Category Archives: Match Reports and Tables

Kent and Mid Sussex match tables this year

Hastings and St Leonards chess club are in the semi final of the Tom Fuller Cup in the Kent league this year. The Stevenson team have not done so well currently 3rd out of 4 teams.
In the Mid Sussex games Hastings 1 are 2nd out of 10 and Hastings 2 are 10th out of 10, both teams are in division 1 for some reason!
You can see the results here

Hastings v Hammersmith 18 June 2022

Friendly match – Hastings v Hammersmith

18 June 2022

It is enjoyable to travel around the country playing chess in different cities. But last weekend it was our chance to stay at home and let the challengers come to us. Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club were hosting a friendly match against one of the top London clubs, Hammersmith Chess Club. The visitors arrived at midday with a team of 10 players, and a number of supporters, and the competition was soon underway.

The home team were marginally stronger, and based on the grading tables would have expected to win 6 games and lose 4. However, the home advantage kicked in and Hastings were ready to shine.

The first game to finish was the bottom board where Hastings Junior Alex Lebedev was facing the youngest competitor, 7 year old Oliver Valle. Alex played good solid chess and steadily dominated the board, giving Hastings their first win.

This was followed by board 9, where Martin Fletcher was playing against Brian Joyce. Martin found some tactical ideas in the middle game and forced a victory before reaching the end game. A pattern was starting to develop, and these two wins were followed on Board 8, where Keith Hossack beat Frank Valle; Board 6, where Brendan Ruane beat Robin Sarfas; Board 5, where Mark Brougham beat Adam Cranston; and Board 2, where John Sugden beat Gaston Franco.

Hammersmith were able to avoid a clean sweep with Ian Calvert on Board 3 and Paul Kelly on Board 4 being held to a draw by Michael Saunders and Edoardo de Angelis.

After several hours of play there were just two games still continuing. On Board 1 Daniel Lowe was in an evently matched end game against Marios Kouis. With both players graded at 2170 this was always going to be a difficult result to call and as it reached its climax the game could still go either way. However Daniel’s faultless end game skills proved decisive and Hastings had one more win. The final game was Caelan Rooney against Charlie Sturt. This was also a very closely fought end game, with the clock also impacting on the play with

just minutes remaining. Like Daniel, Caelan showed that he was solid in the end game, and this proved too much for Charlie as the final chance of a win for Hammermith disappeared. This gave a final result of 8 wins and two draws to Hastings with a score of 9:1.

While the long play games were the main course for the day, these were followed by a dessert of rapid play with a five round blitz tournament. Twelve players took part in this and the winner (with 4 points) was Hammersmith player Gaston Franco. Jim Wheeler was joint second with visitor Michael Sunders, both achieving 3.5 points.

The day was a great success. Not only did both teams enjoy some great chess, but it was also a friendly atmosphere, and Hastings are definitely hoping that this will become a regular fixture – perhaps with a trip to London next time. After the match the Hastings team were quick to say that the cammeraderie was more inportant than the winning. However that is much easier to say when you have won 9:1, than when you have lost.

Martin Fletcher

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

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.

Mid-Sussex League chess match Hastings second team against Eastbourne 1

17 February 2022

After their recent 4:0 defeat against Brighton and Hove, the Hastings and St Leonards 2nd team was keen to improve their performance in their home match against Eastbourne 1. However, when they saw their opponents they realised that his was going to be a tough ask, with higher graded opponents on every board. On board 4 Alex Lebedev was making his first appearance this season, and he was facing Colin Clark, who was 500 grading points above him. Alex was the first to finish and Eastbourne were 1:0 ahead.

Next to finish was Adrian Cload, who was facing Laurence Butt. Like Alex, Adrian was facing a higher graded player, but this did not daunt him. Indeed, while a later analysis of the game on his computer showed that Adrian made plenty of errors, it also showed that he had a winning position for most of the game. On the day, Adrian was not able to capitalise on his advantage and in the end a draw was agreed.

The third game to finish was Board 1, where Paul Kelly was also facing a strong opponent – Oliver Froom. Paul played an excellent game, giving Hastings a win and levelling the match, with one board left to finish.

The final game was Board 3, where Martin Fletcher played a long game against Matthew Pannett. The game was even throughout the opening and middle game, and they entered the endgame with Martin just 1 pawn down, but with a passed pawn and a bishop against a knight. However, Matthews greater experience proved too much and Eastbourne were able to gain the victory, 2½ points to 1½. This was a close result and the team now move on to their next match with renewed confidence.

Contact – Martin Fletcher –

Postal Address: Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club, Pelton House, 2 Cornwallis Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1EB, United Kingdom.



Mid-Sussex League chess match Hastings second team against Horsham 1. March 1st 2022.

The Hastings and St Leonards second team had a road trip this week, with a visit to Horsham to face Horsham Chess Club’s first team. Horsham is a strong club and this was always going to be a difficult match. The previous week they had been paired against the Hastings first team, who beat them 3:1. We therefore expected them to field a strong team in reply to ensure that they did not lose again. However, we did not realise just how strong it was going to be. The Hastings team had four players with EFC grades ranging from 1974 on board 1, to 1410 on board 4. Their opponents on the night ranged from 2189 on board 1 to 2111 on board 4.

This difference in rankings showed most prominently on board 4 where team captain Martin Fletcher lasted just 18 moves against Mike Forster. Martin faced the Evans Gambit, an opening which he was not familiar with, and he never recovered from an early mistake. In the post match analysis on the long drive home, Paul Kelly pointed out that one of the club’s members – former president Bernard Cafferty – had written one of the leading books on this opening, Play The Evans Gambit. Martin made a mental note to make use of this book as part of his studies.

Boards 1 and 3 were not nearly so swift, and both Adrian Cload (on board 3) and Paul Kelly (on board 1) played well, with games that could have gone either way. However, in each case their solid resistance did not prevail and Hastings now had three losses.

This left Ian Calvert fighting against Mark Broom, in a game that lasted nearly three hours. Ian was determined to ensure that Hastings did not face a four nil defeat, and in the endgame he found himself with a rook and a knight against a rook and five pawns. It did seem that the five pawns would prove too strong but Ian played with precision and Mark was hampered by time pressures. The pair agreed on a draw and the Hastings team were very satisfied with this. On paper a 4:0 defeat would have been expected, and one draw was so much better than that.

The team now have a few weeks to regroup before their next match; home against Lewes on 7 April.

Contact – Martin Fletcher –

Postal Address: Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club, Pelton House, 2 Cornwallis Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1EB, United Kingdom.