Category Archives: News

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

Junior Club

School holiday closures.  The juniors club meets only in school term-time, for the half-term holiday, there will be no meeting on Friday 2 June, for the summer holidays the last meeting of the Juniors club will be Friday 21 July, when the club will be closed for the next six weeks.”

Opening times change. Hours for juniors club are changing, and are now 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.on Fridays, starting this Friday 31 March.

Our club for Juniors is run by our members Mark Brougham and Keith Hossack. All young persons aged five to eighteen are very welcome, and parents who wish to accompany their children are very welcome too. The Juniors club is for all ability levels: we are happy to teach beginners the moves, and we welcome all who enjoy playing chess, whether for fun or more competitively. And Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club has plenty of expert members who will be happy to give tips to any budding chess prodigies!

The Juniors club meets on Friday evenings 5.00 till 6.45 p.m. during school terms, in the lower playing room at 2 Cornwallis Terrace.

For further details please contact Keith Hossack at

Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club has an approved and rigorous safeguarding policy. 



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

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

Friendlies Report

This is the summary report of the friendly matches played this season 2018/19

Hastings and St Leonards are involved in four friendly matches this season.

In our longest running fixture against Insurance in April Hastings lost narrowly 2.5-3.5, a single win from Chris Hann not enough save our blushes.

The GLCC match in July, Hastings went down 1.5 – 5.5, however the scoreline was a bit disingenuous as a last minute replacement for their bottom board was their highest rated played which skewed all the board order. This was their captains 50 year appearance in this fixture and we fielded two juniors who we hope will continue to play in this fixture in 50 years time.


Hastings 1½ – 5½ GLCC
B. Cafferty (176) ½ – ½ J. Rihel (179)
M. Bryant (139) 0 – 1 T. Pelling (189)
M. Fletcher(92) 0 – 1 D. Hadley (119)
K. Hossack (98) 1 – 0 M. Pole (110)
W. Cobb (84) 0 – 1 G. Broadbent (101)
J. Umberto (73) 0 – 1 D. Bennett (93)
C. Parry (UG) 0 – 1 T. Fleming (88)


Our biggest  friendly match with 18 boards was the regular visit of Wanstead and Woodford on 31st August. Another defeat for Hastings 11-7 but a cracking match it was very much enjoyed by all participants.

Following the football leagues champions league final in May and the fact that Hastings had won the Sussex League I thought it could be good to start our own champions league with a challenge to Wood Green who had just won the London league. Unfortunately they declined our challenge as they feared they couldn’t raise a team. I guess we win on default then, so Hastings are Champion of the Champions! 😉

A new fixture for this season was the restoration of a match against local rivals Bexhill who on the last two outings have defeated us. During one of those matches it was rumoured that a chess board was burnt signalling the death of chess in Hastings creating some Ashes in the process. Well we want our Ashes back and the fight is set for 21st September with the victor receiving the Ashes urn. It is hoped that this will be annual fixture from now on.