Horsham 1 squeak past valiant Horsham 2

On paper Horsham 2 are very strong this season, and the first team needed some good fortune to run out 3-2 winners last night...

As the nominal 'away team' the seconds had White on odd boards, and started the match looking to take advantage of this whilst their players with Black looked to play solidly. On board 3 Paul got an early advantage against James who tried 1...e5 for the first time in a while (I think). Paul's Scotch ended up in one of those positions where White is a pawn down but Black's queenside is broken up and the extra pawn looks hard to keep. This proved true and Paul broke through in the centre to put the second team 1-0 up!

On board 5 Roy and I ended up in some sort of fianchetto English a.k.a. Sicilian a.k.a. something. Each player's knight then went on the rampage, capturing queens and pawns with numerous forks and discovered attacks pending for both players. Eventually though it all petered out to equality and an even endgame and the draw was agreed. Meanwhile on board 1 things were looking better for the firsts - after an initially healthy looking French, Phil essayed his knight out to h7 and it rather got in the way of his attack. Gavin broke through on the queenside with a powerful mating attack and levelled the match 1.5-1.5.

On board 2 Mike decided on an unusual and slightly awkward-looking fianchetto of his knight on g2, whilst Peter castled and later eschewed taking a poisoned pawn. After these uncharacteristic events, things settled down into an endgame where Peter was passive but solid and Mike was unable to break through and a draw resulted. So it all came down to board 4, which looked a pretty certain draw for most of the game. In a level queen and pawn endgame, Alex suddenly blundered a pawn with check and Dix was able to then pick up another and create a winning position. Black eventually lost on time but the final position was gone anyway.

So a 3-2 win for the firsts, but on another day this could easily have been a tied match and Horsham 2 look set to cause plenty of headaches for other teams in Division 1.

G.R. Lock 1-0 P. Stimpson
M.C. Forster 1/2-1/2 P. Harbott
J.C. Mansson 0-1 P. Taylor
D.N. Roberts 1-0 A. Freeland
A.R.J. Higgs 1/2-1/2 R.D. Page


James Mansson's picture

Well done to Horsham 2 on a valiant performance! Actually, Anthony, I have played 1 e4 e5 quite a lot recently. Paul's Qd4 was unusual, but I had faced it previously, although as that was quite a few years ago (it was I seem to recall a Stephen Hawes favourite) I had forgotten what I worked out against it!