A Captain’s innings …. Or was it!?

But more of that later…..

So yesterday evening (3 February) brought Horsham 5 “to the turn and heading for home” and to the first of our three remaining MSL fixtures in Division 3 - all of which must be completed by the end of the month. I can now see why Mourinho complains about fixture congestion at this time of the season.

So first up a home game against East Grinstead 1. Although strong opponents across all boards we were calm and focused, buoyed up by the fact that we had all (slightly) improved our grades in January.

First to finish was Richard Barrowclough (on Board 3) at about 8:40pm. Both players agreed a draw as there was nothing in the position. But it was only an 18 move confrontation. So to the uninitiated it could have smacked of a professional grandmaster draw. But, hey, we were on the scoreboard!

This game was closely followed by Brian agreeing a draw on Board 4. This was slightly more feisty as Brian had initially refused a draw offer and pushed for a win. It was not to be. Nevertheless the scoreboard was still ticking over.

This brings me to my game on Board 2 against a strong Robert Fisher (not that one). I played the white side of a KID, Bayonet attack in which both sides race to breakthrough on opposite sides of the board. Unfortunately, although the game was very evenly balanced, I dithered at the crucial point allowing Robert to crash through on the kingside and creating a mating net. Bayonet attack? More like a rusty, old penknife. Not the Captain’s innings my team were looking for. First blood to East Grinstead.

This left Board 1 (|Matthew) and Lucy (Board 5). Both battle-hardened juniors did their level best to squeeze out wins and (at least) even the match score (and in doing so make me feel less guilty) but to no avail. Both were cast-iron draws. We had lost the match 2-3. Full details below.

Horsham 5 Score East Grinstead

Matthew Forster ½-½ Ian Dennis
Mark Baldock 0-1 Robert Fisher
Richard Barrowclough ½-½ Adrian Waldock
Brian Howard ½-½ David Simpkins
Lucy Bennet-Stevens ½-½ Grau Christian

128 (average) 2-3 136 (average)

So can we bounce back next Wednesday against Haywards Heath? Watch this space!