Good start to the decade for Horsham 3

Despite the captain's ongoing misadventures, wins on the bottom three boards ensured a positive start to the new decade for Horsham 3 against Lewes 2.

I did not see much of Ian's game after his traditional English opening until towards the end which encompassed a neat and crushing denouement though not, I understand, without some adventures along the way.

Nick Ashby's dragon Sicilian grabbed an early initiative until his queen became surprisingly trapped in the middle of the board, albeit taking a rook and a minor piece with her. Subsequent tactics against white's king led to a precisely identical trade and in a materially equal endgame, Nick smoothly converted to a full point.

For my game I was building a superficial attack against my opponent's Caro Kahn when my pieces became entangled and I had to wreck my king's pawn protection to avoid loss of exchange...which happened anyway a few moves later and matters thereafter went rapidly downhill. Subsequent computer analysis suggested I should have been perfectly happy to accept the initial exchange loss (modestly plus) which I vaguely wondered at the time but didn't have the courage to enact.

That left John Marshall to ensure the team win after his modern defence ultimately led to an ending where he was a whole rook ahead. In simple but wholly effective strategy, he returned this piece as part of a swap off which eliminated white's advanced pawn and left his own unstoppable.

On top board in her last game for Horsham 3 before becoming ineligible, Lucy had a long and tough defence the exchange down before the incursion of white's queen along her back rank brought proceedings to an end.

Overall result 3-2.