Horsham progress in McArthur Cup at last!

In previous seasons Horsham have had to face Brighton in the first round of the McArthur Cup and have progressed no further. This year we had to visit their venue but to face a different team - Woodpushers...

It is good to see new faces in the county competitions. Woodpushers were clear underdogs on paper but put up a decent fight and hopefully they will continue to enter in future years.

On board 4 Dix finished quickly, a pin on Gary Charles' d2 knight proving to be deadly. Paul's board 6 opponent Hugo Westwood-Dunkley (a talented Sussex junior) acquitted himself well, but Paul won a queenside pawn and there was no counterplay for White. On board 3 James faced the Albin Countergambit but Julian Clark did not know some of the more recent theory and was quickly two pawns down. James swapped into a winning ending to leave us 3-0 up - good to see James back in Horsham colours at last!

On board 1 Gavin had clearly been listening to my guidance (ho ho) on how best to combat the Benko as he played my favourite line with b6 returning the pawn. He established a dominant knight on c4 and when Julian Mitchell castled queenside the writing was on the wall, Gavin winning with a comprehensive attack. On board 5 Phil's opponent Bob Davidson seemed to play solidly for a long time but somehow Phil got the better of him (I didn't see much of this game) and notched up another win for Horsham. That just left me on board 2 - Andrew Briggs had played a strange opening and allowed me to equalise easily by gaining the two bishops. I put his minor pieces under pressure but he found the right replies and I never had more than equality. A couple of traps in the rook ending were neatly avoided, resulting in a draw and Woodpushers had deservedly avoided the whitewash.

J.B. Mitchell 0-1 G.R. Lock
A.J. Briggs 1/2-1/2 A.R.J. Higgs
J. Clark 0-1 J.C. Mansson
G. Charles 0-1 D.N. Roberts
R.A. Davidson 0-1 P. Stimpson
H. Westwood-Dunkley 0-1 P. Taylor

5.5-0.5 to Horsham and through to the next round for once!