Horsham 1 narrowly defeated by division leaders

A visit to the Avenue Bridge Club resulted in defeat last Thursday, which leaves Brighton well placed for the title...

On board 1 Gavin played the Trompowsky against Luke Rutherford and after 15 moves the game was over - I assumed it was a quick draw and was amazed when Gavin told me he had won, picking up the exchange and stranding Luke's queen in no-man's-land. On board 2 this was balanced out when Brian Denman beat me after a clever bishop retreat set up a deadly knight invasion.

On board 5 Ian had agreed to be our sub at short notice (many thanks Ian), and he initially looked to stand well against John Henshaw. Unfortunately some dark square weaknesses were created and an exchange sacrifice allowed John to invade on these squares with fatal results. The last two boards to finish saw some scrambled draws - on board 3 Dix was just in time by one tempo to draw by perpetual check against Geoff James's iron control of the d-file. On board 4 James tripled on the a-file only to somehow lose control of it later. Faced with the loss of a pawn and an inevitable adjudication loss, he instead sacrificed his knight and just about created enough counterplay to confuse Paul Batchelor and reach a drawn endgame.

So 3-2 to Brighton and they now need only to avoid losing 4-1 or worse to Hastings 1 in order to win the title outright.

L. Rutherford 0-1 G.R. Lock
B. Denman 1-0 A.R.J. Higgs
G. James 1/2-1/2 D.N. Roberts
P. Batchelor 1/2-1/2 J.C. Mansson
J. Henshaw 1-0 I.S. Comley