With just ten days to go to until the Congress opening on Monday 28th December the team in Hastings is busy getting Horntye Park set up and ready to welcome players from far and wide. Entries are still coming in with 19 countries represented so far.

The Congress  opening will be attended by Cllr. Bruce Dowling, Mayor of  Hastings, Dominic Lawson, President of the English Chess Federation and Mr. Wayne Bradshaw, Marketing Director of Tradewise Insurance Services.

Tradewise Insurance Services is the UK subsidiary of Tradewise Gibraltar, sponsors of the prestigious Gibraltar Chess Festival, and we hope that the addition on this welcome new sponsorship will bring about a regeneration of the Hastings Chess Congress in future years.

The Hungarian grandmaster Ferenc Berkes continues to lead the field of entries in the Masters along with four  of his compatriots. Igor Khenkin (GER), who was joint winner of the Masters in 2013-14, is second in the running at present. English GMs include Keith Arkell, Mark Hebden, Glenn Flear and Simon Williams.

Not all attention is focused on the Masters, as there are Christmas, Weekend and New Year events for more casual club players of all levels, and young players and females are particularly encouraged. Grandmaster Chris Ward will be entertaining visitors with his live commentary on Masters games from 14.45hrs each day and admission to the event is free for spectators.

A selection of Masters games will be broadcast live during  play. Chess & Bridge will have a bookstall at the venue from 1st January.

Further information from Pam Thomas Email: pae123@aol.com