Hastings 2001-2002

28/12/2001 to 06/01/2002

HASTINGS CONGRESS 2001-2 INTRODUCTION By Stewart Reuben

If it's 27 December, we must be on our way to Hastings. Indeed, it seems the whole chess world is joining us. There are 30 countries represented this year, and possibly more to come.

They are: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Byelorussia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Wales, Zambia.

India have 18 players, half of whom are female. By comparison, England is only represented by six female players in the Challengers. Hastings has a long and honourable tradition of encouraging female participation in the congress. This goes back at least to the days of Vera Menchik.

There are 135 players so far in the Challengers. That's nearly a 40% increase on last year. Often there are fillers to make certain the numbers are kept even. For this reason it is impossible to state the total numbers until after the last round starts.

Players are now obviously convinced we finally have a venue worthy of the event. 9 gms are playing and I've lost count of the number of IMs. Perhaps also they accept maintaining an event year after year is a great achievement.

This is the second year the long-standing Groningen Congress has not taken place. Although it has always clashed, we wish it well and hope to see it reincarnated next year.

With the event starting on a Friday, it seemed silly not to have a Challengers of 10 rounds. Equally well, since the Premier only has 9 rounds, we decided to start that on Saturday and forego a rest day in order to save money. Perhaps this is a mistake. Half the players are arriving 27th anyway. A rest day on 1 January would probably have led to brighter chess.

Zhang Zhong is of course hot favourite to win the Premier. (He is giving a simul at the Pig in Paradise on the 28th.) He was the only player here who reached Round 3 of the World Championship, Krishnan Sasikiran having made it to Round 2, as did Nisha Mohota in the Women's. Alexei Barsov, Dibyendu Barua, Pentala Harikrishna, Aimen Rizouk, Amon Simutowe all made a quick exit in Round 1, as did Ramaswamy Aarthie and Subbaram Vijayalakshimi in the Women's.

The participation of so many Indians reminds us of the early days after travel became easy from the then Soviet Union. Due to the fact that Viswanathan Anand was World Champion in 2001, the Indian government has increased its support for chess and helped substantially with the travel costs for their players here. One interesting fact: 15 year old Pentala Harikrishna was given a house in honour of his winning the Commonwealth Championship in the Ron Banwell Masters last August. He and his family now reside there.

A similar explosion can be predicted for China. Indeed their strength has already blossomed enormously, especially in women's chess. The Challengers is a wide open event. We expect to see many thrills and spills along the way. We can spy many candidates for norms. At least the leisurely rate of play, where games can go for seven hours, does not favour players who are little more than children. There should be a host of games to feed on. Be our guests on our website: www.hastingschess.org.uk

HASTINGS 29. 12. 2001 The congress got under way in the traditional manner with a low-key Opening Ceremony. There will be a proper one today in the presence of the Deputy Mayor and local Member of Parliament. The Premier starts today. It turns out there are 8 grandmasters, 24 international masters (including one who is a woman grandmaster) and 7 woman international masters competing in the 134 player Challengers. In addition, im Matthew Turner acted as a filler in Round 1. The pairings are heavily accelerated at the start of this tournament. This resulted in quite a number of upsets. The players were not expecting to meet such strong opponents right from the off.

Final Report January 8: The Hastings International Chess congress which ended on Sunday 6th January was one of the most successful in recent years. Well over 500 players took part in the Congress, including the Junior Congress and 30 countries were represented bringing revenue to the town at an otherwise quiet time of the year.

Games were shown on the Congress website which attracted a worldwide audience. Viewers were able to watch the event in progress on the webcam and comment on the games. The congress is fortunate to be able to announce that Messrs Ashdown Hurrey in conjunction with ASTEC Computing will be taking over the running of the website a and it should be greatly enhanced for the next event.

Once again the event was sponsored by Hastings Borough Council with continuing support from Castleham Industries Ltd. There was additional sponsorship this year from local companies, Deutsch Limited who sponsored the Junior Congress, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd who presented a trophy and prize for the most meritorious performance by a local player, and Carr Taylor Vineyards.

A fringe chess festival was organised and sponsored by the Pig in Paradise pub restaurant at White Rock Hastings. This provided some lighter events during the evenings and aimed to bring chess into the town. Several local people played in the pairs event - and it is hoped that this festival will be repeated next year. A problem Solving Competition was also run as part of this Fringe Festival with help from the British Chess Problem Solving Society.

In the simultaneous display giving by Chinese Grandmaster Zhang Zhong he won 15 games out of nineteen, drew three and lost only won to local Hastings player Richard Almond. There was a surprise visit on Saturday 5th January when Ukrainian born international football star Andrei Kanchelskis of Glasgow Rangers visited the tournament and presented the prizes at the Junior Congress. He is a keen amateur chess player and hopefully will visit again next time.

 

The Chess Congress prize giving took place at Horntye Park Sports Complex on the evening of January 6th and was attended by Michael Foster MP Hastings & Rye, and Mrs Rosemary Foster, Deputy Mayor Cllr Phil Scott, Mr Alan Hustwayte of Castleham Industries and Mrs Hustwayte and Mr Graham Mounsey Chairman of the Trustees of Horntye Park Sports Complex and a number of other guests and players who attended a reception prior to the prize giving hosted by the Trustees of Horntye Park.

Press Officer Pam Thomas received an e-mail on Monday 7th January from a Netherlands chess player who said he was sorry not to have taken part this year but could we take his entry for the next event. Congress Director Con Power also received similar requests from players during the event. A group of German chess players were discussing the possibility of organising a coach party of chess players from Germany for the next event. All this indicates that the new venue is attracting more players and that the historic Hastings Chess Congress is an event well worth preserving.

FINAL RESULTS Premier Tournament 1= Grandmaster Alexei Barsov (Uzbekistan) 6.5 points/9 International Master Pentala Harikrishna (India) aged 15 Commonwealth Champion 2001) Grandmaster Kiran Sasikiran ((India) (Shared 2,000 plus Golombek Trophy) 4. Grandmaster Mark Hebden (Leics) 5/9 5= Grandmster Petr Kiriakov (Russia) 4.5/9 The daily commentary by grandmaster Chris Ward proved very popular and the audience provided and awarded a special prize for the most entertaining games which went to GM Peter Wells.

Challengers Tournament 1= GM Keith Arkell (Eng) 7.5pts/10 IM Sergei Azarov (Belorus) GM Glenn Flear (Eng) IM Zvonko Stanojoski (Macedonia) GM Vitaly Tseshkovsky (Rus) 6= IM Graeme Buckley(Eng) 7/10 IM Devaki Prasad (Ind) IM Alexander Cherniaev (Rus) 9= IM Danny Gormally(Eng) 6.5/10 FM Aimen Rizouk (Alg) IM Amon Simotowe (Zam) GM Praveen Thipsay (Ind) GM Neil McDonald(Eng) WFM Heather Richards (Eng) IM Stephen Mannion (Sco) IM Colin Crouch (Eng) Mark Lyell (Eng)

Heather Richards gained her final Woman International Master title norm during the event. Unfortunately young 11 year-old David Howell who had caused a sensation by beating Scottish grandmaster Colin McNab earlier in the event, had to withdraw being unwell, in the last round. He now holds the UK record as the youngest ever player to beat a grandmaster. The previous record was held by Luke McShane since 1996 (also achieved at Hastings) - and also against Colin McNab!

Scottish scores in the Hastings Challengers: IM Steve Mannion 6.5/10; GM Colin McNab, IM John Shaw and Neil Berry 6; Daniel McGowan 4.5; Siegrun MacGilchrist, Hugh Flockhart 3.5; James MacRae 2. Complete player list below - Scots bolded.



 PIN Name                         Fide Nation
   1 TSESHKOVSKY,Vitaly....... gm 2528 RUS
   2 BARUA,Dibyendu........... gm 2521 IND
   3 FLEAR,Glenn.............. gm 2507 ENG
   4 GORMALLY,Daniel.......... im 2505 ENG
   5 BERG,Emanuel............. im 2500 SWE
   6 SHAW,John................ im 2499 SCO
   7 AZAROV,Sergei............ im 2490 BLR
   8 PLASKETT,James........... gm 2474 ENG
   9 PRASAD,Devaki............ im 2465 IND
  10 RIZOUK,Aimen............. m  2464 ALG
  11 ANAGNOSTOPOULOS,Dimitri.. g  2460 GRE
  12 ARKELL,Keith............. gm 2457 ENG
  13 CHERNIAEV,Alexander...... im 2457 RUS
  14 THIPSAY,Praveen.......... gm 2456 IND
  15 SMETANKIN,Stanislav...... m  2443 BLR
  16 STANOJOSKI,Zvonko........ im 2434 MKD
  17 MCNAB,Colin.............. gm 2431 SCO
  18 MAS,Hafizulhelmi......... im 2429 MAS
  19 SIMUTOWE,Amon............ im 2428 ZAM
  20 BUCKLEY,Graeme........... im 2409 ENG
  21 VIJAYALAKSHMI,Subbaraman. wg 2405 IND
  22 KONGUVEL,Ponnuswamy...... im 2404 IND
  23 MCDONALD,Neil............ gm 2398 ENG
  24 RAVI,Lanka............... im 2395 IND
  25 THORFINNSSON,Bragi.......    2393 ISL
  26 KNOTT,Simon.............. im 2383 ENG
  27 WOHL,Aleksandar.......... im 2379 AUS
  28 CROUCH,Colin............. im 2375 ENG
  29 MANNION,Stephen.......... im 2361 SCO
  30 KIRSANOV,Oleg............    2358 RUS
  31 ROSS,David............... im 2349 CAN
  32 KOUNTZ,Jochen............ fm 2349 GER
  33 POLEY,Vladimir........... im 2344 BLR
  34 SWATI,Ghate.............. wm 2342 IND
  35 MARUSENKO,Peter.......... im 2341 UKR
  36 MISHRA,Neeraj-Kumar...... im 2319 IND
  37 UDI,Weisbuch.............    2318 ISR
  38 VIKOULOV,Alexander....... fm 2314 RUS
  39 HANLEY,Craig.............    2303 ENG
  40 PERT,Richard............. fm 2302 ENG
  41 AARTHIE,Ramaswary........ WM 2301 IND
  42 FORMANEK,Edward.......... im 2294 USA
  43 WILLIAMS,Simon........... im 2288 ENG
  44 LEDGER,David............. fm 2283 ENG
  45 WEGERLE,Joerg............    2281 GER
  46 BRUSTKERN,Jurgen......... fm 2275 GER
  47 MEENAKSHI,Subbaraman..... wm 2271 IND
  48 MOHOTA,NISHA............. wm 2262 IND
  49 BERRY,Neil...............    2255 SCO
  50 TETENKINA,Irina.......... wm 2253 BLR
  51 THORFINNSSON,Bjorn.......    2248 ISL
  52 HOWELL,David............. fm 2247 ENG
  53 GIKAS,Basilius...........    2247 GER
  54 BUCKLEY,Simon............    2236 ENG
  55 ADDISON,Bret.............    2235 ENG
  56 JACKSON,Adrian...........    2234 ENG
  57 LENTZE,Ingo..............    2229 GER
  58 THIPSAY,Bagyashree-Sath.. wm 2224 IND
  59 BRAUN,Vitali.............    2224 GER
  60 HARHOLM,Jes..............    2222 DEN
  61 RAYNER,Francis...........    2220 WLS
  62 LYELL,Mark...............    2218 ENG
  63 KWIATKOWSKI,Feliks.......    2213 ENG
  64 RICHARDS,Heather......... wf 2212 ENG
  65 SUGDEN,John..............    2200 ENG
  66 SCHMEDDERS,Gerd..........    2197 GER
  67 DHAR-BARUA,Saheli........ wm 2196 IND
  68 TRZASKA,Peter............    2196 GER
  69 ANDERTON,Matthew.........    2190 ENG
  70 GRANT,Alan...............    2190 SCO
  71 MENADUE,Jeremy...........    2188 ENG
  72 SPENCE,David.............    2175 ENG
  73 ISHERWOOD,Paul...........    2172 ENG
  74 KAHAR,Krunal.............    2172 ENG
  75 CONLON,Joseph............    2170 ENG
  76 DONOVAN,Nigel............    2168 ENG
  77 LAPPAGE,Jonathan.........    2168 ENG
  78 CAFFERTY,Bernard......... fm 2167 ENG
  79 SNAPE,Ian................    2159 ENG
  80 LOCK,Gavin...............    2153 ENG
  81 KONESKI,Zoran............    2149 MKD
  82 BUCKLEY,Melanie..........    2146 ENG
  83 ROUSSEL-ROOZMON,Thomas...    2140 CAN
  84 GOODGER,Martyn...........    2136 ENG
  85 RENDLE,Thomas............    2135 ENG
  86 PARR,Frank...............    2129 ENG
  87 PLAYER,Edmund............    2126 ENG
  88 PARKER,Robert............    2120 ENG
  89 AVARI,Viraf.............. fm 2117 IND
  90 YOUNG,Craig..............    2113 ENG
  91 PRATHIBA,Y............... w  2112 IND
  92 LOW,Ying Min.............    2107 SIN
  93 DE COVERLY,Roger.........    2106 ENG
  94 MANSSON,James............    2100 ENG
  95 HEBBES,Tim...............    2099 ENG
  96 ESSEN,Sam................    2096 ENG
  97 FLOWER,David.............    2094 WLS
  98 BARTON,R Alan............    2092 ENG
  99 PICKERSGILL,Adrian.......    2092 ENG
 100 WOODWARD,Timothy.........    2088 ENG
 101 SHARP,Thomas.............    2076 ENG
 102 GILBERT,Jessie........... wf 2075 ENG
 103 BROOMFIELD,Lucy..........    2072 ENG
 104 WILSON,Alexandra.........    2070 ENG
 105 BEAN,Terry...............    2068 ENG
 106 HAAS,Johann..............    2068 AUT
 107 NJOTEA,Christopher.......    2064 ENG
 108 HABIBI,Amir..............    2061 ENG
 109 CALVERT,David............    2056 ENG
 110 SUEZ-PANAMA,Gilles.......    2052 FRA
 111 PEARCE,Ronald............    2051 ENG
 112 PARR,David...............    2045 ENG
 113 SPANTON,Timothy..........    2039 ENG
 114 GRIGORIAN,Meri........... w  2036 ARM
 115 KENNEDY,Craig............    2036 ENG
 116 LUTTON,E Josiah..........    2031 ENG
 117 MCGOWAN,Daniel...........    2024 SCO
 118 WU,Li....................         ENG
 119 FRYER,David..............         ENG
 120 TWITCHELL,Neville........         ENG
 121 CHEVANNES,Sabrina........         ENG
 122 HEATON,Paul..............         ENG
 123 HANLEY,James.............         ENG
 124 PURTON,Ben...............         ENG
 125 RETY,John................         ENG
 126 MACGILCHRIST,Siegrun.....         SCO
 127 FLOCKHART,Hugh...........         SCO
 128 POOBALASINGAM,Peter......         ENG
 129 VADDADI,Seshagri.........         ENG
 130 MACRAE,James.............         SCO
 131 POZZO,Sebastian..........         ENG
 132 ESCHERS,Johan............         NDL
 133 HAINES,Kean..............         ESP
 134 KEMPE,Frank..............         GER
 135 LE PEN,Michel............         FRA
 136 MARCHAND,Francois........ fm 2302 FRA
 137 OWEN,Dennis..............         ENG
 138 PATTERSON,Roger..........         CAN
 139 RAMAN,Prahaladhan........         ENG
 201 TURNER,Matthew........... im 2485 ENG
 202 BRYANT,Marc..............    1000 ENG