Horsham 1 pick up valuable half point at Hastings

An under-strength Horsham 1 did well to take half a point from Hastings 1 back on 19th November...

Report by Dix:

"In the circumstances a very creditable effort that augurs well for the rest of the season. Mike and Bernard had a shortish draw after very solid play from both sides; Rayner-Roberts followed a long theoretical line in the Taimanov Sicilian. Level position but my error was fatal. Peter’s position became passive and he was ground down. Paul had a nice win culminating in a queen sacrifice. Alex seemed level at one stage but built up sufficient initiative to have a decisive advantage in the final position."

Here is Paul's game - the diagram is the position before Black's 23rd move. Most notes by Paul [PT] with a few by me [AH]:

White: Ollie Willson
Black: Paul Taylor

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c5 5.0-0 Nc6 6.b3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 [PT - I didn't play 7…e5 as I felt 8.Nxc6 bxc6, 9.c4 or 9.Bb2 could be awkward for Black] 8.Bb2 0-0 9.e3 Qe7 [PT - My opponent suggested later that Qb6 would have been better so my light squared bishop could develop on a6 after Nxc6 bxc6. My intention with Qe7 was to play ...e5, followed by moving my light squared bishop] 10.c4 Rd8 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qe2 Nxd4 13.exd4 Bb6 14.Rd1 Qf6 [PT - I felt that my position was marginally better here as I have no weak pawns and the d4 pawn will always be under pressure. White has some weak squares in his position and Bxd5 exd5 would give me the two bishops] 15.Na3 [AH - Interestingly Rybka gives White a small advantage after 15.Nc3 and exchanging knights] 15…Bd7 16.Nc4 Bb5 17.Qg4 Rac8 18.Rac1 g6 19.Ne5 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Ba6 [PT - Now my knight can move without the b7 pawn dropping. White could try and trap the light squared bishop with his a&b pawns but I don't think that it's possible] 21.a3 Ne7 22.Rc2?! [AH - White is keen to overprotect f2 but overlooks a tactical strike] 22…Qf5! 23.Rd2? Qxe5!! [PT - Black sacrifices his queen for knight and rook. Once the rook lands on d2 both b2 and f2 are threatened and the king and queen face dangerous tactics. At this point of the game my opponent was low on time] 24.dxe5 Rxd2 25.Bc3 Bxf2+ [PT - A critical move as the rook is needed for the moment on d2 – moving the rook along the second rank allows White to place his bishop on d4 defending the f2 pawn. Moving it along the d file releases the pressure against the f2 pawn and allows White to breathe] 26.Kh1 Rc2 [AH - Thanks to the threat of Rc1+ Black wins one of the bishops by force and goes material up with an ongoing attack] 27.Bf3 Rxc3 28.Kg2 Bc5 29.Qa4 [AH - Losing by force but what else can White do? Black will simply take everything on the queenside and advance his pawns otherwise] 29…Rc2+ 30.Kh3 Bf1+ 31.Kg4 Be3! 32. Qe8+ Kg7 33.Qxe7 h5+ 34.Kh4 Rxh2#

B. Cafferty 1/2-1/2 M.C. Forster
F. Rayner 1-0 D.N. Roberts
H.L. Tebbs 1-0 P. Harbott
O. Willson 0-1 P. Taylor
J.M. Wheeler 0-1 A. Freeland