The Sussex league

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Sussex league 2023-24:

For the first time we entered four teams in The Sussex Chess League, which in its self is a fine achievement for our club. Only two clubs in the league entered more teams than us, five each, so this helps cement us as one of the biggest clubs in the County.

Next season, starting in October of this year it is very likely that we will enter five team which will be a great reflection on how the club continues to grow both in terms of numbers and in terms of playing strength.

Our 1st team had the daunting task of taking on the best that the County had to offer by being in Division 1. The season got off to a great start when we won, with an under strength team, away to Haywards Heath. However wins would prove difficult to come by after this match and towards the end of the season we found our selves in the middle of a very tight relegation struggle. In the end the season can down to either Eastbourne 2 or us joining Hastings 2 in going down to Division 2. We had to win our last match V Hastings 2 and hope that Eastbourne got no more than a draw from their last 2 matches. We did our part by winning very well in our last match 3.5 to .5, then we had to wait for three days to see how Eastbourne fared. As it turned out they lost two very close matches and thus we avoided the drop.

The scale of the challenge for the 1st team can be seen when of the 11 matches  we were out rated in 8 and of the other 3 we only had a significant advantage in 1. I would like to particularly congratulate two players on their performances over the season:

Andrew Fleming played 8 matches winning 2 drawing 5 and only losing once. Further more he played in our 3 cup  games and drew all 3 therefore only having 1 loss in the entire season.

Andy Nguyen at the tender age of 12 played in all but one of our League matches and finished with the fine record of 2 wins 6 draws and 2 losses. This record is particularly note worthy as Andy played all but 3 of his games on board 1 playing against the very best players in the County.

It is also worth noting that the 1st team’s games point difference was only .8 of a point showing how competitive they were over the course of the season.

Our 2nd team played in the 2nd Division and ended the season with a solid record of 3 wins 1 draw and 5 losses, placing them 7th of 11 teams. As with the 1st team they were very competitive in the vast majority of their matches ending the season with a negative game points margin of  only .4 In 6 of their matches we were out rated  including one particularly memorable evening when the rating difference was almost 600 points per player!

Our 3rd team following last years promotion were also in Division 2. The season was particularly challenging as there was a big drain on playing resources for the team as players often had to play up for both the 2nd and 1st teams. In fact Bill Luxton who was nominated for board 1 never actually played for the 3rd team! Despite this the team played really well and finished in 6th place with a record of 3 wins 1 draw and 5 losses and finished the season with a game points difference of only .2 

2 particularly fine matches were the wins of 3 to 1 against Sussex University who finished 3rd in the Division and also 3 to 1 against Horsham 3 who out rated us by 880 points. In fact the team was out rated in  8 out of 9 matches.

Our 4th team was placed in Division 3 and performed really well and despite being out rated in all matches  finally finished with a record of 3 wins 2 draws and 5 losses. It was very encouraging to see 6 players make their league debut for the club, and also to give some of our younger members the chance to represent the club. In the match V Haywards Heath 2 we fielded a team aged 11, 13, 14 and 18 who were out rated by almost 900 points and we won 2.5 to 1.5! This bodes really well for the clubs future. 

I would like to congratulate the following players for particularly fine wins during the season:

Steve merchant on board 1 v Collyers 6th  Form College when playing for the 3rd team he won against their teacher and coach who out rated him by over 230 points.

Luke Chapman when playing board 1 for the 4th team against Haywards Heath 2nd team beat an opponent rated 380 points higher.

Andy Nguyen in the first match of the season playing board 1 V Haywards Heath won against a player who has been several times County Champion and who out rated Andy by 388 points

Lawry Rhodes playing board 1 V East Grinstead 1 took on a IM who out rated Lawry by 738 points and won a famous victory.

I would like to thank Michael Hayward, Janis Petersons, Steve Merchant and Sharon Merchant for acting as team captains when I was on a five week holiday.

I would also like to thank all members of the club who played and represented the club so well.

Mark Rich, Andy Nguyen, Andrew Fleming, Janis Petersons Leo Woning, Steve Blewitt, Bill Luxton, James Lumsden, Steve Merchant, Michael Hayward, Alan Ticehurst, Jo Carthew, Ed Booth Ben Short, Sharon Merchant, Seb Merchant, Sam Merchant ,Luke Chapman, Mike Chapman, Oli Balp  and Lawry Rhodes .

It is worth noting that as this was the first season that we had played at St. Marks just how impressed all our visiting opponents were with our venue, with many commenting how nice it was to play club matches in such fine surroundings. They were also very impressed that we had such high quality boards and sets to play with.

We are already looking forward to next season and the very real possibility of fielding 5 teams. So please let me know if you would like to play next year. Michael Hayward has already volunteered to be a captain next season, if any one else is interested in also becoming a captain please let me know.

Mid Sussex league: 2022-23

For the 1st time, Bexhill entered 3 teams into the Mid Sussex Chess Leagues. Only 2 other clubs entered more than us with several entering only 1. This, I believe, is another powerful indication of how much stronger the club is becoming both in terms of member numbers and in playing strength.

A total of 17 members played for the club this season, including 8 new members.

I would like to thank all these members for making my job as team captain so easy.

Across the 3 divisions we played 27 matches which equates to 108 games, and, for each of these we had not a single drop out from any member who had committed to play.

From those 108 games 43 were wins 35 were draws and 30 were losses.

Our 1st team had the daunting prospect of playing in Division 1.
This was always going to be a huge challenge and this was clearly shown when we were out rated in our first match against Brighton by1380 rating points! Despite this those who played for the 1st team did a fantastic job of keeping us in the top league. Although we finished in 7th place from 9 we only had a game point difference of only minus 6, this contrasts with the two teams below us with minus 16 and minus 13.

The two standout players were Andrew Fleming and Janis Petersons. They played all 9 matches, all bar one on boards 1 and 2 against the best players in the league and only lost 4 games from 18.. Janis scored 5 points and Andrew 4.5.

Our 2nd team played in Division 2 and despite the best efforts of the 10 members who played during the course of the season we finished 8th and hence are relegated. The story of the season was of several close matches that we lost by a point. Our game points difference was minus eight, meaning on average we lost by just under a point per match, so we were competitive in many of the matches but just came up short too often.

Our 3rd team in Division 3 had a fantastic season being unbeaten all season winning 8 matches and drawing one and thus winning the Division crown. Our game point difference was 28 to 8 with only 5 games resulting in a loss.

9 members played throughout the season including 5 new members.

Several players deserve a special mention, Alan Ticehurst with 4.5 from 5 points, Steve Merchant 5 from 7 Bill Tracey 5 from 7, Luke Chapman making his debut at the age of 12 and winning his first match for the club, but especially Bill Luxton who, in his first season for the club won 6 drew 2 and lost just one while playing 7 times on board one.

Next season, with the amount of members that have expressed an interest in playing, we are hoping to enter 4 teams. Please let me know if you wish to play next season.

The 17 members who played this season are Andrew Fleming, Janis Petersons, Steve Blewitt, John Kimber Leo Woning, Bill Luxton, Bill Tracey, Steve Merchant, Phil Swain, Alan Ticehurst, Alfie Reed, Luke Chapman, Michael Hayward, Sam Merchant, Mark Rich, Derek Cosens and Andy Nguyen.

The next season will start in October.

Bill Tracey

N.B. Bexhill chess club would like to express their gratitude to Bill Tracey for another season of excellent captaincy. Many thanks Bill. Your dedication and hard work is very much appreciated.








Mid Sussex league – Division 2 – 2022

Thanks to a number of strong additions to the club recently, we were able to enter two teams into division 2 of the mid sussex league this season.

Many thanks to Bill Tracey for his efforts in organizing the teams.

Bexhill 2 had a difficult season, playing many good games, but managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on many occasions! We did however manage to avoid the bottom of the table thanks to Collyers VI FC.

Bexhill 1 enjoyed a much better season, with 4 wins and a draw from their 7 games, finishing in an impressive 2nd place overall! Many congratulations to everyone involved.

We look forward to moving onwards and upwards next season!

Thank you to all our club players:

For Bexhill 1: Janis Petersons, Leo (Lefert) Woning, Steve Blewitt, Steve Merchant, Andrew Fleming, John Kimber, Derek Cosens and Bill Tracey.

For Bexhill 2: Nick Waring, John Kimber, Bill Tracey, Steve Merchant, Derek Cosens, David Nicholls and Sharon Merchant.