Last Tuesday saw the opening two rounds of the Horsham Chess Club Quickplay Knockout. As reported in my previous post, I beat Gary Whitmore 2-0 in round one, but my second round encounter against Melusi Nkomo was a tougher match.
The first game saw me achieve a big advantage as White against his King’s Indian, but I let things slip as I ran short of time, then overstepped the time limit in a drawn endgame. This defeat meant that I had to win the second game with Black in order to stay in the competition.
The second game started badly as I grabbed a pawn early on, only to soon find myself a pawn down. I did have the bishop pair to offer some compensation, but opponent remained on top for a long time. However, he eventually slipped up and I was able to win his queen for rook and bishop with a neat combination. I then managed to push one of my pawns to the seventh and bring up my king, which proved decisive. The match was now tied at one-all, and went to sudden death.
We drew again for colours and Melusi picked White. Although I had a chance to get an advantage early on, I missed this and allowed my opponent to gradually build up on the kingside. My attempt to counter his attack with …f5 backfired, and he soon managed to break through and force a win. I therefore lost the match 2-1 and was out of the competition!
I give the games below with some comments. Note that the scores cut off before the end of the game as I stopped recording the moves when I had less than five minutes left.