Horsham Through to Final of Paul Watson Trophy!

Followers of the fortunes of teams I've captained in either this competition or the MSL Knock Out over the past several years should probably have been advised to sit down before reading that headline. However, the chess gods finally looked favourably on us last night as we hosted Woodpushers.

With 7 teams in the competition this season, Horsham had a bye in the first round and only entered at the semi-final stage. Matches are between teams of 4 with an average grade not exceeding 150.

I was blessed on board 4 with a particularly low-graded opponent who was overly generous with his material and so we were soon on the scoresheet with a point. Anthony had a moderate grading advantage on board 1 and was soon a pawn up. I had ambitions of a win there, but we would still have needed at least half a point from boards 2 and 3, where we were moderately out-graded, to avoid loosing on the tie break rules. Of course, that's not the way things turned out.

On board 3 John and his opponent each had attacks forming on their opponents castled positions. John managed to get in the first blow and his opponent, perhaps a little surprisingly, resigned straight away. 2-0.

By the time I picked up on Nick's game on board 2 he was the exchange for a pawn down. This developed into being a rook for 3 pawns down and although his extra pawns were connected and passed this was insufficient to counter the material deficit. 2-1.

Anthony had been actively collecting pawns beside the board and at one stage was 3 pawns up. However, his opponent fought back to material equality and a draw was agreed, giving us a 2.5 - 1.5 victory.

We will play either Lewes or Uckfield in the final, but their semi-final isn't being played till late April, so the final will be quite late in the season.

Full details of our match:

Anthony Higgs (W) (180) 0.5 - 0.5 Andrew Briggs (169)
Nick Warren (B) (144) 0 - 1 Ian Kelly (161)
John Marshall (W) ( 146) 1 - 0 Frederick Coleman (153)
Julie Denning (B) (124) 1 - 0 Majid Burch (74)


Ian Comley's picture

Well done Julie and team!