Horsham 2 off the mark against Lewes 1

Match points have been hard to come by this season for Horsham 2, but we chalked up our first win of the season against Lewes 1 last Tuesday...

As it was half term and there was no junior chess, I arrived at the club to find Mark Broom of Lewes already there. This was an ominous sign as Mark is a very strong player and indicated we might be facing a stronger team that Lewes had fielded in most of their fixtures so far. I then had some good news in that Ian had rediscovered some form with a win the previous evening in the McArthur Cup against John Sugden, so things were back on track!

Indeed Ian was the first to finish on board 5, with a welcome Black win despite the French Defence employed... Daniel Brooks either sacrificed or blundered his bishop (didn't see which) but had some compensation in the form of a pawn and lots of open lines against Ian's king in the centre. Ian found a neat way to consolidate (see diagram & moves below) and retain his material advantage and soon won. On board 4 Roy and Richard Welford had a deserved draw after a solid game by both players in which there were not many mutual weaknesses to attack.

Phil on board 1 had the task of coping with Mark Broom as Black, and did an excellent job until he got a bit ambitious and sacrificed a piece. Mark was able to neutralise Phil's play and emerged safely with his extra material - all square in the match. On board 2 the captains faced off - I had had a fairly even game with Barry West all the way through and was expecting a repetition to occur in the knight endgame we had reached. Instead Barry allowed the knights to be exchanged in a way that led to the theoretical endgame of queen vs passed pawn on the seventh, which I was able to win thanks to the pawn being on the wrong file to draw.

Down to Paul on board 3 then, and he had been under some pressure from Barry Maufe's strong bishop pair vs the Dutch. Paul managed to create counterplay, and reached an adjourned position with R,B,N and 7 pawns against Barry's Q,B and 5 pawns. Barry's pieces were tangled up but he had enough dark square control to force a perpetual before Paul could get his advancing pawns down the board. A 3-2 win overall!

P. Stimpson 0-1 M. Broom
A.R.J. Higgs 1-0 B. West
P. Taylor 1/2-1/2 B. Maufe
R.D. Page 1/2-1/2 R. R. Welford
I.S. Comley 1-0 D.D.S. Brooks

The diagram shows Ian's game on board 5 after White's 21.Na4 with threats to invade Black's position on b6 and f7. Only one move is good enough for Black to keep an advantage, what is it? Answer below in the comments.


Anthony Higgs's picture

There is no time to save the b6 pawn, 21..b5? allows 22.Nc5! and White is suddenly the player who should win. Instead Ian found the correct 21...Rc8! and after 22.Nxb6 Qxc2+ 23.Ka1 Qc5! 24.Qxc5 Rxc5 Black was a safe piece up. The game finished with a neat tactic: 25.Rf7 Re7 26.Nxd7? Rxf7! and White resigned due to the looming ...Rc1 mate.