From Martin Fletcher – second team captain; Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club
Mid-Sussex League chess match Hastings second team against Worthing
27 January 2022
Hastings 2nd team were at home against Worthing in the second match of the season. The visiting team had a slight advantage, with an average score of 1930 per player, as compared to 1852 for Hastings. These averages reflected a wide range of abilities, with the highest grading player being Russell Granat from Worthing (2262) and lowest being the home team captain, Martin Fletcher (1408).
Martin’s game was the first to finish, but at 63 moves it was by no means a short game. Martin was facing Tim Hedger, one of the two Hedger brothers from Worthing. Martin was white, and his standard opening of e4 was met by the unexpected d5 – the Centre Counter (Scandinavian) Defence. This meant that Martin was in unfamiliar territory right from the second move against a player who was clearly in his comfort zone. The game was finely balanced throughout the middle game, and with a passed pawn Martin entered the endgame in a strong position. Tim played a solid defence and was able to exchange the passed pawn for two of his own, and with precise end game play the best Martin could deliver was a draw.
The next game to end was Henry Cove against the elder Hedger brother, Alec. Henry was able to play reliably and delivered a win for Hastings. Paul Kelly was facing the Worthing team captain, Peter Larwood. Paul played his moves quickly, but found that he could not beat the more reflective Paul, and the game ended in a draw.
On Board 1 Bernard Cafferty was facing Russell Granat, and a win by Russell would tie the match. The game was not without incident as Bernard noticed after playing for 20 minutes that the Hastings team had three players with white pieces, rather than two with black and two with white, as required by the rules. It was established that the problem was on Bernard and Russell’s board and their game had to restart, with Bernard now having the black pieces. Despite this initial confusion, Bernard was able to deliver his usual confident standard and gave the team a second game win. With two wins and two draws, Hastings won the match 3 points to 1. This was the team’s first win of the season, and put them at the top of the league table.
Hastings 2nd team have their first away match on 3 February against Brighton & Hove.
Contact – Martin Fletcher – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club,
2 Cornwallis Terrace,
TN34 1EB, United Kingdom.