Hastings Round-up – Round 11

The Masters Tournament concluded at Horntye Park after a lengthy game between GM Romain Edouard and GM Oleg Korneev and another between Mark Hebden and young Harry Grieve. The outright winner was Lithuanian grandmaster Sarunas Sulskis with a win against grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev, giving Sulskis 8 points from 10.

Top standings –
GM S. Sulskis (LTU) 8
GM B. Korpa (HUN), GM M. Hebden (ENG), GM O. Korneev (ESP) 7.5
GM R. Edouard (FRA), GM M. Petrov (BUL), IM C. Murphy (IRL), FM T. Kueppers (GER), IM B. Clarke (ENG), GM D. Gormally (ENG) 7
FM H. Grieve (ENG), GM B. Lalic (CRO), GM G. Nagy (HUN), GM N. Davies (ENG), IM A. Ledger (ENG),  S. Bazakutsa (UKR) 6.5
FM A. Golding (ENG), FM Chan Kim Yew (MAS), K. Hyrsgchenko (UKR)  6

Chan Kim Yew achieved an IM Norm in Round 9 and again in Round 10. Kamila Hysgchenko was awarded a prize for Best Performance by a Female Player. Svyetyslav Bazakutska had an excellent tournament finishing on 6.5/10 – these were among a number of very talented young players this year.

The closing was attended by Mr. John Ashworth CEO of sponsors Caplin Systems Ltd., and Mr. Kevin Boorman on behalf of co-sponsors Hastings Borough Council. Trustees of Horntye Park hosted the event and were there to congratulate the winners.

Grandmaster Sulskis also made a speech saying how honoured he was to win the tournament and  to hold the Golombek Trophy,  which is engraved with the names of all winners since the first event in 1895. GM Chris Ward provided his usual entertaining commentary for eight days but with a surprise visit by Stuart Conquest, who took over for the last two days. Stuart is originally from Hastings and it was good to see him here again.

The organisers were challenged by the number of problems during the event, notably travel situation on railways and some flights with UK Border Force on strike, and a number of players did not receive visas. The special fast visa approval office in Liverpool hardly ever responded to calls, and players lost out on hotel bookings and airline reservations already paid for. The arbiters worked tirelessly as ever, as there were Christmas, New Year and Weekend events to run. A blitz event was held at the White Rock Hotel, who once again provided highly valuable sponsorship to the Congress.

High praise must go to the Horntye catering team – Sandra, Julie, Gwen, and Cam – who kept such a large number of chess customers happy with their great home made menus throughout the day and evenings.

— Pam Thomas