County Match (Open) 2023-24: Surrey – Sussex

Yesterday, Sussex played its first county match of the season. We were away against Surrey at their familiar venue in Cheam. Surrey had a very strong team, so it was no surprise that they achieved a decisive victory.

My game was ultimately frustrating for me. I played Black against my 2200 rated opponent and managed to gain an equal position out of the time. My opponent then played a rash move, which soon backfired; faced with a choice of a more complicated continuation, which I was unsure about, and a simple route to a slight edge, I chose the latter. Subsequent analysis suggest that the former route would have given me a big advantage, but would have required me to find some very difficult moves. The game subsequently saw me maintain my pressure for a while, but I then started to let it slip. I then made an unwise decision as to how to place one of my rooks, which made my position trickier to play. However, neither side seem to gain any significant advantage until the last few moves of the game. At that point, both players were down to just over a minute plus the increment. The assessment shifted over the course of three moves from draw to Black win to draw to White win. This was very frustrating from my perspective as I had been playing very well against a strong opponent.

I give the game below with some notes.

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