Horsham 2 battle Hastings

1066 pun? Surely not... Horsham 2 picked up some handy game points against the perennially strong Hastings first team last night.

Ian's evening started well when he beat the rest of us to the venue. Sadly that was as good as it got, as a sidelined knight was trapped and lost early on, and despite some brave counterattacking against Richard Almond's weakened kingside the writing was always on the wall. Peter held on to his extra Queen's Gambit pawn in his usual fashion, and was rewarded when John Sugden initially chose a rather harmless bishop move instead of the standard knight aggression. Things soon turned nasty though and John won first the exchange and then further material to wrap the game up. Bernard Cafferty and John C rekindled a 57-year rivalry (think that figure is right) but Bernard's solid structure held up well against John's activity and a draw was agreed.

Chris and Paul Kelly had an interesting game in which Chris thinks he might have been winning had he sacrificed the exchange back earlier, unfortunately he left it too late and Paul's knight and passed pawns dominated the rook to win. I was last to finish, having done some preparation for once and followed a line played by GM Glenn Flear against my opponent Francis Rayner in the recent Hastings Masters. Some tense maneuvering followed before the position dissolved into a mass of tactics. Francis spurned the chance to win my queen for rook, bishop and pawn which would have given him an endgame advantage, and missed a defensive resource for me which left almost all his pieces en prise.

Results as follows (Horsham were white on odds):

F. Rayner 0-1 A.R.J. Higgs
J.N. Sugden 1-0 P. Harbott
R.J. Almond 1-0 I.S. Comley
P.J. Kelly 1-0 C.W. Heath
B. Cafferty 1/2-1/2 L.J. Cannon

3.5-1.5 to Hastings 1 overall.


James Mansson's picture

I cannot say the result of this encounter was a surprise!

Our only previous encounter was in a telephone match between Durham Universiy and Birmingham University in 1954 - a mere 59 years ago!

Much as I would wish otherwise, I don't think I was ever winning even after my opponent blundered away the exchange though I should then have at least secured a draw either by returning it or stodging - I did neither and deservedly lost! It was painfully instructive as to how well the knight and queen worked together.