Local derby goes to the wire

The league season started with a narrow victory for Horsham 1 over Horsham 2 last Tuesday. With four-board matches being played, the chance of an upset is greater but Horsham 1 managed to get over the line against a spirited Horsham 2 performance.

Firstly it was great to finally be back playing some league chess! The John Cannon board & set took pride of place on board one, the Jack Smith set now being used on board two.

First to finish was board 3, Ian had built up a decent position against James but miscalculated a tactical sequence and ended up losing a piece. Next Mark and Dix played out a draw on board 2 where again the second team player had no trouble getting a decent position from the opening and this time holding the draw.

On board 1 Gavin sacrificed a piece in a queenless middlegame against Phil which led to a winning position for Gavin, but he couldn't find the final blow and Phil wriggled out, keeping his extra material. A smart choice to return some material in order to swap down to a winning king and pawn ending gave the second team a win and levelled the match.

So down to the battle of the captains on board 4 - Chris was initially under pressure out of the opening but defended stoutly until I tempted him into opening the position a little too early. White's coordination then proved too much as the clock ticked down.

So a 2.5-1.5 win for the firsts but a close-run thing, and as ever it looks like the seconds will give a good account of themselves in the league this season.

G.R. Lock 0-1 P. M. Stimpson
M. Broom 1/2-1/2 D. N. Roberts
J.C. Mansson 1-0 I.S. Comley
A.R.J. Higgs 1-0 C.W. Heath