Horsham 1 returned to the top of the Mid-Sussex League Division 1 with a 3-2 win away to Hastings. The match was held at St.John’s Church Hall, Meads Village, Eastbourne, a venue that Hastings started using last year. It is not that difficult to reach, but it is a long journey for Horsham players, taking about one and a half hours by car.
Gavin Lock drew with Bernard Cafferty on board 1 in a cautious game. Phil Stimpson played boldly with Black against Paul Kelly on board 3, but was unable to force a win. There was more success for Horsham on boards 4 and 5, where Dix Roberts and Paul Taylor defeated Mel Young and Con Power respectively.
I was faced with Alfredo Luaces on board 2. Alfredo is a dangerous player and I expected a tough encounter. I was White, and the game transposed into a line of the King’s Indian. Play proceeded in normal fashion until move 15, when I made a serious oversight, which led to the loss of material. Black did allow me some chances, but his position was still strong until he decided to sacrifice the exchange for a second pawn. I should then have been able to hold, but having run short of time by that point (less than 5 minutes for 12 moves), I made a further blunder, losing another pawn. I just made the time control, but my position was lost.