<7. Set Upon at the Seaside
Despite its decline in status over the years, Hastings is still a Mecca for many foreign players, who are pleased to visit such a legendary chess venue. However, the young Azeri GM, Farhad Tahirov, may have ended up rather regretting his appearance at the Sussex seaside town in 2006-7. He played poorly, losing a hatful of rating points. Then, halfway through the event, he was seen to be suffering with a painful skin rash on his hands, and had to visit a doctor, who diagnosed some kind of eczema-type condition.
But worst of all was what happened after the last round. Having a couple of hours to kill before the prize-giving, he decided to take a walk along the seafront. Unfortunately, he passed by a particularly dodgy pub, frequented by various skinheads and other charmers, several of whom attacked and robbed him. He lost almost £1,000 in cash, plus a mobile phone and camera, as well as ending up in hospital for treatment to his injuries.
Strangely, he has not played at Hastings since...>