Leonard Barden on Chess

Replete with tradition, the Hastings congress reached age 92 this week. It has been staged annually since 1920, a historic venue where 10 world champions have strutted their skills. The event’s peak years are long past but it has gained a new lease of life as Tradewise Insurance backing has augmented funds from its loyal borough council. Hastings 2016-17, which ended on Thursday, produced an exceptional individual result.

Hastings has always been a proving ground for young talent and this year it was Ramesh Praggnanandhaa, at 11 the youngest ever international master, who claimed attention. His games were featured daily on the congress website, which was transformed and upgraded from previous years and made online viewing a pleasure.

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