Horsham's draw in the online 4NCL round 5 and 6

A couple of weeks ago Horsham were pitted against MK Phoenix 2 in the Online 4NCL. MK Phoenix 2 were a team we aimed to beat with our team being noticeably higher graded and a win would put us comfortably into mid-table. The bottom two teams in each group get demoted so we are aiming to stay well above that.
Disaster struck straight away as one team member forgot about the game and defaulted their board. This meant that we not only lost the game but got a 1-point penalty on top for the default. This meant we were effectively 2-0 down with 3 games going.
The second game to finish was my advanced French on board 2. My opponent had played an unusual move order and I had got my lines mixed up so played an early g4 and decided my King looked good on g3 (subsequent analysis showed it was completely unsound). I made good use of the advanced g-pawn and with a few neat tactics won the game.
The third game to finish was Nick's closed Sicilian on board 3. White's attack never really got going and Nick managed to break through on the queenside, won some material, then dominated the back row leading to a nice checkmate.
At this point we had managed to erase the deficit so it was even-stevens with Dix's game still going on board 1. It had started out as Benoni with Dix pushing Harry the h-pawn early to undermine White's kingside and even shuffling his king to f8 then g8 to keep the Rook behind that pawn. After plenty of middlegame complications Dix had an extra pawn with two bishops against a bishop and knight going into the endgame. His opponent played very accurately and managed to turn it into an opposite colour bishop endgame that was dead drawn. We then had a slightly comical situation where both players did not appear to know how to offer a draw and so 15 more moves were played on the increment before we managed to let Dix know how to offer a draw that was accepted.
Overall result Horsham 1.5 - 1.5 MK Phoenix 2.

Last week Horsham were against Nottingham Uni in the online 4NCL. Nottingham are a strong team who outgraded us.
The first game to finish was Marian on board 4. He declined the Queen's gambit and his opponent pushed his queenside pawns. With a tactic his opponent snatched a material edge and those queenside marched through to victory.
The second game to finish was Chris on board 2. He played the French and his opponent played the Tarrasch and the game headed into an equal but messy middlegame. Chris played more accurately and took advantage of loose play to win a nice miniature in 25 moves checkmating his opponent in the middle of the board with queen, rook, knight and pawn.
The third game to finish was Dix on board 1. He had played the English and aggressively castled queenside after his opponent castled kingside. The attack was going brutally but his opponent managed to escape into a king endgame albeit with terrible pawn structure. Dix exploited the structural problems to convert the endgame with practised ease.
The last game going was Richard on board 3. He was heavily outgraded but had played well against Alekhine's Defence to win a pawn and head into a queen and knight endgame. After some tactics his opponent won the pawn back and they entered a queen endgame with 6 pawns each. Under time pressure Richard was outplayed by his strong opponent who accurately converted to win the game.
Overall result Horsham 2 - 2 Nottingham University.

You can see Horsham's position in the online 4NCL by looking at the bottom table:

Next week we are up against West is Best 2 and the games will be available to view from 7:30pm on Tuesday: