Hastings starts with many upsets (2 updates!)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Reports on the first two rounds by Steve Giddins have been added!

Hastings, the oldest chess tournament in the world still running, began with many upsets on the top boards yesterday. In the first round, first seed Vadim Malakhatko (2596) immediately went down, against Sebastien Bogner (2383). The GMs Chatalbashev, Pavlovic, V. Georgiev, Jones and Flear had to split their points. The ten-round Swiss paired open group lasts till Januart 6 and is part of the much bigger 83rd Hastings Chess Congress.

The festival is held in the Horntye Park Sports Complex in Hastings.

Hastings, like Wijk aan Zee (the oldest tournament but one), is a coastal town of minor importance. However, it plays a major role in British history and the reason is of course the Battle of Hastings: on October 14, 1066 the Norman army led by Duke William of Normandy defeated the English army led by King Harold II. It is said that the Normans introduced chess to Hastings: this William the Conqueror was a chess player and once broke a chess board over the head of his nephew, Louis the Fat, having accused him of cheating...

Every chess player ought to know that Hastings 1895 is still one of the strongest chess tournaments ever held, and wasn't won by one of the favourites such as Lasker, Steinitz, Chigorin or Tarrasch, but by Harry Nelson Pillsbury. And which tournament can say that over the years all world champions except Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov have played there? Here's an impressive list of the winners.

These days Hastings isn't this strong anymore and surely this has something to do with the financial situation, but nobody can take away the name and the beautiful history. Perhaps this is also why they've not fully adjusted yet to modern times: on the website, the live games do not function and a PGN of the first round's games is also hard to find.

Update 30 Dec, 0:14 Chess journalist Steve Giddins enters the games and writes the daily round reports for the tournament website. However, due to technical problems it was not possible to put his work online yet, and so he kindly sent us his material to publish over here. Enjoy his first round report!

Update 30 Dec, 14:53 Round 2 report added too. PGN files of round 1 and round 2 now available.

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