Horsham 1 endure drawfest

Last Friday night Horsham 1 visited Crowborough for a league match against their first team. In the end both teams deserved to get something from the match and that was how it ended.

I had put Mike on board 1 so that he could get a White game on one of his rare away appearances. Unfortunately his most likely opponent Gareth Anthony, for whom he had prepared, was not in the opposition team! Without Gavin and James we were below full strength but Crowborough also had to scramble for some replacement players following the late illness of one team member.

First to finish was Dix on board 3, who seemed to have a fairly quiet game in which Bob Elliston's queenside space seemed to counter Dix's central control. A draw soon resulted, the first of many... Phil seemed to be in trouble on board 4, his junior opponent David Liu playing a nice tactical sequence to enter the endgame rook for bishop & pawn up. No sooner had he done this than he offered a draw, which Phil promptly accepted!

Mike seemed to have a slight edge out of the opening against Peter Kemp, but Black played solidly and Mike agreed the draw in a position where he could have started to go wrong if he wasn't careful. I kept the draw theme going when I halved out with my namesake Josh Higgs (no relation) - Josh had missed a strong continuation just before our move 30 quickplay time control and I kept things under control after that point. Finally the match was decided by board 5 - Paul had a strong passed pawn but David Fryer defended very actively and played accurately under time pressure. In the end both players made the time control but Paul offered a draw thinking he could not win the queen, bishop and pawn vs queen and two pawns endgame - this may have been true but we might have found a win on adjournment had we got there.

All in all a fair result given the way the other boards went.

P.D. Kemp 1/2-1/2 M.C. Forster
J. Higgs 1/2-1/2 A.R.J. Higgs
R.V. Elliston 1/2-1/2 D.N. Roberts
D. Liu 1/2-1/2 P.M. Stimpson
D.W. Fryer 1/2-1/2 P. Taylor