Good end to satisfactory season for Horsham 2

Horsham 2 rounded off a highly satisfactory season back in division 1 with a 3-2 win against Brighton 2, thereby finishing with 4.5 match points out of 10 and 23.5 game points, not far off 50% on both measures.

H2 currently stands 5th out of 11, above all other second teams and three first teams (Eastbourne, Lewes and Haywards Heath). All of those teams below us have one or two matches still to play and it remains mathematically possible for us to slip to 7th but the position will be a lot clearer after the current flurry of activity.

As regards the match itself, first to finish was Phil, whose opponent appeared to waste at least two tempi in the opening against Phil’s Scandinavian with dramatic results. A well-orchestrated attack led to early carnage against white’s king.

Peter grabbed a couple of pawns in the opening which he subsequently consolidated into a comfortable plus after the queens came off. A missed tactic then led to a reversal of fortunes but he was comfortably able thereafter to ensure a sharing of the spoils.

Alex’s offer of a gambit pawn against his opponent’s Sicilian (c3 after cxd) was declined and he was able to build up strong pressure against black’s king which eventually told in the form of substantial material gain.

In contrast to the above, my own game against white’s sort of London system was a fairly dull affair, never deviating more than 0.3 plus or minus according to Fritz. I might have played on at the end, indeed I had declined an earlier draw offer, but after Alex’s win had taken our count to 2.5, I chickened out so as to confirm a team victory.

Not for the first time that left Dix to ensure that the spectators got their money’s worth! In a complex ending with scattered pawns and B+N against B+B, his opponent’s game was far easier to play than his, exacerbated by time pressure where for several moves he had been relying on the increment (and without the 60-move limitation). In the event this factor proved crucial.

My thanks to all who represented Horsham 2 this year, being those who played in this match plus Julie, Anthony, Ian and Paul.

Board Brighton 2 (Home) Result Horsham 2 (Away)
1 Calum Salmons 1-0 David N Roberts
2 Chris Lake 0-1 Philip M Stimpson
3 Oliver Weiss 1/2-1/2 Peter Harbott
4 Paul R Selby 1/2-1/2 Chris W Heath
5 Michael Cain 0-1 Alex B Taylor

Horsham 2 had White on odd-numbered boards.