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Dear Club Member                                                                                                    3rd July 2020

As the restrictions that have been in place to fight Covid 19 are being relaxed, the Committee has decided to re-open the club on a partial basis from Saturday 4th July.  Set out below are the initial measures that need to be adhered to in order for the Club open and remain open, yet be as safe as possible.  A copy of this guidance will be placed on the noticeboard in the Richard Almond Room.

This guidance cannot be exhaustive, and it will rely on members using good common sense to ensure all members are kept as safe as possible throughout this difficult time.  It is not a policy that can or will be “policed” at all times, but it will be assumed that members wishing to enjoy a game of chess at the club will be trying to follow this guidance.  The club has a number of members who have been shielding for the past 12 weeks, and we need to create an environment where they will feel safe and welcome should they too wish to attend.

This guidance will be under continuous review, and members should as a matter of course check the notice board for any changes.   Any changes of major significance will be communicated electronically as soon as practicable.

The intention is to make the club available for playing recreational chess, and to enable members to complete games in the internal winter tournaments, during normal opening hours.  It is not envisaged that league matches will recommence for the foreseeable future.

Marc Bryant will be available from time to time to help members should it be necessary.  If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, please let him know.

The Committee of Hastings & St Leonards Chess Club



1.1             Whilst on club premises, all members must use a face mask, unless it is not practicable for medical reasons.  Masks may be moved or removed temporarily eg to take a drink.  Players are advised to bring their own, though disposable masks will be available for members to use.

1.2             Disposable face masks, hand sanitising gel, disposable gloves and anti-bacterial wipes will be available for members to use throughout their playing session in each playing room.  Bins will be provided for disposing of these safely in each room.

1.3             It should not be necessary to use gloves during general game play (but see 9.5), provided members wash their hands regularly and follow the guidance below on cleaning equipment.  Gloves are provided for extra peace of mind, for example when a member wishes to touch something which they do not know is clean and virus free, such as a book.

1.4             Whilst both playing rooms will be open for use, it will only be possible to allow 4 games to be played at any one time in each room.  Whilst members are welcome to turn up and play a game, members are advised they may want to book a table with Marc (especially a formal Championship match) to avoid disappointment.

1.5             Members wishing to watch games in play are asked to observe social distancing guidance at all times.  Under no circumstances should members crowd “shoulder to shoulder”, however interesting or exciting a game may be.  Each playing table will have 4 chairs, and provided the players are not disturbed, members may wash their hands before using a chair which is not in use.

1.6             Members who feel unwell, have at least one of the Covid 19 symptoms (high temperature, loss of taste, persistent cough etc), are awaiting the results of a test for Covid 19, or have been advised to self-isolate by a competent person, must NOT attend the club under any circumstances, until it is safe for them to do so.


2.1         Adequate hand gel/sanitiser will be placed in both playing rooms and the entrance hall for members to use.  Hands should be cleaned frequently, and in any event, when a “change” occurs (eg a trip to the toilet, changing opponents, before cleaning other equipment)

2.2         All members MUST clean their hands on entering the Club premises.  If there is no hand gel in the entrance hall (eg because it has run out), all members MUST make their way to one of the playing rooms and use the gel there BEFORE THEY DO ANYTHING ELSE.

2.3         All members should clean their hands regularly throughout their playing session.


3.1         Members are asked to refrain from bringing into the club any items that are not absolutely necessary.   Any item brought in increases the risk of contamination to other members and should be avoided.

3.2         The house keeper should be informed where it has been necessary to bring items into the premises eg shopping, so that they can be stored safely away until you leave.

3.2         Coats, hats etc that need to be brought into the club should be stored on the hooks provided in the downstairs hall way and the kitchen landing.  Please leave a gap between coats to avoid cross contamination.  Coats should not be stored on the back of a chair.


4.1         The premises is an old building with some narrow walkways and stair cases.  All members need to be mindful of each other when moving through the club-house.

4.2         Members should specifically avoid passing each other on staircases and the entrance hall.  Members should wait until their way is clear before progressing.

4.3         Members should use the landing outside the male toilets to wait until their way up or down the stairs is clear.  Members should avoid starting to use the stairs if it is obvious the landing is not free.

4.4         Members should avoid loitering on the landings and walkways, including the entrance vestibule and outside the playing rooms.


5.1         Until further notice, the kitchen will be closed for general use.

5.2         Should members wish , they can bring their own refreshments, but they must take any rubbish home with them.  Bins should only be used as per para 1.2.

5.3         Should members wish to bring a reusable drinking vessel, it will be permissible to refill it from the cold water tap in the kitchen.  Anyone using the kitchen for any reason should use disposable gloves.


6.1         Both rest rooms will be open for members to use.

6.2         After going to the toilet, members are asked to wipe down all surfaces they have come into contact with using the wipes provided.  After cleaning the surfaces, members should wash their hands.


7.1         At the start of each day, the 8 playing tables will each be laid out with: 2 boards, a clock, 4 chairs, a small pile of score sheets, a table number (table numbers should not be touched or moved).  Playing rooms will also contain gloves, hand sanitising gel, wipes and face masks for members to use.  The bins provided shoutheld be used to dispose of used wipes and face masks.

7.2         A fresh set of pieces can be obtained from the Kitchen On top of the filing cabinet     When you have finished your game(s) and the pieces are no longer required, members should put the pieces on the stairs going to the up stairs flat .

7.3         Where pieces have been stored without being used or touched for at least 72 hours, they can be considered quarantined and safe to use.  Ask Marc who will be keeping control of the sets.  If there is any doubt, each piece should be cleaned with a wipe prior to being used.

7.4         Wipes should be used to clean the board before play starts and the clock before it is set.  It is advised that only one player cleans and sets the clock.

7.5         A stock of score cards should be available in each room.  Players should bring their own pens to use if at all possible.  If a pen is needed to record a game and you do not have one, please speak to the house keeper.

7.6         The following paragraphs lay out suggestions for playing OTB chess in modified conditions.  It is essential to bear in mind they are all designed to minimise or remove all contact between members.  Used in conjunction with regular hand washing, they will make the club as Covid safe as it can be.


8.1         Exceptionally and where players agree, it is possible for two opponents to be part of the same “support bubble” and play chess in the normal way without any further modifications.  Further guidance on this can be obtained from HMGov website.  Where this is the case, players should still ensure equipment is clean before play begins.


9.1         In order to avoid the further cleaning of pieces, for informal games only, each players could use one colour from their own designated set exclusively during each playing session at the club.  They should use the pieces from their set, Black or White, depending on the colour being played.

9.2         In order to avoid touching an opponent’s pieces, players should remove from the board their own pieces which have been taken.  Players may need to indicate verbally which move is being made (eg “Queen takes d5”) in order to facilitate this.

9.3         The player making the move should press his clock after he has placed his own piece on the destination square, even if the piece is in the process of being removed from the board.  If the opponent is not at the table when the move is to be made, the player with the move may pause the clock until the opponent returns, but must make the move immediately the game resumes.

9.4         Once the game(s) with that opponent are completed, a player should take his pieces with him to the fresh board.

9.5         As an alternative to 9.1 – 9.4, players could wear gloves.  However, these should be changed regularly (eg when going to the toilet, when changing opponents).  It is preferable to follow the guidance in 9.6 or 10.2 – 10.8.

9.6         As a further alternative, where 2 members are playing a string of informal games against each other, players could play using the same set throughout, but when changing colour, simply swap the King and Queen over and play reverse.  Combined with 9.2, this would be an effective way significantly reducing contact between players.


10.1       The suggestions in 9.1 – 9.4 and 9.6 are not within the laws of chess, and should not be used for games which are to be submitted for grading.  If the provisions of 8.1 also do not apply, players should follow the guidance in 10.2 – 10.8 in preference to 9.5.

10.2       A full set of pieces should be set up on both boards on the table.  Both players should face the same direction, with the clock placed between the boards.  Players can have their colour towards them in the usual way.

10.3       When one player makes a move and before he presses the clock, he calls the move in a manner prescribed within the laws of chess (eg “e4” or “pawn to e4”).  If both agree before play resumes to use the old notation (eg “pawn to King 4”), this would be acceptable, though the modern notation should be the default.  When the move has been made on his board and clearly called, he may press the clock.

10.4       On hearing the move, the opponent will duplicate the move on his own board, and the game continues.

10.5       If applicable, games should still be recorded on scoresheets.

10.6       Players are reminded to be clear in their intentions when calling the moves.  The following are example phrases that could be used: “pawn takes pawn” where there is only one legal move that satisfies the description; “pawn takes e5” where more than one pawn take is possible; “pawn on d takes e5” where more than one pawn can take d5; “Knight takes Bishop”; “Knight on c takes Bishop” where more than one Knight can make the capture; “pawn to e8: Queen”.

10.7       Players are permitted to glance over to their opponent’s board to check they have both have the correct position.  Where there is any dispute, the clock should be paused until the situation is resolved.

10.8       When speaking, voices should be audible but low so as not to disturb any other players in the room.


11.1       Members should use disposable gloves when read books and magazines in the Almond Room.  Gloves should be disposed in the bin immediately afterwards, and hands should be washed.

11.2       Should a member wish to use the library in the Pountney Room, they should arrange via the house keeper in the first instance.  At all times, members should use disposable gloves when using the library, and ensure hands are cleaned immediately afterwards.

11.2       Until the situation in the general population improves, members are advised not to bring guests to the club.  Anyone coming to drop off or collect members are advised to wait outside.  Should exceptionally a member wish to bring a guest to the club in order to play, they should only do so with the advance permission of the Chairman, and guests should be made aware of this guidance before they arrive.


Chairman’s report

Chairman’s report

You will appreciate that the last two years have been some of the most difficult years in the club’s history not even two world wars or German bombing of the club’s was able to close the club in its long history however this came to an end because of covid 19 and government restrictions forcing the club to close for nearly 18 months

Being unable to call an AGM last year led to us being in breach of company law because of government regulations also having tried to call a committee meeting during Covid I was   unable to get a corium to hold the committee meeting so for the last 12 months I ruled by executive power in consultation with senior officers this of course is completely undesirable

A further problem was the ceiling in the upstairs room came down resulting in having to spend sums of money that would normally have to be authorized by the committee which was not possible so  senior officers decided spend the money they also decided to do work on the back of the club this had been needed doing since I became chairman  as a net result of this spending  approximately 16,000 pounds  all done on chairman’s authority in consultation with senior officers clearly spending this amount of money without full committee approval was a breach of the constitution however as other senior officers agreed we  must have this work done and with the club being closed   it seemed an  ideal time to do the work so I approved the expenditure on my own authority

During the closed period we received approximately 18,000 pounds in government grants which is why we were able to make the above improvements had it not been for this the expenditure would have been out of the question

Clearly as the club is been closed for the last 18 months there is little to report so looking to the future it is our intention to get the winter’s tournaments up and running by the end of September and hopefully, we will be returning to a Full year’s chess

Due to a £700-donation by Gary Willson and myself we been able to purchase a load of new chess sets for which I thank Gary

Also, I have personally donated a new computer and printer and security cameras yet to be installed for the club

, During the year, we have received chess books as donations from  Roy Richardson the ECF and about 100 books from a non-member

We had a further donation from Stewart Reuben of various chess memorabilia mannequins chess clocks and books for which I thank him

During the year we lost five members Bill Penfold William Stock Ken Lucas Roy Richardson and lastly former member Richard St George Upton a former two-time club champion I have already written about these members in my notification of their passing

I Would also like to welcome five new members Raffi Alexians Andrew McGettigan Ted and Bill Filby and last a long rest Terry Honey

After seven years in the post is chairman, this is my second stint a total of 12 years, I have served in post it is not my intention to seek re-election this year

I would like to thank all members for their support over these 12 years and wish my successor the best of luck

May you all have very enjoyable Chess year

Marc a Bryant


Bill Penfold

Mr Bill Penfold (President)

It is with much regret that I have to report to the members the passing of president Bill Penfold

Bill was one of the clubs few members, left who was a member when I joined the club in the late seventies

Bills chess can be described as an afternoon coffee player by which I mean he did not play tournament chess but very much enjoyed coming in to the club in the afternoons and looking and analysing positions and took a great interest in watching players play

Bill was also a frequent visitor to the Congress in the eighties and nineties to watch the premier and in many ways just as passionate about the game as those who played match chess

Bill was also an active club and committee member being always happy to transport players to away matches but would always decline to play and sometimes he even ropes his wife Ann into the drive ring a second car for players

Bill becoming the premises officer for a number of years in which time he was responsible for the redecorating of the club and the making of the library cabinets he was also responsible for getting his wife Ann to become club treasurer. When I resigned as chairman for the first time, bill stepped up to become the club chairman and in 2010 was elevated upstairs to become the President of the club which he held until his death

It is probably fair to say the that bills health had been in decline in recent years which meant he was unable to drive over to the club from his home he also had difficulty in managing the steps which resulted in him not come over to the club as often as he would have liked as opposed to his almost daily visits when his health was better

Bill died on Sunday the 27 of June he had had a stroke five weeks before that had left it difficult for him to speak, he was admitted to the Eastbourne general hospital and had an infection for about four weeks this did not clear up Bill funeral will be held at 14.15 on the 13th of July at Hastings crematorium

I would like to offer my condolences and that of the clubs to Bill family and his wife Ann for loss of one of the club’s longest members

Marc A Bryant


Roy Richardson

I had hoped to be able to confirm 26th June as the date for the holding of a memorial Quaker Meeting in memory of Roy Richardson. Unfortunately it is not possible to proceed on that date due to the delay in easing regulations, including quarantine requirements and the introduction of a red zone in Roy’s home county, affecting attendance of family members.
I plan to provide a confirmed date for a rescheduled Meeting in memory of Roy, following the Government announcing confirmation of the revised date for easing regulations. I hope that any chess club members who would like to attend will be able to do so then instead.
Warm regards
Alison Green

Roy Richardson

Dear Marc
You may remember that when Roy Richardson was cremated, it was without attendance in accordance with his wishes to keep people safe.
A remembering and celebration of Roy’s life is now planned, to follow the family scattering his ashes on the sea at Pett Level Beach, in the form of a Quaker memorial Meeting for Worship in Hastings.
I have been waiting to confirm the date, provisionally 26th June, until the confirmation of the lifting of restrictions hoped for on 21st June. However the 26th is now two weeks away and the Government announcement, which from experience may not result in immediate clarity, is not due until Monday.
Anyone from the chess club who wishes to attend the Meeting for Worship to remember and celebrate Roy’s life is therefore asked to provisionally book their diary for 3pm on 26th June. I will contact you again with the details once I am able to confirm whether this date will proceed or to advise of any alternative date if the lifting of restrictions is further delayed.
I would appreciate your circulating this email to your members. Thank you.
Warm regards
Alison Green
(Roy’s wife)

Dear all,

I hope everybody is well and thriving.
Firstly, congratulations to all the winners of the online league that has just concluded.  Final tables may be seen here:
Generally the competitions ran smoothly, particularly after the first one or two rounds as everybody became used to the process involved.
Secondly, we propose, if there is sufficient interest, to run an Online Summer league along similar lines to the competitions just finished, and also with a split between adult (open) division(s) and a junior division.  We are now inviting entries for this.  The plan is to run the competition from late June to mid-September, depending on entries, with matches at roughly 2-3 week intervals – depending on numbers, on a Wednesday evening.
I’m attaching a document of rules for the proposed competition – these are only lightly edited from the competition just finished, with the main difference being that the default start time for the Junior league is proposed to be 6.30pm instead of 7.30pm.
The deadline for entry is 6th June.  Clubs may enter as many teams of four as they wish, but bear in mind that it is not permitted for players to play for more than one team. If there are sufficient entries to have more than one adult or more than one junior division, then a divisional split will be made according to an estimate of strength. With this in mind, entrants are asked for a rough estimate of the average strength of their team.  We will also bear in mind the results of the competition just finished in determining any divisional split.
We hope to resume traditional over the board chess competitions in October, as usual.
Best wishes,

Mid Sussex Chess League Online Team Competition Rules 2021

N.B.  These rules do not seek to cover all eventualities, or provide specific sanctions for rule-breaking.  It is expected that most issues that arise can be amicably resolved between teams, but in case of doubt, captains should refer to the tournament controller.

  • There will be adult and junior divisions, with the number of divisions dependent on entries.
  • Teams of 4 players. A club may enter as many teams as they like.  No player may play for more than one team in the competition (this is to avoid complications around nominations and eligibility).  No grading limit, but teams should play in reasonable order of strength.
  • Fixtures will be at approximately 3-weekly intervals from late June to mid-September, dependent on entries for each division.
  • One game per pairing, 25 minutes each plus a 10 second increment
  • Matches to be played at 7.30pm on a Wednesday for senior divisions, and 6.30pm for junior divisions.  Captains may vary the time and / or date of a fixture by mutual agreement, up to (+/-) three days
  • The winner of each division will be decided by match points, with game points acting as any tie-break.
  • Platform will be Lichess:
    • The service is free and it is simple for individuals to register and use
    • While Lichess is setup principally for individual competitions, the ECF LMS system has been given a number of enhancements which enables it to integrate reasonably well with Lichess (for example identification of Lichess user names, and the ability to virtually “swap team sheets” an hour before each match). Match results will be recorded on LMS in the same way that we have used LMS for other MSCL competitions
  • Playing rules will follow standard online conventions. Players that lose connection may lose on time, and “mouse slips” are treated in the same way as touch and move – Magnus Carlsen himself has lost like this in a Grandmaster tournament
  • If an opponent does not give / accept a challenge within 5 minutes of the start time, the player present online should advise their team captain, who should then contact the opposing captain. If the absent player cannot be contacted a substitute may be provided, but should be available for challenge within 15 mins of the original start time, otherwise the game will be defaulted
  • While Lichess has user names that are anonymous, the LMS result will show both real names and user names. Parents may prefer for safeguarding reasons for juniors to disable the chat function within Lichess.

Fair Play:  It is a requirement of Lichess (as of normal chess) that players should not use any external assistance, whether through books, computers or other people.  Lichess has detection software that can result in players being banned, which will in turn result in that player’s games being recorded as losses.  The MSCL online league will rely on this software; we do not have the capability / capacity to effectively conduct our own testing or to consider appeals.  Ultimately, we are running a friendly league and rely on the honour of our players

Ken Lucas


It has recently been reported and confirmed in the passing of Ken Lucas.

Ken has been a member of the club since the late seventies and in that time and 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 am sure that the membership and myself wish to offer their condolences to Kens family

Marc A Bryant


May 17 the club will now partially reopen

Following the government’s announcement of the lifting of some restrictions on May 17 the club will now partially  reopen any member wishing to visit the club should do so on request to the chairman  Email as legally we are still restricted to six people from two households therefore the club will remain locked unless there is a request to open it is hoped that the club will fully reopen on June 21 following the final lifting of restrictions

Marc A Bryant


William Stock

William Stock

It is with much sadness that I have to report the passing of William Stock

Bill as he was known had  been a Kent and Rainham player for many years before moving to Hastings and was well known on the chess circuit although Bill could not be described as a strong player he was extremely solid at his own level and was hard to beat

On behalf of the club and myself I would like to extend my sympathies to Bills family

Marc A Bryant


Hastings and St leonards Chess Club