Horsham 3 v. Horsham 2

Horsham’s Mid Sussex League season kicked off on Tuesday night with the much awaited 2nd team versus 3rd team clash in Division 2. Both teams fielded strong sides and it was always going to be a close, tense affair. The 2nd team out-graded the 3rd team by an average of 12 points and being the away team had the benefit of three whites, but it was clear that each individual match would be closely fought!

First blood went to the 2nd team with Phil Stimpson winning quite a sharp position from his Scandinavian Defence. Next to finish was the Board 5 match where Lucy won for the 3rd team – she was a Rook to a Knight up in an ending and Paul resigned. Match score 1-1.

Dix & Chris then agreed a draw on Board 3 to leave the outcome of the match in the hands of the top two boards.

On Board 2, Alex gave up a Bishop as he pursued a King side attack with the white pieces. Anthony played accurately to hold firm and eventually he was able to invade Alex’s position. So, 2½-1½ to the 2nd team.

On the top board Morgan seemed to have a good position for much of the game; Peter, playing his Petroff Defence, decided not to castle but to leave his King in the centre of the board. As Morgan pressed for a breakthrough in a Queen, Bishop and Pawn position he made an oversight on his 41st move which allowed Peter to pin, and win, his Bishop. At adjudication the computer could not find any saving strategy, so Peter triumphed and levelled the match 2½-2½.

Peter Harbott 1-0 Morgan Blake
Alex Taylor 0-1 Anthony Higgs
Chris Heath ½-½ Dix Roberts
Ian Comley 0-1 Phil Stimpson
Lucy Bennet-Stevens 1-0 Paul Taylor