Mid-Sussex League Division 3
Hastings(3) 2.5 – 1.5 Haywards Heath(2)
In league division three, Hastings thirds in second took on Haywards Heath’s seconds in third. A top-of-the-table clash.
Jim Wheeler on top board played an unsual opening, an Orangutan with the black pieces. His brief before the match was, as your opponent is significantly lower graded than you just wait for the mistake and capitalise on it. Well blow me his opponent David Curtis didn’t make a mistake and played a very solid game opening with the Colle-Zuckertort which is characterised by developing the dark-squared bishop on b2. The typical plan is: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Nc6 6.0-0 Bd6 7.Bb2 0-0, where White, despite their apparently innocuous development, will eventually play for a kingside attack. A locking up of the pawns occurred and neither player could break through, eventually it ended with N+2R v B+2R and David managed to exchange off his knight for Jim’s Bishop doubling his pawns and with an even rook ending achieved a draw was agreed. This monkey opening might get put aside as our big game hunter looks for better beasts to hunt next time.
Board 2 saw Chris Hann with the white pieces face off against a reversed London System. A promising start from the visitor but instead of going full steam on the queenside against Chris’ KiA he was probing the kingside with not much success. Another game where all the pawns got locked up and this one resembling a draughts board at one point, a few huffs later and Chris found the winning moves. 1.5 – 0.5
Derek on board 4 had an exciting game with white against a Najdorf. In the hands of Bobby Fischer the Najdorf was an awesome weapon full of sharp lines and tactical goodness. In the hands of the 1400 player the Najdorf poses so many problems for the non booked student of chess. Derek on the other hand comfortable with the themes, rammed his d pawn all the way to d6 then plonked a juicy Knight on c7 for the majority of game. His opponent failed to deal with forward outpost and monster knight and Derek manoeuvred the rest of his forces around it going a pawn up then a pawn and piece up and eventually crushing and closing out the game. 2.5 – 0.5
Adrian on board 3 continued the theme of night of blocked positions (excluding Derek) and was made to work for a few paltry crumbs. Gradually making progress against his opponent James Falvey who was 100 grading points lower he eventually went an exchange up less a pawn, and so with a +1 advantage was looking good although it was unclear how to progress. Then in less time it took me to go upstairs grab a delicious Sainsbury’s mince pie and come back down again, Adrian had gifted his opponent an early Christmas present of a piece and an awful position in a 4v3 RvR ending which only lasted a few more moves. 2.5-1.5
A close result for the Thirds but enough to go back to the top of the table after Eastbourne(4) had deposed us a few days early. Monday 4th December will see the crunch match between Hastings(3) and Eastbourne(4), 1st & 2nd in the league respectively which could be a deciding factor in who might be favourites for the title.
Come on you Thirds!