Last night Horsham 1 had something of a lucky escape against Woodpushers 1. The match started well enough for Horsham, with the team achieving strong positions on most boards. This was reflected in the first couple of results, as Phil Stimpson drew on board four, and I won a crushing victory on board two.
However, things then started to get a bit hairy. Gavin Lock had a distinct edge on board one and had his opponent under pressure. Both Dix Roberts on board three and Peter Harbott on board five looked to be well on top. However, all three players started to run short of time.
Dix’s opponent showed some ingenuity to build up some dangerous threats, and Dix, in terrible time trouble, blundered to lose the game. This very much left the match in the balance, as Peter managed to blunder an exchange, although the position was still a massive mess. Gavin however did manage to maintain his advantage.
The conclusion to Peter’s game was chaotic. With both player’s flags now hanging, Peter made a move with seconds to go. His opponent in attempting to reply only succeeded in scattering the pieces on the board. After making some fumbling attempts to replace the pieces, he then decided to press the clock. Peter’s flag then fell, as he was in no position to make a move as several of the pieces were in the wrong places! It was pointed out to his opponent by the spectators that he was not entitled to press his clock until he had corrected the position of the pieces. Peter was therefore awarded some extra time, and his opponent’s clock restarted. His opponent had by then managed to replace the pieces with the assistance of the spectators on both sides, but he was so flustered he was unable to find a move before his flag fell.
Gavin’s game is not yet finished, although he is claiming a win and is confident that he will get the decision, should it need to go to adjudication. In any case, he has at least a draw. The final result of the match will therefore either be 3.5-1.5 or 3-2 in our favour.
I give my game below with some notes.