This year I was selected to play for Horsham 2 for the MSL knockout competition. This competition operates on a handicapping system, where the average grading of both teams is calculated, and the difference in these is used to work out the required winning margin for the stronger team.
Last night we played our first round match against Lewes. The match started in somewhat chaotic fashion, as players on both sides were not present. Although Roger Waddingham turned up fairly soon, it looked as though John Marshall would not make it, so Julie Denning, our captain, decided to substitute Paul Taylor for him. This was to prove significant in the overall result of the match, as Paul’s higher grade meant that our required winning margin shifted from 3-2 to 3.5-1.5.
The first result was a draw on board three for Mick Harris against Keith Osborne; Mick was a bit lucky as he was material down, but managed to find enough play. Roger then won on board five to give us a 1.5-0.5 lead.
At this point, I had achieved a position on board one where I had a certain draw, but looking at the other positions, I was unsure as to how they would play out; I was certainly not confident that we would definitely achieve the 1.5 points from them that we needed! I therefore decided to push for more, and was rewarded with a win. However, this turned out to be in vain; Paul Taylor ended up drawing what looked like a superior position, then Julie blundered to lose her game. This left us with a 3-2 win on the night, but saw us eliminated as we had not achieved the required margin of victory.
I give my game on board one below with some notes.