Chess congress is awarded £6k to help young players

Matthew Raynor
Matthew Raynor

The world-renowned Hastings International Chess Congress has been awarded a £6,000 grant.

The money comes from the Kowitz Family Foundation in conjunction with Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC).

Pam Thomas, press officer for Hastings International Chess Congress, said: “This generous gesture is offered to further the interests of junior chess.

“It is intended to inspire young players, to encourage new players and to provide opportunities for existing players to reach their chess potential.

“In addition the profile of both Hastings Congress and Hastings borough will be enhanced.”

A spokesman for the Kowitz Family Foundation said: “The foundation is pleased to support the Hastings International Chess Congress and more specifically junior chess players in Hastings.

“The town has an astonishing historical legacy in the game of chess and we hope this donation will help revive interest in the congress among local spectators and junior competitors alike and draw chess enthusiasts from far and wide.”

A total of £500 will be given to Sussex Junior Chess Association which is holding its annual Junior Congress on January 4, 2015.

CSC is a registered charity whose mission is to give every primary school child in the country the chance to learn how to play chess.

The charity was formed in 2010 but has already taught more than 40,000 children.

This year CSC will deliver chess to 25,000 children in 250 schools across 56 boroughs in England and Wales. The charity provides schools with chess sets, a chess curriculum, teacher training, and a weekly visit from a chess tutor.

Hastings International Chess Congress attracts players from around the world, both grandmasters and less experienced players.

Competitors from 23 countries, including 12 grandmasters, 12 International Masters and one Woman International Master, took part in the last congress at Horntye Park Sports Complex, which ran just after last Christmas until the first week of January this year.

The upcoming event at the venue runs from Monday, December 29 to Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Pam added: “Additions to the congress programme will appear as soon as confirmed but it is expected to include coaching sessions and additional funding for young players in the Masters.

“The funding will also help to further involvement with local junior schools’ chess activities. Details will be published on the congress website www.hastingschess.com.