Hastings start ECL campaign against Glasgow

Chess.com 2024 The European Cities League has started with Hastings playing Glasgow in the first fixture of the season.

Hastings members with chess.com accounts are encouraged to join the match which starts on 12th November.

Players play two simultaneous games with up to 3 days per move allowed.

Hastings will compete in Division 4 (minimum 7 boards) this season alongside:

  • Donetsk
  • Rome
  • Karagandy
  • Dnipro
  • Metz
  • Bologna
  • Maracena
  • Sheffield
  • Glasgow

For more information and match progress visit Hastings v Glasgow on chess.com


First round draw McArthur CUP and Paul Watson Trophy

Hastings have drawn local rivals, Bexhill at home for the first round of the McArthur Cup and Uckfield away in the Paul Watson Trophy. Matches to be played by Feb 10th and January 13th respectively.


Full details:

McArthur Cup:

1st Round:
West: Sussex University v Horsham
Bye – East Grinstead
East: Hastings v Bexhill
Bye – Lewes
For the semi-finals, the home team will be determined by whether the winners of the 1st round match were home or away in the 1st round (i.e. if the winner was away in the 1st round they will be at home in the semi-final).
1st round matches to be played by February 10th
Semi-Finals to be played by April 20th
Final to be played by May 31st
Paul Watson Trophy:
1st Round:
West: Shoreham v Sussex University
East: Uckfield v Hastings
West: Bognor v Horsham
Shoreham or Sussex U v East Grinstead (Home team dependent on winner of 1st round)
East: Lewes v Crowborough
Uckfield or Hastings v Bexhill (Home team dependent on winner of 1st round)
1st round matches to be played by January 13th
Quarter-Finals to be played by March 2nd
Semi-Finals to be played by April 27th
Final to be played by May 31st

Good start to the 23-24 season for MSL teams

With the first two games of the season complete in the Mid Sussex League our first team and third team are looking good with maximum match points each. The annual fight for divisional survival for the second team is underway in a strong league.  Follow our Mid Sussex league exploits on the ECF League Management System.

2023/2024 League Tables
2023/2024 Fixtures

A tale of two Jobavas

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of White, it was the season of Black, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to blunder, we were all going to create a brilliancy, in short, it was Hastings & St Leonards 3 against Bexhill 4.

A tale of two cities it was. Adrian v A London Jobava & Mason v A London Jobava. Adrian took the semi-slav route whilst I took the Kings Indian Defence approach both proved successful in the end, with the KiD making harder work of it. Adrian made space for his queen’s bishop on f5 with h6 only to find it hunted down with Bd3 & Nh4 from white, this left white’s London Bishop & Knight exposed to a quick pawn fork with g5 but it took quite a number of moves to get it in due to blacks poor King safety. But in the end, it came and with material up Adrian closed out the game. Hunting down the London Bishop in the other game with Nh5 and an exchange on g3 gave white the semi-open H file to play along, but control of the centre gave black -0.4 for the rest of the game, although tense and long white applied lots of pressure down that H file until time eventually run out. In summary, the semi-slav may be best against a London Jobava but the KiD certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

On top board, stalwart, Chris Hann opened with a delicious Kings indian attack which I gather his opponent struggled with as at one point was 20mins down on his clock against Chris. eventually, it got so bad he was effectively playing on the increment but was constantly finding the best moves much to Chris’ annoyance and regrettably got the better of him.

Board three involving Marc was a typical Marc game and when I looked over after 20 mins it looked like someone had just emptied a box of pieces on the board such was the mess and randomness of the placement of pieces, but from utter chaos (and two pawns down) emerged order with a brilliant rook sac, followed up with the queen infiltration into the castled king position and two moves later, checkmate. Well done Marc!

Another win from the Thirds keeps us top of the table.

Friday 13th October
Mid-Sussex League Division3
Bexhill 4 (1-3) Hastings & St Leonards 3

Come on you Thirds!

Third team vrs East Grinstead Bookshop 2

Ón a torrential rainy night last Friday the newly formed Mid-Sussex league Third team took to the roads to take on East Grinstead Bookshop 2. A first outing to this venue for all concerned and what a lovely venue it was which was only bettered by the hospitality of our hosts. Set quite literally in a two story bookshop with nooks & snugs everywhere it really was the best place for a chess match. With wine, filtered coffee & belgium biscuits we were well and truly spoilt.

Not to be distracted by the finery; the boys from the Thirds set about the dismantling of the East Grinstead Bookshop team. On top board for us was Jim Wheeler who ironically in the car there was discussing the rise of the Hippopotamus at our club only to face one himself at East Grinstead. Knowing how to tame this beast, Jim made swift work of it and not a blunderbus in sight. On board two was the in form Adrian Cload against a strong John Pye (1777) but after a lot of huffing and puffing by his opponent (you know your opponent is in trouble when they start making noises), Adrian eventually put him out of his misery. Derek on board three faced a French Tarrasch and never looked in much trouble with plenty of Kingside space and going up a piece closed out the game nicely. With job done on the top three boards is was just down to me finish and offering my opponent a draw in a K+R+B endgame after a relatively uneventful GrandPrix attack by them, but my opponent refused. Well trying to play on in a drawn position is always a recipe for disaster and it could have been had I found the right move to punish him and win the match 4-0 but after a long drive in bad weather conditions I couldn’t find the moves, which were 8 moves deep, can you?

White just played h5 threatening hxg6,fxg6,Qxg6,Qxg6,Rxg6 winning a pawn but black can win this in 8 moves reducing the game to K v K+Q can you find the moves?

So 3.5-0.5 to the Thirds which propels us to the top of the table where we hope to stay for the rest of the season.

Come on you Thirds!

Hastings Weekend Tournament Sept 23rd and 24th

Hastings Club Weekend Chess Tournament

September 23/ 24 2023

To be held at the Hastings and St. Leonards Chess Club 2 Cornwallis terrace Hastings TN34 1EB

For Players under 1850

Saturday 23 September

Round 1 10.00  Round 2 14.00  Round 3 18.00

Sunday 24 September

 Round 4 10.00 Round 5 14 00

This will be limited to approx. 24 players with free tea coffee and sandwiches

All players will need to be silver or gold members of the ECF

Entry fee  non club members £25

Hastings club members /juniors £15

Time control 1-hour 40mins +15sec a move

A ½ point bye may be requested in advance, except in round 5.


1st £125.   2nd £75.   3rd £50.

Grading prize for under 1650 £75

Entry to Marc Bryant at 2 Cornwallis terrace Hastings East Sussex TN34 1EB

Email bryant8830@yahoo.co.uk

Tel 01424 436313

Entry form

Name                                                                      Grade

Club                                                                        Phone number



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

Michael Gallagher

Hi – some biographical notes.

I grew up and was educated in Glasgow. I played some chess while at school, and more frequently while at Glasgow University: at that time it was more fashionable than later to play for University chess clubs and Glasgow had a very strong club in the 60s and 70s including Roddy Mackay, Craig Pritchett, Peter Jamieson and David Levy along with many other strong less well known players. I played in one Scottish Championship with a middling score.

I was in Bolton for a year in 1974-75 where I played in one large tournament: an opponent told me he had just scraped a draw with a well known child player, Nigel Short.

I moved to Hastings in 1975 and worked at Hastings College until 1980. It was a very enjoyable chess period, playing at and for the club, a couple of matches for Sussex, and some large tournaments. I recall some interesting games against Howard Winser, Paul Carey and one exciting attacking game, eventually a draw, against a well known young player – Stuart Conquest.

In 1980 I moved to Berkshire with my wife and daughter where I have lived since, and played only some local league chess – quite strong in Berkshire, and rather more Bridge – in some ways less arduous to prepare for and keep up with than Chess. I’ve remained interested in Chess and followed some major tournaments online.

I am not sure I have managed to retain any Hastings game scores through various house moves, though I suspect the couple you have are lightning games.

Best wishes to all of you at the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club

Mike Gallagher

March 2019

Here is a winning game from Hastings CC, Anslow Cup, 1977

Gallagher,M – Elliston,R
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.h3 0-0 8.Bb3 Nc6 9.Be3 Bd7 10.0-0 Rc8 11.f4 Qa5 12.Nf3 Rfd8 13.Qe1 h6 14.Rd1 Qh5 15.Ng5 hxg5 16.fxg5 Be6 17.gxf6 Bxf6 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Rd2 Ne5 20.Bd4 Nc4 21.Bxf6 Nxd2 22.Qxd2 exf6 23.Rxf6 d5 24.exd5 exd5 25.Qd3 Rc6 26.Rf3 Qe5 27.Re3 Qf5 28.Qxf5 gxf5 29.Rd3 d4 30.Rd2 Kf7 31.Ne2 Ra6 32.Nxd4 Rxa2 33.c3 Rd5 34.Rc2 Kg6 35.Kh2 b5 36.g4 fxg4 37.hxg4 1-0 Black lost on time

and a losing game from the same event, brilliant play by Arthur Winser

Gallagher,MC – Winser,W Arthur
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.exd6 Bxd6 5.d4 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bf2 Ne4 9.e3 g4 10.Bh4 gxf3 11.Bxd8 f2+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+ 13.Kd3 Nb4+ 14.Kxe4 f5# 0-1

And another winning game from Hastings CC Championship, 1978

Conquest,S – Gallagher,MC

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Bd3 e5 7.Nge2 0-0 8.f3 Nh5 9.Be3 a6 10.Qd2 Nd7 11.g4 Nf4 12.Nxf4 exf4 13.Bxf4 Ne5 14.Be2 b5 15.cxb5 axb5 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.Bxb5 f5 18.gxf5 Qh4+ 19.Qf2 Qf6 20.Qc2 Bd4 21.0-0-0 gxf5 22.Bd3 Bd7 23.h4 Rfb8 24.Rh2 Rb4 25.exf5 Ba4 26.Nxa4 Rbxa4 27.b3 R4a7 28.Re1 Bf2 29.Rxf2 Rxa2 30.Re8+ Rxe8 31.Rg2+ Kf8 32.Qxa2 Qc3+ Source: ‘Kingpin’, Spring 2000 issue. 0-1

Paul Buswell

Paul Henry BUSWELL
14th of March, 1950 to 18th of October 2022

Paul BUSWELL as he was generally known was born in Kingston on Thames on the 14th of March, 1950, I do not know much about Paul’s early life only that he has a sister Anita who is 10 years his junior. On leaving school Paul furthered his education at Norwich University and on finishing university Paul obtained a position as general Secretary of the British Chess Federation. At that time he was the only paid employee

I first met Paul at the British Chess Championships in Portsmouth in 1976. My first view of Paul was of a Ginger denim shirt and jeans on a stage, carrying boxes. Paul would have been 26 years of age I was 15

Paul was still based in Norwich with the British Chess Federation when they bought the British Chess Magazine in St Leonard’s and with a building there the BCF decided to relocate. Paul made the decision to relocate with them.

It was at this time I renewed my acquaintance with Paul when he required an office boy so to speak to do the mundane things in the office. This would have been about 1982, I worked for Paul for approximately three years as a one day a week person.

After 11 years Paul decided to give up the post of General Secretary of the BCF.

However, Paul’s interest in chess still continued when he joined the committee of the Hastings International Chess Congress. This was at the time the of the Foreign Colonial sponsorship and formed the local end of the trio of Buswell, Power and Bryant’.

During that time Paul instigated his famous Buswell and Bryant Rapid play at the Congress (and yes, I was still the office boy) and it got national and international press coverage.

Do not take my word on it just ask Mark Hebden, Keith Arkell or Simon Williams about them.

And I will always remember that night in the Carlisle when the Germans came to play in force. Well if not to play certainly to drink and sing. The atmosphere was electric, something that only Paul could do.

Paul was also involved with the Friends of British Chess of which, I believe, for some years he was treasurer.

In the 1990s Paul became involved with the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club, holdings positions of match captain, treasurer and eventually chairman

It was about this time Paul instigated his famous French trips for club members with two packed out cars taking the tunnel and playing the French and this was so popular it continues to this day with the club having another trip on November 11th. This was all down to Paul who also introduced his one-day Rapid Play at the club which is always extremely popular.

Paul was also instrumental in converting the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club into a limited company. This had huge implications when Covid came along through the club receiving numerous government subsidies that would never have happened had it not been for Paul’s insight

Paul was a no fuss kind of guy who never liked having his photo taken and was very modest when people or organisations wish to honour him too the best of my knowledge. He twice turned down the English Chess Federation’s Presidential Award for Services to Chess. I can think of no better honour to Paul to honour him in death with an award that he refused in life.

I considered nobody more deserving to this award for over 50 years serving British chess
What he refused in life should probably be awarded to him in death.

I was with him at Scarborough last year when he started to lose his appetite and Paul being Paul with an inherent fear of doctors put off getting diagnosed and unfortunately when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer it was already too late.

Paul died peacefully at Saint Michael’s hospice in his sleep on October the 18th at 9.15.
It has to be said Paul was a victim of his own fears and a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In accordance with Paul wishes, Paul’s funeral will have no guests, no fuss, no expense, no religious aspects. Therefore the Executors will honour those wishes.
However, we may do something at the spreading of the ashes. Anybody wishing to honour Paul may do so by offering a donation to Saint Michael’s Hospice in Hastings who gave Paul excellent care in the last two weeks of his life.

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Paul’s sister and his extended family.

And lastly on a personal note good night my friend and sleep well you are already missed.

Marc A Bryant

Est. 1882