Congress update from Pam Thomas

The event was declared open  on Wednesday 28th by Cllr. Judy Rogers the Mayor of Hastings who is also President of the Hastings Congress.

Chairman, Paul Smith welcomed the Mayor and welcomed participants to the event.  He was joined by Bernard Power, son of the late Con Power who was Director of the event for many years.  Con’s family have made a generous donation to the Congress which is very much appreciated.

Alan Hustwayte drew the names of junior players who would each be receiving £100 bursary, courtesy of the John Robinson Trust.  They were Freddie Hand, Dominic Miller, Matthew Forster, Koby Kalavannan and Adam C Taylor.

The sun shone brilliantly throughout the day and players had no apparent difficulty in getting to Hastings or to Horntye, as is often the case at this time of year as a result of weather or transport problems.

The number of players is slightly up on last year at the opening and there are 97 players in the Masters and around 300 entries overall.  28 countries are represented, 11 GM’s, 1 WGM and numerous U-18 and U-21 players. 

At the end of round 1 in the Masters a third of the players were on 1/1.The final rounds of the Christmas Tournament take place today and the prize-giving will be followed by the Weekend Congress beginning at 19.30 this evening. On Monday 2nd January the New Year Morning and New Year Afternoon events take place over four days.

Chris Ward ran another successful junior coaching session on Thursday morning – much appreciated and enjoyed by those who took part.

Last night the Pairs Tournament was held at the White Rock Hotel at 20.30 hrs.  Apparently there is  no such a thing as too much chess!  Results as follows:

  1. GM Bogdan Lalic & Paul Kelly (Back of a Boat) 6/6
  2. Ravi Haria & Akito Oyama (Asian Persuasion) 4.5/6
  3. Matthew Forster and Mike Forster 4/6 (FanTASM – Teenage Angst and Senior Moments)

Best team name: Asian Persuasion
2= Best father and son result 3.5/6 – Matthew and Mike Forster; Chris and Ollie Howell (Not quite James and David)

After two rounds in the Masters the standings are as follows:

GM Allan Rasmusssen, IM Bobby Cheng, IM Miklos Galyas, IM Gudmindur Kjartansson, GM Mark Hebden, FM Mads Hansen, FM Ravi Haria, Carlo Marzano, William Foo – 2/2

Chris Ward’s commentary is proving popular again and the games are being watched online.  Today Chris will be joined in the commentary room by GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan, authors of the ECF Book of the Year ‘Chess for Life’.