Horsham 1 start season with comfortable win

The Horsham first team hosted Lewes 1 on Tuesday, and ended up 4.5-0.5 victors against an under-strength opposition that nevertheless acquitted itself well. I was pleasantly reminded that having Black on odds at home was now no longer a disappointment, more a necessity...

On board 5 Paul was the first to finish. After an early queen sortie he had managed to emerge material up but at the price of virtually no development. Daniel Brooks held a space advantage as well and it turned out that Paul could not open the position without creating some serious weaknesses. At the end White stood slightly better but Daniel was no doubt please with a draw given the large grading deficit. Next to finish was board 2 - after I wandered into a shocking opening in which Barry West comfortably outplayed me, he made some indecisive bishop moves and when he finally won the pawn he deserved it was at the cost of far too much activity for White. I finished off with a nice attack (see below).

On board 1 Gavin pressed forward in the centre and on the queenside and Barry Maufe's pieces got somewhat tangled. Gavin's minor pieces found excellent squares and Barry speculatively sacrificed rather than get swamped. Gavin calmly neutralised this and won convincingly. On board 4 Phil had a similar experience to me - being a pawn down in a position where the opposite coloured bishops gave attacking chances to the most active player. Phil kept up the pressure on Richard Welford's king and eventually broke through with a rook on the seventh. Finally Mike and James Pullan on board 3 played through to the time control, at which point Mike had an extra passed pawn and a vastly better structure in a rook and minor piece endgame. Home analysis showed it was a hopeless cause for White.

G.R. Lock 1-0 B. Maufe
A.R.J. Higgs 1-0 B. West
M.C. Forster 1-0 J. Pullan
P.M. Stimpson 1-0 R.R. Welford
P. Taylor 1/2-1/2 D.D.S. Brooks

The diagram above shows Higgs-West after 22...Qa5? White deals with Black's Bxc3 threat by completely ignoring it for the rest of the game. Play continued: 23.Be4! Rd8 [or 23...0-0 24.Bxa8 Bxc3 25.Qd5 winning, or 23...Bxc3 24.Qxd6 with mate shortly] 24.Qd5 Qc7 [or 24...Bxc3 25.Qc6+ Ke7 26.Qb7+ mating] 25.e7! Rd7? [leading to mate, but 25...Rc8 26.Qe6 Bxc3 27.Bd5 wins as well] 26.Bxg6+! hxg6 27.Qa8+ Kf7 28.e8(Q)+ Rxe8 29.Qxe8+ and Black resigned before 29...Kf6 30.Qe6 mate.


James Mansson's picture

Well done on a good win (and you were probably better off without me, in light of my recent terrible form). However, it was a rather weak looking Lewes team; why were so many players missing?

Anthony Higgs's picture

...and we do miss you still! Not sure why their top 3-4 boards were absent but they did remark at the start something to the effect that they were not Lewes 2 that had turned up by mistake...