Horsham 1 on top against Hastings 1

Horsham 1 are poised to defeat Hastings 1 following a successful performance last Tuesday. The score was 2-1 on the night, with a result not agreed in the games Mansson - Howell and Almond - Higgs. In both cases Horsham has at least a draw. Subsequent examination of the final position in Mansson - Howell indicated that it was a book draw, but we still await a final verdict on Almond - Higgs.

The top board encounter Sugden - Lock saw Black adopt the Stonewall against White's passive line with e3, and he seemed to hold the draw easily enough.

In Mansson - Howell, Black at first adopted a passive approach in the King's Indian, but then gambled with a rash weakening of his pawn on d6. He soon felt the need to give up the exchange for a pawn, but although at first he had decent compensation, gradually he let the position slip. Fortunately for him, the reduced number of pawns made it difficult for White, and Black managed to scramble a draw by the time control.

In Almond - Higgs, White seemed to get the better of it, but Black turned the tables in the time scramble, and now looks to have serious winning chances.

The game Roberts - Kelly saw White get an edge, but he proved unable to do anything with it.

Finally, in Fleming - Taylor, Black got a comfortable position out of the opening, and by the time control White's position had caved in.

UPDATE: The result Almond 0-1 Higgs is now in, making the final score 3.5-1.5.

The results of the individual games are given in the table below:

Board Horsham 1 Result Hastings 1
1 Gavin Lock (199) Draw John Sugden (191)
2 James Mansson (192) Draw Chris Howell (184)
3 Anthony Higgs (179) 1-0 Richard Almond (184)
4 Dix Roberts (170) Draw Paul Kelly (168)
5 Paul Taylor (176) 1-0 Andrew Fleming (166)