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McArthur cup

Our six man team made the short journey to play Hastings in the McArthur Cup on Sunday 4th February.

Our team, in board order was Andy, Andrew, Leo, Bill L, Michael Hayward and myself.

The match was very tight even though we were out rated on all six boards, in two cases by over 200 points.

Eventually there were 5 draws but we lost one game and hence the match by 3.5 to 2.5.

Many thanks to all members of the team who competed so well against a formidable Hastings team

Bill

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Paul Watson trophy

On Friday 2nd February Bexhill played in the Paul Watson trophy at home to Uckfield. Our team in board order was Andy, Andrew, Janis and Sharon.

Andrew was first to finish. In a tight position and with it looking good for Bexhill on all boards, he agreed a draw.
Next to finish was Sharon. Playing someone 260 points higher rated, she played a great game and managed to get up an exchange. Her experienced opponent fought back, and despite being up she came under time pressure and lost back the exchange. Eventually she saw out a drawn king and pawn endgame to secure the half point for Bexhill.
Next to finish was Janis. His superior play took him into a winning game and Bexhill took the win!


At 2 to 1, it all hinged on board one, as a win for Uckfield and a 2-2 result would see them go through on board count. Andy initially looked strong going two pawns up. But his opponent fought back and went into a rook endgame eventually two pawns to none. With both players low on time, it was incredibly tense with both teams watching with bated breath.
Just as it looked as though the Uckfield player was about to break through, the flag fell and he lost on time. A savage loss.


This means the overall score was 3-1 to Bexhill and we progress to the semi-finals!

Well done Bexhill!

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A friendly match against Bexhill College

On Friday 2nd February we played a friendly match V Bexhill 6th Form College. Our team, in board order was Bill L, Michael Hayward, Bill Tracey, Rose, Tony and David Pratt.

I was the first to finish. My opponent unfortunately made a couple of errors early on which let me
gain a strong advantage and led to a quick win.

Rose was next to finish. Playing for the senior section of the club for the 1st time she played confidently
and accurately and overwhelmed her opponent.

David continued the theme and proved too strong for his opponent.

Tony had a very competitive game and eventually he agreed a draw with his opponent.

Michael, seemed to have his game under control but things took a turn for the worse and a piece down he resigned.

Bill on one had a titanic struggle. He made a bold sacrifice which put his opponent under huge pressure
to the extent that her King was on the 7th rank with no squares to move to. She defended very very well but with both players under huge time pressure and no increments, her clock ran out while Bill had 4 seconds left!

The afternoon was very enjoyable and all of us, except Bill , played at least 2 matches.

The final score was Bexhill 4.5 Bexhill College 1.5

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Hosting Crowborough 2

On Friday 26th February our 2nd team entertained Crowborough 2

in Division 2 of The Sussex League.

Our team, in board order was Leo, Steve B, Bill L and Steve M.

Unfortunately our opponent’s board one thought the match was at Crowborough! So Leo did not get a game

Steve M was first to finish. He took full advantage of his opponents desire to pinch a couple of pawns whilst Steve developed and eventually overwhelmed his young opponent and won in good style.

Bill on 3 fought hard but going into the end game was a Bishop down and this proved decisive.

Steve B on 2  became involved in a long, complex and exciting game. We just needed a half from this game to win the match, which Steve was clearly aware of, but he pushed hard for the win, keeping me on tenterhooks! 

Eventually with a draw looking the most likely result Steve offered the draw and his opponent who was in time trouble agreed.

Final score   Bexhill 2.5   Crowborough 2 1.5

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Bexhill 4 away to Haywards Heath 3

On Thursday 18th January, our fourth team travelled to Haywards Heath to take on their third team.

Our team in Board order was Jo, Sam, Sebastian and Sharon.

Sharon was first to finish. A very steady and even opening progressed to a very tight and even middle game. Sharon was offered a draw, and being low on time, made the decision to secure the half point for the team.

Sebastian on board three was next to finish. Initially he went up an exchange, but some great play in the middle game from his opponent meant he had to give back the exchange and with the weaker pawn structure, eventually went into a losing endgame.

Sam on board two played a great game. He got a pawn up in the opening and played a solid middle game taking his one pawn advantage into the end game and playing some accurate moves in the endgame to give Bexhill the win!

Last to finish was Jo on board 1. It was very tight all the way through. With both players low on time and a very closed end game with no way through in sight, they agreed a draw.

Final score: 2-2.

Many thanks to Jo for driving and thanks to Chris for your hospitality.

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First team away to Eastbourne

On Friday the 19th January, our 1st team made the short journey to Eastbourne to take on their 1st team.
Our team was Mark, Janis, Leo and Steve Blewitt.

On board 1 Mark faced a strong player who played a very unorthodox opening as black. e4 a6, d4 b5 even with Mark’s vast experience he was now out of book!
A tight game followed and on move 26 with the game very close a draw was agreed.

On board 2 Janis played very well and pushed hard for the win but settled for a draw against an opponent who out rated him by 120 points.

On board 3 Leo, playing his first match of the season, really rose to the challenge and won against an opponent who out rated him by 130 points.

On board 4 Steve Blewitt stepped in at short notice when Andy who would have played on board 2 was forced to withdraw due to illness. This was always going to be tough for Steve as he had been working all day and unfortunately his opponent got the better of him.

Final score Eastbourne 2 Bexhill 2

This draw does give us a glimmer of hope in the battle to avoid relegation, particularly as we are still to play the two teams that are currently the bottom 2 teams in the league.

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Bexhill host Sussex Under 11 squad

This weekend Bexhill chess club hosted the sussex under 11 squad. @sussexjuniorchess A big thank-you to everyone who made it such a wonderful day. There was some excellent chess played. It was especially nice to see an age gap of over 60 years on some boards.

The final score was 8.5/5.5 to Bexhill. Special thanks to Mark Rich for performing some excellent analysis.

Sussex juniors would like to thank @thesourcepark for hosting their team-building event afterwards. It was well organised and all the kids had a wonderful time.

bexhillchessclub #thesourcepark #sussexchess #teambuilding

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Hastings Congress

Many of our members have been participating in the Hastings International congress over at Horntye over the last few weeks.

As reported earlier this week, the Christmas under 1950 tournament was won by Bexhill’s’ Andy Nguyen with 5/6. Also playing in this section was Leo Woning and Michael Hayward, Leo playing well and finishing on 3/6 and Michal finishing just behind on 2/6. In the Christmas under 1650, Lawrie Rhodes finished joint seventh with 3 and a half out of 6. Bill Tracey was just behind on 3/6. In the new year AM under 2000, Michael Hayward faced some stiff competition but managed 3 draws to finish on 1.5/5. In the new year AM under 1800, Bill Luxton scored 2/5 with a win and two draws. In the new year PM under 1900, Leo finished joint fifth with 3/5, Steve Blewitt just behind in joint eighth with 2.5/5. In the new year PM under 1700, Lawrie fantastically came joint top with 4/5. Bill Tracey got 2.5/5 coming joint 12th. 

Finally, the congress concluded with the weekend tournaments. In the weekend open, Andy scored 2.5/5. In the weekend Intermediate, Bill Luxton came joint fifth with 3.5/5. Steve Merchant scored 2.5/5 and Bill Tracey, with some very unlucky draws, finished on 1/5. In the weekend Minor section,  Luke Chapman came joint second with 4/5, Samuel Merchant scored 2.5/5 and Sebastian merchant scored 2/5.

Well done to all the Bexhill players.

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Bexhill Juniors start the new year in style!

Our Bexhill juniors were kicking off 2024 in style with some amazing chess at the SJC 4th Grand Prix of the season in Hastings, running alongside the International congress on January 1st.
In the under 11 minor section, Eszter scored 3/6 and took home the top girl trophy! Zac, playing in his very first sussex event finished on 3.5 from 6! Amazing! But dominating the section, with a super 5/6 was our very own Noah! Well done Noah!!
Harry and Timmy were playing in the under 11 major section and both had solid days finishing with 3.5 and 3 respectively.
Sebastian Merchant took 4/6 in the under 18 minor section and won third place!
Finally, in the under 18 major section were Rose, Sam and Luke. Rose scored 1.5, every point a hard fought for celebration in this incredibly tough section. Sam managed 2.5 from 6. But the superstar of the day was our very own Luke, with 4 wins and 2 draws, finished the day unbeaten on 5/6 and won the section!! An incredible achievement that included a win against the Sussex superstar Henry Adams (ECF 1941A)!!
Well deserved Luke! We are all so happy for you and so very proud!
An incredible day for our wonderful group of juniors! Hopefully a sign of things to come this year for our group of chess stars!

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Victory at the battle of Hastings!

Many congratulations to Bexhill superstar Andy Nguyen who won the U1950 section of the Xmas tournament at the Hastings International Chess Congress! Well done, Andy!