Hastings International Congress has had some very prestigious players from India in the past, some winning the event – like this year’s defending champion, GM Deep Sengupta, who has won twice in recent years or achieving title norms such as IM Srinath Narayanan in 2006.
It was lovely to welcome some new young players this year. In the case of brother and sister Dev and Jahnvi Shah, it was only going to be the talented 10 year old Dev playing this year, but when 14 year old sister Jahnvi saw the chess in round one she decided to enter the Christmas tournament and ended up on 3/5 in 6th place!
Dev played in the Masters tournament, scoring 4½/9 and won a well-deserved prize in the FIDE-rated Blitz tournament, playing well above his rating!
Another new face this year is IM GA Stany of India who, at 2502 rating, is well on his way to the Grandmaster title (we hope)
He is pictured playing another new face from China – IM Lou Yiping – who came joint first in the Masters and scored a GM norm. Lou’s compatriot, WFM Sun Xinyue, was also playing in the Masters, and came very close to attaining a WIM norm – she was equal top female player on 5 points out of 9.
CM Woong Zhi Wei William from Singapore also took part for the first time this year.
This year has also seen a delegation of players from Mongolia [main image]. In the past we have enjoyed the arbiting services of the President of the Mongolian Chess Federation, Mr Sainbayar Tserendorj, and this year we have his namesake Batsaikhan Tserendorj (who is also a FIDE Arbiter). Batsaikhan brought his young pupil, 9 year old, Munkhdemberel Pagamdulam.