The 82nd Hastings international Chess Congress was held at the excellent Horntye Park Sports Complex from 28 December 2006 to 7 January 2007. As well as the two week, 9 round Swiss, Masters Tournament there were traditional one week tournaments (of varying standards) and a standard weekend congress. The Masters format replaced the Premier and Challengers three years ago.
The great David Bronstein, 1924 -2006, once described Hastings “as part of your National Heritage and should receive lottery money”. There is still significant financial support from Hastings Borough Council but the financial support from that source has understandably declined in recent years.
The open Masters tournament had around 100 players including numerous GMs (both UK and overseas), promising British juniors, overseas club players and both George Dickson and myself. George and I are both in the ELO 1800-2200 (ECF 150 – 200) range.
The very varied opposition and Swiss format makes for interesting and enjoyable games for players of our standard. A score of 50% (4.5/9) was a reasonable target for such players. This year, I played roughly half British and roughly half overseas players with three demanding games against British juniors.
Play began at 1415 with one game per day. The rate of play was appropriately slow: 40 moves in 80 minutes followed by all moves in 20 minutes with the addition of one minute for each move from the start. Pairings were posted on the internet the evening before a round thus there was a significant opportunity to prepare for opponents and their weaknesses.
As in previous years, I put one of my losses down to poor opening preparation as Black. Overall my results were very close to my expected performance based on grade.
However the magic of the tournament comes from the people (players and administrators), the place and its British chess history.
|Ian Calvert ||2064||0 - 1||J Rudd||2310|
|George Dickson||2171||1 - 0||R Cumming||155|
Ian blundered on move 22 after being under pressure in opening against a strong player. To quote George " My young opponent will soon wipe the floor with me – but not just yet!"
|D Eggleston||2239||1/2||I Calvert ||2064|
|G Jones ||2430||1 - 0||George Dickson||2171|
Ian's good defensive play in Bishop vs. Knight endgame held a draw for him in 44 moves after he conceded some pawn weaknesses on move 17. George was put to the sword in 22 moves by a formidable IM.
|Ian Calvert ||2064||1/2||D Muter ||2146|
|George Dickson||2171||1/2||H Grooten||2387|
Ian had a 22 move draw with some innovative opening play but which was level throughout while George had a 43 move draw against a slightly less formidable IM than he had faced in the previous round.
|A Wilson||2056||1/2||I Calvert ||2064|
|G D Ledger ||2276||1 - 0||George Dickson||2171|
Ian had an easy 18 move draw in Bronstein line of Scandinavian. George had poor opening (Bishops Opening) but his oppoent closed out the game very efficiently.
|Ian Calvert ||2064||1/2||R Norinkeviciute||2094|
|George Dickson||2171||1/2||J Fraser||1983|
Ian had a 26 move draw after some slightly inaccurate middle-game play but was in no real danger of losing. George allowed his young opponent to equalise in the opening.
|I Calvert ||2064||1/2||H Groffen ||2180|
|A Wilson||2056||0 - 1||George Dickson||2171|
|D Vrban||2130||1/2||Ian Calvert||2064|
|George Dickson||2171||0 - 1||J Rudd||2310|
Ian accepted draw offer on move 19 after playing effectively against Lennigrad-Dutch Bird opening. George was beaten by some fine endgame play from his talented opponent.
|S Chevannes ||2093||1 - 0||Ian Calvert||2064|
|A Pickersgill||2093||1/2||George Dickson||2171|
Ian lost a fairly routine Barry attack game, in 38 moves after underestimating White’s king side attack. Another bad opening from George, however he was able to recover and secure the draw.
|Ian Calvert||2064||1 - 0||J Macrae||1759|
|George Dickson||2171||1/2||S Chevannes||2093|
Ian won a nice Q and P ending in 73 moves after slowly building on positional advantages. George allowed a good position to slip away into a lost rook and pawn ending but was saved when his opponent fell for a stalemate!
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