A tight match between Horsham 1 and Knoll Knights last Tuesday still hangs in the balance, with the score at 2-2 and Dix Robert’s game against Mike Nicholas unfinished.
The match started badly for Horsham, with Peter Harbott going down in flames on bottom board. Phil Stimpson’s position gradually deteriorated, until he was finally forced to concede. Things then took a turn for the better, as Gavin Lock secured a win on board one against John Bryant, and my game concluded in my favour in dramatic circumstances, as I forced mate with 2 seconds left on my clock!
Dix Roberts stands better against Mike Nicholas but it is not clear whether he can demonstrate a win, so the match could well end up drawn, which would put a real dent in Horsham’s title hope this season.
My game is given below with notes. My opponent was comfortably ahead on the clock until move 30, but then rapidly caught me up as his position came under pressure. I thought for two long in rejecting 20…b5 and 21…d5, and rapidly became short of time after that. However, although I missed some stronger moves, I did avoid making any obvious blunders, and the pressure told as my opponent fell into a snap mate.