“It's a dangerous business, Frodo …

…. going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to”.

So the next stop on Horsham 5’s MSL Division 3 world tour… Haywards Heath on a very cold February night.

Matthew, on top board, having eaten three shredded wheat, decided to finish his game a little earlier than normal. He did - around 9:00pm – but with an identical result. A win for him and for us on top board. We were on our way.

This was quickly followed by Lucy on Board 5 who wrapped up another win for the team – she remains unbeaten for the season ((W 2, D 2 – 75% - amazing). We were 2-0 without seeming to draw breath.

No sooner had I recorded these victories on the score sheet then Brian on Board 3 (aka the Horsham 5 Blitz king) not to be outdone in the speed game stakes chalked up another victory. There was an added incentive here. It allowed Brian to sojourn to the local hostelry to see how his beloved Newcastle were doing against Crystal Palace. So we had won the match by 9:30pm.

This left Richard (on Board 3) and yours truly on Board 2.

I was playing against David Curtis (a well known veteran of Sussex Chess). As Black I was hoping for some sort of KID, what I got was a Trompowsky, an opening I know next to nothing about – so was on my own by about move 6.

The game looked drawish (opposite colour bishops, symmetrical pawn structure etc) even after I dropped a pawn around move 35. In fact this loss of material led to me playing much more aggressively resulting in my king advancing straight through the centre and to the 7th rank where I had a passed 'a' pawn. David’s position was completely locked so he would have had to give up material or allow my pawn to queen –he resigned. A very odd game but a picturesque end position. Match score 4-0 and counting.

So it was down to Richard whose late middle game/endgame looked very even but he was getting tight on the clock (about 10 moves to make in about 4 minutes). Unfortunately this meant he overlooked his opponents’ back rank check which picked up his bishop. It was all over. What a shame but a great effort by everyone and not a draw in sight. Final match score: Haywards Heath 1-4 Horsham 5.

Which leaves our last match, away, against Hastings 4 on 24 February. Winning that will bring us back to 50% for the season and probably safely mid-table in Division 3.



Anthony Higgs's picture

Well done team, fully justifying last year's promotion this season.