Final Roundup – HICC 2014/15

Hastings International Chess Congress ended on Tuesday 6th January 2015.

This year there was an outright winner – Grandmaster Zhao Jun from China with 8 points out of 9.  He holds the Golombek Trophy for one year and received first prize of £2,000.  The presentation was made by Mr. Dominic Lawson, President of the English Chess Federation who was also present at the opening ceremony.

The prizegiving ceremony was preceded by a buffet reception hosted by the Trustees of Horntye Park Sports Complex.  The ceremony was also attended by Cllr.Bruce Dowling, Rt.Worshipful the Mayor of Hastings, Peter Finchand trustees of Horntye Park Sports Complex,  Cllrs Maureen Charlesworth and Dominic Sabetian, Council representative Kevin Boorman and sponsors Laurence and Catherine Parr of the White Rock Hotel.  Players and Congress organizers also attended when time allowed as the last crucial game affecting prizes below 1st did not finish until after 9.00pm.

Congress Chairman, Paul Smith, hosted the prizegiving.  He noted that 27 countries were represented and that entries totaled 384 which was higher than last year.   He made mention of the uncertainty regarding future funding bearing in mind the cuts expected by HBC but hoped that, one way or another, players and organizers would meet again for the 91st Congress in 2015-16.  He thanked the Trustees and staff of Horntye Park for their smooth running of the event.

Cllr. Dowling, Mayor of Hastings, welcomed players to Hastings and said that he has had an interest in chess since school days.  He hoped that players had enjoyed theirvisit to Hastings and would return for more chess and also as visitors to the town.

Dominic Lawson praised the standard and quality of the games and said that, as well as visiting the venue several times, he had spent a good deal of time watching the games on-line.  One player whose games were given special mention was Mr. Wahbi Kheit from Israel who won the prize for best performance by a non GM or IM.

In joint second place with 7 /9 points were GM Alexandr Fier (BRA), IM Gudmundur Kjartasson (ISL) and GM Aleksander Mista (POL) who each received £816.67

In joint 5th Place were GM Keith Arkell (ENG), GM Jonathan Hawkins (ENG), GM Maxixme Lagarde (FRA), Jahongir Vakhidov (UZB) who each received £160.

The Horntye Park “Winner of Best Game” Prize was won by GM Aleksander Mista for his game against Romain Edouard of France. The Horntye Trophy and £100 were presented by Peter Finch on behalf of the Horntye Park Trustees.

The prize of £200 for Best Performance by a Woman was shared by WGM Nino Maisuradze (FRA) and WIM Teresa Olsarova (CZE) .