Heroic Horsham 2 hold Hastings 1

A superb result deserves some mighty fine alliteration...

Where to start? First off John, the word you were looking for in the car was "classified"...

With that out of the way, on to the match - with top scorer Roy and top board Phil unavailable, Mick and John had kindly stepped into the breach. I'll be honest and say that I was after game points to improve tie break from this match. Instead we picked up half a match point despite being outgraded an average of 30 points per board!

On board 2 Paul wheeled out the Dutch against Bernard Cafferty. Paul rightly disdained his pawn structure in favour of activity and managed to neutralise White's strong g2 bishop. Bernard offered a draw in a position where Paul's pawn weaknesses were balanced by his good piece activity. Only a moment later Ian accepted a draw offer from Howard Tebbs on board 3. Howard had the bishop pair but with no immediate targets in the White camp this seemed a fair result as well.

On board 4 Mick played the Budapest Gambit against John Sugden. Mick's position was passive but solid, however he suddenly lost a piece and White's pieces flooded in - one up to Hastings. On board 5 John deployed the Closed Sicilian against Paul Kelly - he won a pawn and Black's king looked distinctly shaky. John offered a draw when a pawn up and with decent attacking chances which Paul gratefully accepted!

I faced Francis Rayner on board 1, needing to win to tie the match. As usual my opening play was not the most exact, but my doubled rooks on the c-file and a strong White knight on the unusual square b4 exerted a bind on Black's queenside. Francis' knight was buried on a8 and Black was somewhat worse when he suddenly miscalculated and blundered a piece.

So a fantastic 2.5-2.5 tie against the odds, well done team!

F. Rayner 0-1 A.R.J. Higgs
B. Cafferty 1/2-1/2 P. Taylor
H.L. Tebbs 1/2-1/2 I.S. Comley
J.N. Sugden 1-0 M.C. Harris
P.J. Kelly 1/2-1/2 L.J. Cannon


James Mansson's picture

Congratulations Anthony on a good win! It was also good to see both Bernard and John upholding their traditions...