Horsham 1 came crashing to earth, as Worthing 1 inflicted their first defeat of the season last night.
The match started well, with Peter Harbott inflicting a quick defeat on board five before the players on board one had left the opening! However, things then became a lot tougher. Worthing fought back on board four, with Phil Stimpson’s pawn sacrifice proving insufficient, and Dix Roberts was unable to secure more than a draw in a dull game with former Horsham player Chris Jones. It was therefore down to the top two boards.
On board one, Gavin Lock was under pressure against Alex Therrien, and it was unclear whether he could hold. On board two, I was White against Dave Graham. I had built up a promising position against his King’s Indian, but there was always the nagging worry that he might conjure up something on the kingside. With about 10 moves to go to the time control, my position still looked good, but I had 15 minutes left, and the time pressure started to tell. With less than 5 minutes to go, I allowed 34…Nxg4, and then I responded with the poor 35 Rc1, which lost easily.
The players then agreed a draw on board one, as although Alex was better, it was unlikely that he could win an adjudication. The match was therefore decided 3-2 in Worthing’s favour.