Wednesday 28 December 2016

Hastings - First Impressions

I am starting to settle in at Hastings, with the 2016/17 Hastings International Chess Congress starting this afternoon. Despite the stories about trudging through 4 feet of snow, or the see freezing over, it is quite pleasant at the moment. I am staying on the sea front, with a nice view across the English Channel.
I spent yesterday evening helping the organising team set up at the venue. A lot of hard work goes into an event like this, especially as there are a couple of different events being held at the same time. Apart from the 97 player Masters events, there is a Christmas Congress, which is split into 4 sections. The top 24 boards from the Masters will be covered live via DGT boards, and you can follow the action from the tournament website.
One interesting feature of the Masters is that they are using Accelerated Pairings. The new Baku System is going to be tried although it is not clear if the pairing software ISwiss Manager/JavaFo) is able to handle it yet. So the first few rounds will be paired by hand (apparently a Hastings tradition anyway) before moving over the computer pairings.
Round times for the Masters is 2:15 pm local time, which is 1:15 am Canberra time. As the time limit is a very generous 40 in 100m followed by 50m with a 30 second increment, you may be able to catch the tail end of the games in the morning.

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