Welcome win for Horsham 2

After two losses and a drawn match Horsham finally had a win to celebrate but not without some moments of tension along the way.

First to finish on board 4 was Rob. Playing white and opening with the English, the game developed into a sort of reverse Sicilian. Rob allowed his pawns to be doubled in the centre so as to open up the f file but could never exploit this and indeed his opponent eventually castled long and launched an aggressive kingside attack. In doing so he abandoned his monarch and Rob needed no second invitation to reciprocate on the queenside and secure a very nice checkmate fairly early into the evening.

Phil's Sicilian on board 1 was given the closed treatment and the position looked balanced after the opening phase of the game. Phil then took with his queen what seemed a fairly risky pawn on b2 and so it proved, emerging from the subsequent tactics with loss of Q and N against the capture of 2 R's. Further complications ensued but despite a drawn our rear-guard action, the material imbalance secured the point for Eastbourne.

Alex's game on board 2 was somewhat hairy to say the least. Playing white, his e4 opening was met by 1...Nc6 2 Nf3 f5!? which led him to a 15 minute think before accepting the pawn. There ensued a game full of tactics and I was not alone in having no clue what was going on! Black then instigated a somewhat adventurous combination which initially won the exchange but ultimately led to Alex being a whole piece up and in due course a rook ahead. Nevertheless his opponent continued to pose a number of problems, with the captain's heart rate not helped by Alex's clock which at times was below 10 seconds. Ultimately he smoothly converted to the full point.

Whilst nothing is certain in chess the above action suggested a 2-1 lead for Horsham with the result appearing to hinge on Ian's ability to secure a draw. His Slav against the Queen's Gambit led to what looked a comfortable game for him but something went wrong and with the heavy artillery still on the board (plus bishops of same colour) he found himself under pressure a pawn down. For all the world, it looked as though the game would run and run after all others had called it a day, but at virtually the same time as the top two boards had concluded, his opponent badly miscalculated a tactic which ostensibly won a second pawn but which in fact dropped one of his rooks.

As such a welcome 3-1 for Horsham 2 which as the home team had white on the even boards:
Board Horsham 2 Grade Eastbourne 1 Grade
1 Stimpson, Philip M 2008 0 - 1 Froom, Oliver 2009
2 Taylor, Alex B 1903 1 - 0 Butt, Laurence A 1879
3 Comley, Ian S 1878 1 - 0 Carpenter, Paul J 1855
4 McDonald, Robert 1792 1 - 0 Clark, Colin D 1593