Gateshead recorded back-to- back wins for the second time this season after two goals in two minutes early in the second half proved decisive.
The scores had been level at the break but quick-fire strikes from Jordan Hugill and Colin Larkin saw the Heed home despite a second goal from Chester 16 minutes from time.
Gateshead got off to the perfect start when James Marwood’s corner was cleared only as far as defender Carl Magnay who produced a stunning 40-yard drive into the top corner.
It was a lead the Heed failed to build on, Chester’s on loan Leeds United midfielder Nathan Turner sending a 20-yard sideways volley just over the bar.
The league’s lowest scorers were back on level terms just before the half hour with only their eighth goal of the season.
Former Sunderland defender, and Gateshead loanee, Michael Kay fed Lewis Turner, who cut the ball back for the unmarked Danny Harrison to score.
Gateshead loan pair Josh Lelan and Jordan Hugill were both off target from Marwood corners and then James Curtis headed over from Larkin’s cross.
Chester, however, had grown into the game and but for two tremendous blocks from goalscorer Magnay and Curtis to deny Nathan Turner and captain George Horan respectively, they would have been ahead.
That all changed after the restart after Gary Mills’ men came out all guns blazing to score twice in the opening 11 minutes.
Hugill netted the first after John Danby had saved from Phil Turnbull, the Port Vale man in the right place to tuck home the rebound.
With the Blues all at sea Larkin finished well from the right of the box after he had been found by Brown who was then replaced by Marcus Maddison.
Gateshead were on top but they were given a scare when former Sunderland defender Danny Higginbotham struck a superb 74th minute volley into the far corner.
Play had become stretched in an all-action second period and there was more drama to come in stoppage time.
Chester midfielder Kevin McIntyre was sent off for a professional foul on Marwood and then Micky Cummins almost made it four with a shot that hit the far post.
GATESHEAD: Bartlett; Lelan, Magnay, Cummins, Curtis, Clark, Larkin, Turnbull, Hugill, Brown (Maddison 61), Marwood. Subs: (not used) Hatch, Boyes, Baxter, Ramshaw
Goals: Magnay 1, Hugill 54, Larkin 56.
CHESTER: Danby; Kay, Horan, Harrison, N.Turner, McIntyre, L.Turner, Williams (Mills 66), Higginbotham, Seddon (Titchener 61), Pugh (Chippendale 46). Subs: (not used) Linwood, Lindfield
Goals: Harrison 27, Higginbotham 74.
Referee: Richard Wigglesworth (Doncaster). Attendance: 610