Horsham 2 perform well against league favourites

Last Tuesday saw Horsham 2 host Worthing 1, a team boosted by the presence of two strong former Knoll Knights players and therefore a force to be reckoned with this season. They had won their first two matches 5-0 and 4-1 against opposition first teams so any game points were welcome!

First to finish was Tim on board 5, making his debut for the second team. His position against Keith Homeyard was fairly blocked but his command of the f-file discouraged Keith from pressing further on the kingside and a draw was agreed. Next to him on board 4 Roy had made himself available at short notice to cover for an unwell Ian (thanks again Roy) and looked to be pressing against Chris Jones. Roy sacrificed the exchange for plenty of space and chances and Chris evidently considered this worthwhile as another draw was offered and accepted.

Things weren't going so well higher up. On board 1 Phil faced Dave Graham's Grand Prix Attack with an early f5 pawn sacrifice by White. Phil's queen snaffled some pawns but Dave's well placed pieces were too much for Black's weakened king and Phil resigned. On board 3 Paul's Classical Dutch got into some positional trouble against Mike Nicholas, and when Paul couldn't respond to the typical advance d5 with ...e5 things got tricky. Paul lost the exchange but managed to activate his bishops and created problems for Mike to solve. In the final adjourned position it seemed like Black might even be better but the computer confirmed a draw. Finally on board 2 I reached a fairly even position against Donald Macfarlane, but allowed his queenside break ...b4 which was probably unwise. I defended a passive endgame reasonably well and should have held the draw, but did not control the open h-file at the crucial moment and Donald's position was overwhelming at the adjournment.

A very creditable performance against a very strong team.

P. Stimpson 0-1 D.B. Graham
A.R.J. Higgs 0-1 D. Macfarlane
P. Taylor 1/2-1/2 M.D. Nicholas
R.D. Page 1/2-1/2 C. Jones
T. Pavlovic 1/2-1/2 K. Homeyard

3.5-1.5 to Worthing 1 overall.