Mid Sussex League

Articles relating to the Mid Sussex League.

Exploring the wilds of East Sussex

Horsham 2 made the long trek to play Hastings 1 only to find that the A27 was closed for the return journey which led to exploration of parts of the globe I had never visited before!

Anyway, as regards the chess we were not unexpectedly heavily beaten (an average grading deficit of 270) but did get on the scoreboard with one draw and indeed might well have added to that.

First to finish was Peter on board 1 as white who employed a sort of reverse Slav (or Saragosa?) but the game never really took off and peace was declared after just 20 moves.

MSL Knock-Out Competition

The KO competition doesn't manage to attract a large entry, although Horsham have consistently taken part for many years. This season there were 6 entrants, including 2 teams from Crowborough. Our first match was due to be against Crowborough 2, but their club was laid low by covid and they conceded the the match. We then faced a semi-final match against Sussex University. Knowing they had a potentially strong line up of players this season, we confronted them with a strong team, including Mark Broom and James Mansson.

Horsham 3 Update

I've been remiss in not posting match reports for the 3rd team as the season progressed, so I'll now do a bulk update!

Horsham 2 well beaten by strong Brighton team

For a fleeting moment midway through the evening there seemed a possibility that Horsham 2 would repeat their heroics of last year when they were the only team to take a point off Brighton...but in the event the end result (0.5-3.5) reflected the disparity in gradings between the two, being an average of 260.

Horsham 1 lose narrowly away against Brighton 1

Horsham 1 suffered a narrow 1.5-2.5 defeat away to Brighton 1 on the Monday of last week. Travelling to Brighton's new (temporary) venue, Horsham 1 looked well placed as they secured two draws on the top two boards, as Gavin Lock drew with Luke Rutherford and Mark Broom drew with Calum Salmons. However, disaster struck, when James Mansson's strong position against Geoff James fell apart in time trouble, and he ended up losing on time in what seemed in any case to have been a lost position.

Why do we play chess?

Not helped by the captain snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Horsham 2 went down to a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Crowborough 1 earlier this week.

First to finish was Ian whose English opening led to a slightly unusual response from black, with white appearing to be in good shape. A tactical sequence by Ian, however, which initially looked highly promising unfortunately proved the opposite at its conclusion and he had to hoist the white flag (no pun intended).

Horsham 2 on the scoreboard

At the fourth time of asking Horsham 2 got on the scoreboard with a vital 3-1 against Bexhill 1.

For a change, the team was not out graded. Indeed, on top board, Anthony had an identical rating to his opponent based on the latest monthly listing and so it proved in practice. Facing the English, he managed to get in a d5 break with everything then getting swapped off. Despite mutual attempts to muddy the waters in the endgame, traps were avoided on both sides with a drawn game being the deserved result.

Frustrating Draw for Horsham 1 against Bexhill 1

Horsham 1 faced a new opponent in the form of freshly-promoted Bexhill 1. Travelling to their opponents' venue above a furnature shop in fair Bexhill (complete, at one point, with howling dogs in the distance), Horsham were up against a team they ought to beat comfortably, but things didn't go quite to plan.

Andrew Fleming and Mike Forster played out what looked like a pretty solid draw, as Andrew played an unambitious line as White against Mike's Sicilian.

Horsham 1 vs Bexhill 1 match score: 0.5 - 0.5

Horsham 1 suffer narrow defeat against Worthing 1

Horsham 1 suffered a narrow defeat at home last night against a strong Worthing 1 side. All the Horsham players has their chances but only one was able to fully take advantage, while a couple crashed to defeat.

Anthony Higgs sacrificed a pawn in the opening and build up decent pressure for a pawn. However, an oversight in a complicated position led to him having to give up his queen for a rook and minor piece, which proved inadequare compensation.

Horsham 1 vs Worthing 1 match score: 0 - 1

Heavy defeat for Horsham 2

Not helped by the captain blundering into a smothered mate when enjoying a reasonably solid plus, Horsham 2 went down heavily on its trek to Eastbourne 1.

On board 1, Phil faced the Sicilian with both sides castling queenside and appeared to have more space and a bit of an initiative. I didn’t see the denouement but apparently an infiltrating knight then put paid to his chances.

Peter’s Petroff on board 2 proved resilient and peace was declared without too much alarm on either side.

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