given the form of Horsham, another 4-0 win would draw on match points but their board difference would be superior, denying us promotion.

Hastings currently sit top of the table but Brighton have two games in hand and only a point behind. The title might be ours but it’s unlikely Brighton will slip up.

On the night all our players went up early in all games with Marc a pawn up and 6th rank monster pawn in a Roy Lopez which he converted eventually. Adrian a pawn up in a Queens Gambit and as usual navigated the tactics perfectly to bring home the win. Mason an  exchange up in a Sicilian Mengarini variation (an unusual line involving an early wing attack for white), surrendering the fiachettoed black squared bishop and groveling for the rest of the game but eventually getting a draw.  New team member Caelan Rooney played a little trick in the opening to get massive pawn duo centre although gave up castling rights when his opponent sacked a bishop on f2. The strong centre was too much and Caelan dominated the game from then on.

(b) Falvey James 0-1 Caelan Rooney
(w) Matthew File 0.5-0.5 Mason Woodhams
(b) Alan Davey 0-1 Adrian Cload
(w) Chris Baldry 0-1 Marc Bryant

Congratulations to all team members and good luck in Division 2 next season. The Thirds were:

Adrian Cload
Mason Woodhams (Captain)
Derek Cosens
Chris Hann
Marc Bryant
Jim Wheeler
Leon Sazkissyan
Caelan Rooney
Greg Chandler.

Full Match Result

League Table


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!


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

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

Good start to the 23-24 season for MSL teams

With the first two games of the season complete in the Mid Sussex League our first team and third team are looking good with maximum match points each. The annual fight for divisional survival for the second team is underway in a strong league.  Follow our Mid Sussex league exploits on the ECF League Management System.

2023/2024 League Tables
2023/2024 Fixtures

A tale of two Jobavas

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of White, it was the season of Black, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to blunder, we were all going to create a brilliancy, in short, it was Hastings & St Leonards 3 against Bexhill 4.

A tale of two cities it was. Adrian v A London Jobava & Mason v A London Jobava. Adrian took the semi-slav route whilst I took the Kings Indian Defence approach both proved successful in the end, with the KiD making harder work of it. Adrian made space for his queen’s bishop on f5 with h6 only to find it hunted down with Bd3 & Nh4 from white, this left white’s London Bishop & Knight exposed to a quick pawn fork with g5 but it took quite a number of moves to get it in due to blacks poor King safety. But in the end, it came and with material up Adrian closed out the game. Hunting down the London Bishop in the other game with Nh5 and an exchange on g3 gave white the semi-open H file to play along, but control of the centre gave black -0.4 for the rest of the game, although tense and long white applied lots of pressure down that H file until time eventually run out. In summary, the semi-slav may be best against a London Jobava but the KiD certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

On top board, stalwart, Chris Hann opened with a delicious Kings indian attack which I gather his opponent struggled with as at one point was 20mins down on his clock against Chris. eventually, it got so bad he was effectively playing on the increment but was constantly finding the best moves much to Chris’ annoyance and regrettably got the better of him.

Board three involving Marc was a typical Marc game and when I looked over after 20 mins it looked like someone had just emptied a box of pieces on the board such was the mess and randomness of the placement of pieces, but from utter chaos (and two pawns down) emerged order with a brilliant rook sac, followed up with the queen infiltration into the castled king position and two moves later, checkmate. Well done Marc!

Another win from the Thirds keeps us top of the table.

Friday 13th October
Mid-Sussex League Division3
Bexhill 4 (1-3) Hastings & St Leonards 3

Come on you Thirds!

Third team vrs East Grinstead Bookshop 2

Ón a torrential rainy night last Friday the newly formed Mid-Sussex league Third team took to the roads to take on East Grinstead Bookshop 2. A first outing to this venue for all concerned and what a lovely venue it was which was only bettered by the hospitality of our hosts. Set quite literally in a two story bookshop with nooks & snugs everywhere it really was the best place for a chess match. With wine, filtered coffee & belgium biscuits we were well and truly spoilt.

Not to be distracted by the finery; the boys from the Thirds set about the dismantling of the East Grinstead Bookshop team. On top board for us was Jim Wheeler who ironically in the car there was discussing the rise of the Hippopotamus at our club only to face one himself at East Grinstead. Knowing how to tame this beast, Jim made swift work of it and not a blunderbus in sight. On board two was the in form Adrian Cload against a strong John Pye (1777) but after a lot of huffing and puffing by his opponent (you know your opponent is in trouble when they start making noises), Adrian eventually put him out of his misery. Derek on board three faced a French Tarrasch and never looked in much trouble with plenty of Kingside space and going up a piece closed out the game nicely. With job done on the top three boards is was just down to me finish and offering my opponent a draw in a K+R+B endgame after a relatively uneventful GrandPrix attack by them, but my opponent refused. Well trying to play on in a drawn position is always a recipe for disaster and it could have been had I found the right move to punish him and win the match 4-0 but after a long drive in bad weather conditions I couldn’t find the moves, which were 8 moves deep, can you?

White just played h5 threatening hxg6,fxg6,Qxg6,Qxg6,Rxg6 winning a pawn but black can win this in 8 moves reducing the game to K v K+Q can you find the moves?

So 3.5-0.5 to the Thirds which propels us to the top of the table where we hope to stay for the rest of the season.

Come on you Thirds!