Mixed fortunes for Horsham as online MSL kicks off

Two teams of Horsham's online players faced off against two from Crowborough last Wednesday as the online Mid Sussex League got underway...

In the first team match, we were slight favourites on paper but got off to a bad start on board 4 as Ian lost a piece just out of the opening on the black side of a Scotch Gambit. His opponent Raina wrapped up efficiently to put us one down. On top board Mark faced talented junior Arjun with an unclear game until Mark was able to break through with a sac that could not be accepted, levelling the match. On board 3 Dix had whittled away gradually at another talented (and ex-Horsham) junior Ben and eventually an excellently played knight endgame gave us another win. Finally I faced Jon on board 2 and grabbed a hot pawn in a Czech Benoni, hanging on through a time scramble and eventually seeing that extra pawn through to victory. Final score 3-1 to Horsham. https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/64688

In the second team match, Marian was playing very quickly on board 2 and lost a couple of pawns, but dragged the white king to d2 early on. This proved crucial as his active pieces ended up trapping the king in a crossfire, leading to material gain and the win. Unfortunately in a mirror image of the first team match things then went downhill as Crowborough won the three remaining boards. On board 4 Monika recovered from a bad opening to steadily regain control to a level position. With a draw for the taking she pushed for more and unfortunately ended up in a lost rook endgame. On board 3 Guy had a late start but Crowborough's sub played a strong positional game and broke through on the queenside convincingly. Finally on board 1 a topsy-turvy game between Chris and another strong junior Elena swung backwards and forwards until Chris had mate in 5 - but he played a different check and ended up losing his queen and the game! Final score 3-1 to Crowborough. https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/64718

Well played everyone and an overall 4-4 tie is probably a fair reflection of the matches. The next fixture is on 10th February, if you are interested in playing and haven't already put your name forward please drop me an email.