McArthur Cup 2023-24: Horsham – Sussex University

Horsham’s defence of the McArthur Cup failed at the first hurdle, as we went down against Sussex University last night. Although Roy Page got the team off to a good start with a win on bottom board, a defeat for Phil Stimpson set us back. At one point, Gavin Lock looked like he might be able to pull back a win, which would have compensated for Mark Broom’s defeat on board two, but sadly he could only draw. I did manage to win my game, though, but Alex Taylor’s position did not have enough in it to mount a proper winning attempt, and in the end he actually lost.

I was White in my game and the game started with the classical Queen’s Gambit Declined. I managed to gain an advantage out of the opening, but allowed this to slip away as my opponent managed to establish a strong knight in the centre. A period of maneuvering then followed; my opponent offered a draw at one point, but I declined because of the match situation. As we both ran short of time and the number of inaccuracies increased, I managed to get the better of things as my opponent’s pieces ended up in a fatal tangle; finally, facing the loss of his queen, my opponent resigned.

I give the game below with some notes.

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