The Caplin 95th Hastings International Chess Congress was opened on Saturday 8th December by CEO of Caplin Systems, Mr. John Ashworth and Cllr. Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council – long-term supporters of the Congress.
Caplin Systems Limited are the new prime sponsors of the Congress and their investment and enthusiasm have been very much welcomed. The company is a leading provider of FX trading internet technology to banks around the world. They offer internship and graduate programmes across their engineering department in the City of London, and are always keen to speak to mathematically-minded software developers.
John Higgs of the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust presented several of the junior participants in the Masters tournament with bursaries, generously donated by the Trust to encourage junior participation in the event and provide them with rating opportunities. The number of juniors taking part has increased year on year in recent times, which is rewarding.
Mr. John Ashworth of Caplin System hosted a reception for players and other sponsors at the White Rock Hotel. Mr. Nigel Sinden, Mayor of Hastings, and James Bacon, Deputy Mayor, attended.
The Congress numbers have increased considerably this year overall. Most noticeable is the increase in the number of players  in the Masters, and the participation of 18 Grandmasters.
Nine players share the lead with 2 points after two rounds in the 9 round Masters tournament —
GM David Howell (ENG); GM Mishra Swayams (IND); GM Magesh Chandran Panchanathan (IND); GM Edouard Romain (FRA); GM Erik Den Doel (NED); GM Simon Williams (ENG); IM Mate Bagi (HUN); GM Deep Sengupta (IND); and GM Keith Arkell (ENG).
Round 3 of the Masters begins at 14.15 today [Monday 30th December 2019]. GM Chris Ward gives his entertaining commentary beginning at approx. 14.45 each day – entry is free and audience participation encouraged. The five round Christmas Tournament ended yesterday. New Year and Weekend tournaments to follow. Admission to view the tournament in play is free.