So near and yet so far for Horsham 2

Horsham 2 nearly took their first points of the season in a very tight match with Haywards Heath 1 last Wednesday, but the hosts just edged it 3-2...

On board 3 Paul got into trouble from a relatively innocuous position against Jeff Boardman. A pawn was lost but Paul fought hard until a second pawn fell to a tactic and the endgame was beyond saving. On board 4 Ian comfortably equalised on the black side of a 2.b3 French and pressed forward. In the final position Ian appeared to be close to winning but with his king exposed he couldn't find the knockout blow and accepted Viv Cole's draw offer.

The other three boards went the distance. On board 2 I had a very sharp game with Rob Fitzgerald, both of us throwing pawns at the enemy king. I considered what would have been a close to winning exchange sacrifice, rejected it and went on to lose in the time scramble. On board 1 Phil neutralised Feliks Kwiatkowski after what looked like a very original opening. Later in the middlegame Phil's pawn structure was damaged but he successfully reached a bishop endgame and accepted Felik's draw offer at the time control. Finally John played a sparkling game on board 5, sacrificing a piece for an armada of passed pawns on both wings after Martin Faulkner closed the centre without any chances for counterplay. At the time control John's king and pawns were more than a match for Black's extra piece and Martin resigned.

So a 3-2 defeat but boards 2 and 4 could have gone our way so we are heading in the right direction!

F.J. Kwiatkowski 1/2-1/2 P. Stimpson
R.C. Fitzgerald 1-0 A.R.J. Higgs
J. Boardman 1-0 P. Taylor
V.J. Cole 1/2-1/2 I.S. Comley
M.J. Faulkner 0-1 L.J. Cannon