Last night saw the Horsham first team’s opening fixture in this Mid-Sussex League season. Because the club has two teams in division one, they have to play each other first, so this match was between Horsham 1 and Horsham 2. In the end, the firsts squeaked a narrow victory.
We started well, as Phil Stimpson, the reigning club champion, scored a crushing victory over Ian Comley on board four. However, things were much tighter on the other boards. Peter Harbott was forced to give his queen up for a rook and bishop against Nick Warren on board 5. Dix Roberts got into trouble on board 3 against Paul Taylor. Gavin Lox and I were involved in tough tussles on boards 1 and 2 against Mike Forster and Anthony Higgs respectively.
Eventually, the draws racked up on the other boards. Gavin and Mike drew an interesting tussle. Peter managed to hold firm against Nick. Dix scrambled a draw against Paul.
My game was the last to finish. The opening saw me unable to remember my analysis of the opening properly, and I chose the wrong line! Fortunately, this resulted in an equal rather than inferior position. Subsequently, I gained the upper hand, but let things slip and I suffered a few nervy moments later on as my opponent had strong compensation for the pawn he sacrificed. However, in the end the game petered out to a drawn position at the time control, which was soon agreed after a brief analysis of the position.
The first team therefore won the match 3-2, but although the second team was defeated, they look very strong this season, and should cause quite a few sides problems.
I give my game against Anthony below with some notes.