Top of the table clash in Division 1

Sadly Horsham 1 came off worse in what could be a crucial result in the title race last Monday.

This was a key fixture, as prior to this match Horsham had 6/6 and Worthing had 5/5! Unfortunately Horsham was not able to field its strongest team and Worthing looked favourites on paper.

Dix and Donald Macfarlane had a relatively quick draw on board 2 after Donald was behind on the clock and Black seemed to be in no particular danger. Paul looked to be doing fine on board 4 against Chris Jones and had a knight deep in enemy territory. Paul opted not to use it to capture a rook but it then found itself trapped and lost. Paul wriggled for a long time but had to accept defeat eventually. Peter had a horrible opening against Mike Nicholas on board 3 and ended up giving his queen for rook & minor piece. A subsequent tactic smashed through Peter's queenside for a convincing Black win.

I had a reasonably even game with Keith Homeyard on board 5, but things looked uncomfortable when the queens came off the board. Fortunately I found a nice bishop journey that won back a pawn and tied down the Black pieces, but at the adjournment home analysis showed it was only good enough for a draw and not the win we needed. It was a similar story on board 1, where Gavin won a pawn against Dave Graham but reached the notorious rook & 3 pawns vs rook & 2 pawns all on the same side which was also agreed a draw after analysis.

Both teams have yet to play Brighton 1 and Worthing still have to face Hastings 1 so let's hope they can halt the Worthing juggernaut! Fingers crossed for the first team...

D.B. Graham 1/2-1/2 G.R. Lock
D. Macfarlane 1/2-1/2 D.N. Roberts
M.D. Nicholas 1-0 P. Harbott
C. Jones 1-0 P. Taylor
K.F. Homeyard 1/2-1/2 A.R.J. Higgs