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Announcement – COVID Guidelines

Government COVID Guidelines Update


The government has announced that the measures put in place under Plan B in England will be lifted.

This means from 27 January, there is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering.

The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.



It is important to follow all the other government advice to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have recent onset of any of the most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

you must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.


It is advised to continue to follow government guidance on ventilation


Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer

When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. Meeting outdoors vastly reduces the risk of airborne transmission, but this may not always be possible. If you’re indoors, you should let fresh air in to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.

The more fresh air you let into your home or other enclosed spaces, the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.

You can let in fresh air by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows. Opening your windows for just 10 minutes, or a small amount of time continuously where you can, makes a significant difference. This is particularly important before, during, and after meeting people you do not live with indoors.

Do not prop fire doors open. If you have an extractor fan at home, for example in your bathroom or kitchen, think about leaving it running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room. If you are concerned about the costs of heating, opening windows for shorter periods of time can still help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Wearing extra layers can help you to keep warm. You may be able to change the layout of your room so that you do not sit close to cold draughts from open windows or doors.

There is guidance for the public on how to ventilate indoor spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19, including if someone is self isolating. This includes advice on how to claim financial and practical help on heating your home.

Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (



Best Wishes

Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club Directors


Current Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines

Notice to all attendees of the club premises

To pursue the aim of applying cautious best practice, and duly as a ‘members club’ who fall under the updated government rules at:

Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own – GOV.UK (

Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club Ltd are observing the current Government Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Guidelines and are currently requiring that the wearing of face masks be mandatory whilst on H&StLCC premises, unless a legitimate exemption applies.

We are also encouraging that all individuals attending the Club premises to have done a lateral flow test which gives a negative for COVID result, although we are not currently requesting evidence of this at this stage.

We ask that all attendees please also make sure that there is continuous ventilation to the room(s) you use at Club premises by opening the windows.

These current rules will of course also apply for events held on Club premises, thereby superseding  any guidelines formerly given by the organisers.

New Club teen prodigy beats adults winning chess tournament in Yorkshire

Ted enjoying a recent chess event in Guildford

Ted enjoying a recent chess event in Guildford

Ted Filby, new to the game of chess, has just won his section at the Scarborough Chess Congress, a prestigious annual event in English Chess.

14 year old Eastbourne school ‘Gildredge House’ student Ted only started playing chess in January this year after watching Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit”.

The event, held in the seafront Scarborough Spa Centre from the 29th until the 31st of October 2021, entailed five rounds of matches played over the weekend, lasting up to 4 hours each making them a test of stamina as well as skill.

As an unranked player Ted had to start at the bottom of the list in the intermediate section against 65 adult and far more experienced players from all over the country.

He was able to put in a lot of practice time during lockdown and has also benefited from personal coaching by Eastbourne Chess Club’s Lithuanian-born WFM (Women’s FIDE Master), now Eastbourne resident, Rasa Norinkeviciute and that the Hastings & St Leonard’s Chess Club and Sussex Junior Chess have helped him advance from his initial interest.

Winning his first three matches earned him the promotion into the final day of moving up into the leading group of players.

In the fourth round he faced the only other player with a 100% record, but still beat Leeds University PhD researcher Luke Gostelow. In the finale, after 90 minutes play, Ted knew that a drawn (half point) match would be enough for a podium finish so he happily accepted his opponent’s offer. Following a nervous wait, news of other results eventually came through that confirmed Ted had taken first place, plus prize money of £400.

Ted said “As it was my first senior tournament I was just very pleased to win a couple of matches but then I realised I might be able to win a prize. In the last match I probably also had winning chances but it worked out well for me with the draw being enough.”

For this ‘Post-The Queen’s Gambit’ ‘would-be King’, after his great achievement of winning his first senior tournament, Ted’s next aim is to get selected for the Sussex Junior Chess Team and to ascend the English Chess Federation (ECF) ranking list.

Since putting this information together Ted has had further success in that he took 3rd place in the 6 Round Sussex U18 Swiss Championship held on Sunday 7th Nov at Hassocks, again against a strong field of older and much more experienced players. He got a draw against the number one seeded England player Jonathan Britnell in Round 4; he followed that up by beating second seed Alec Hedger in Round 5 and so was in contention to completely ‘upset the form book’ until coming unstuck in the final round of matches.


Media, Press & Publicity Officer

Goodbye Derek: Club member dies suddenly aged 74

Battersea Chess Club is very sad to announce the death of team captain and valued member Derek Harvey.

Derek died on Friday night, according to his family.

His daughter Simone sent the club the following message on behalf of her family: “Our dear dad Derek Harvey aged 74 passed away yesterday afternoon, 5th November 2021, very suddenly… we are utterly heart-broken and still trying to process the shock but wanted to let people know.

Derek Harvey 2

“Dad, we still can’t believe you’re gone… we love you so very much. We take comfort knowing that it happened so quickly, you wouldn’t even have been aware and that you were with your youngest daughter Simone when it happened.

“We would like to thank the paramedics for their amazing effort for close to an hour trying to resuscitate him and the police for going above and beyond, blue lighting me to be with Simone to say goodbye.

“We would like to thank everyone for their love and support at this incredibly sad time. Sonja, Jasmine and Simone xxx.”

Derek joined Battersea having played briefly for Streatham & Brixton and his hometown Hastings & St Leonard’s Chess Club before that.

He was an experienced player who had a peak ECF grade of 154 (converted to 1885 under the new Elo system). Derek also captained Battersea’s third team in the Central London League before lockdown.

He was enthusiastic about organising team matches on for Battersea teams against sides around the world, including his former club Hastings.

Derek had said he didn’t want to play chess indoors following covid but was last at the club on the night of the Battersea FIDE Blitz. He also attended Chess on the Common meetings over the summer.

In 2019, Derek appeared on the Channel 4 show Countdown – which he enjoyed telling us about.

Derek will be greatly missed at Battersea Chess Club and we pass on our condolences to his family.

Stuart Conquest

Jan 17, 2005 at 7:11pm

GM Stuart Conquest is an honorary life member of the chess club.

By Stuart Conquest

Do No Adjust Your Chess Set

When one’s surname is Conquest, and when one spends ten years of one’s life in the town of Hastings, then the line: ‘Is your middle name Norman?’ (or similar witticisms) does tend to crop up with alarming frequency. I hold my parents entirely responsible, for it was their decision to move away from the rustic charms of Braunton, North Devon, and cross instead to the historically vulnerable town of Hastings, East Sussex, an area officially designated as ‘1066 Country’ by the local tourist board. In Braunton no-one had even heard of the Norman Conquest.

After I’d been up to the castle, and jumped off the pier a few times, and been blown off my bike by Force 10 gales whilst cycling along the sea-front, I started thinking that I’d exhausted all the possible leisure activities that the town had to offer, and so I informed my parents that I was completely and utterly bored with life. That’s when my father took me to the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club for the first time.

I was nine years old. I was already keen on chess – my father had taught me the game when I was five or six – and I suppose that I had some sort of talent for it: I could beat my mother blindfolded (me, not her). But I had never been to a proper chess club before, so I imagined that I would meet other children of my own age, like at school chess club, except that was full of kids who thought that ‘pawn’ was a rude word. I wanted serious opposition.

The sun was high up in the clear, blue sky, and a refreshing summer breeze glided up from the calm sea, gently stirring the golden sand. An attractive young girl had stretched out on a beach-towel; she motioned to a tanned, muscle-flexing hunk down by the water’s edge, and he slowly walked over to her and started to rub coconut oil into her shoulders. ‘For the last time, will you turn that TV off, and get into the car,’ my father was saying. Outside it was pouring with rain. I hit the on/off switch, and the ‘Bounty bar’ girl disappeared from the screen.

The chess club is in the centre of town, just around the corner from the railway station; it is a tall, terraced building, with huge red lettering outside that says: ‘CHESS CLUB’, and yet were you to poll Hastings residents and ask them: (i) For which game is the town most famous?, and (ii) Where can one go to play this game?, then the most popular responses would almost certainly be: (i) crazy golf, and (ii) down on the sea-front by the trampolines. Perhaps we should have formed a combined ‘Chess and Crazy Golf Association.’ I once played crazy golf in the pouring rain with two chess club colleagues, and on the last hole one of them won a free game by fluking a hole-in-one, so the three of us went around again. Life was never dull in Hastings.

On the front door it says: ‘Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club. Founded in 1882.’ There was a notice of the opening hours, and a sign which read: ‘Open every day of the year except Christmas Day.’ Next to that was a piece of paper that said: ‘Please do not leave bicycles in the hallway.’ Clive Chamberlain once had his old bike pinched from there while he was upstairs playing a match game, so the following week he came on a brand new ten-speed racer (indexed gears, cantilever brakes, Reg Harris frame) and lashed it up to the outside railings with all manner of chains and padlocks. When he came downstairs again four hours later the thing had been nicked. After that some joker put up a new sign: ‘Please do not leave bicycles tied to the railings.’

Inside was a notice board with all kinds of information, and on a small table there was a musty old envelope addressed to some Club member whom nobody had ever heard of, and who had probably pushed his last pawn circa 1900. Along the walls were black and white photographs from past Hastings Congresses, with captions like ‘Fine plays Tartakower; Alexander looks on’, or, my favourite, ‘The Russians at Dinner.’ (I often thought of swapping all the captions around to see if anyone would actually notice the difference.) Halfway up the stairs was the toilet, from the window of which you could just glimpse the trains coming into the railway station. As you reached the landing there was a door marked ‘Kitchen’ to your left; the other door said ‘Club Room’. My father pushed the door open, and in we went …

You can find some of Stuarts games on this external website, be warned there are several pop up adverts so we take no responsibilty for the posts on any external site

Ken Lucas

– March 2021

Ken had been a member of the club since the late seventies and in that time held posts on the International Congress Committee and as Club Secretary, a job he did wonderfully – this was probably because of his profession as a primary school deputy head at All Saints School. Ken also enjoyed opera and playing in weekend congresses.

Although not active in the club in the last few years as he devoted more time to his family, he had remained a member.

Mid Sussex League AGM Report

An informal report on  the Mid Sussex League AGM attended by an H&StLCC Director on 07/09/21

After lengthy discussion, it was decided to adjourn the meeting until 07/12/21 with a view to starting the leagues in January 2022 with a shortened season.
This was because:
(1) Many clubs have only just started up again, and were unsure as to how many teams could be raised.
All clubs reported a reduction in numbers of players.
(2) There was no agreement on what Covid policy to adopt.
Sussex University had proposed that masks be worn by all players during matches, and that all players were either double vaccinated or had a recent Covid test.
This was felt to be unworkable.
In the meantime, clubs were free to organise friendly matches between themselves as they saw fit.

Watch this space for updates as we receive them.