From veteran players to youngsters having their first go on a major stage – Bury St Edmunds is the place to be for chess fans this weekend.

A total of 150 people are taking part in the 33rd Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress which is being held in one of the town’s leading performance centres, The Apex.

The organisers are pleased with how the event is going. John Wickham, congress director, said: “The standard of entries has been good, we have had some good strong players, a lot of the games have been hard-fought.”

Matches are based on players’ handicaps before the weekend – with their performance over the two days being taken into account as people drop out following defeats.

On the popularity of chess, Mr Wickham said: “It’s in a reasonably healthy condition at the moment. I think people like an intellectual challenge that comes from playing against another person. A lot of chess is now played on the internet but it’s no substitute for playing people face-to-face.