Hastings unbeaten run ends

Monday night saw Hastings Third team unbeaten run in the Mid-Sussex league Division 3 come to an end with defeat to rivals Brighton 1.5-2.5. This was a top-of-the-table clash with the winners most likely to go on and lift the title. Despite a blistering victory on top board by junior Leon Sazkissyan, a commanding performance by Mason over Robert Counsell and lovely attacking chess by Adrian and Derek it wasn’t to be. Hastings will now need to win their final two games to get promoted to the second division.

On board 1 rising star and junior Leon came flying out of the traps, banging out moves in a most unusual opening, forcing off queens very early whilst decimating the pawn structure of both sides, after the dust settled Leon had an advanced passed pawn on the e-file which when the game reduced to a rook and pawn ending he navigated the complications like a senior with years of experience. 1-0

Mason on board 2 had a very strong opening restricting Robert Counsell to just crumbs of opportunity and although he did manage some queenside initiative it soon fizzled out leaving Mason to rearrange his forces and prepare for an overwhelming attack. Robert at this point was just moving back and forth with a knight awaiting the oncoming storm. With 5 mins on the clock to Robert’s 3 mins and other results from the match undecided, it was time to launch the attack and Nxg6 was played!! Robert didn’t take and instead, Nf8 was selected and after Nxe7,Qxe7,Bg5 white is winning but with very little time on the clock the better player (Robert) found the right moves. 1-1 (Moral, don’t complicate a position when you don’t have any time!)

Adrian on board 3 found himself up against the popular London system and although setting up with the Grunfeld defence which featured in the “Game of the Century” between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer wasn’t enough for Adrian. Going a pawn down early doors but having the advantage of the fianchetto bishop versus a knight late on was too much for Adrian 1-2

Derek on board 4 playing Susan Chadwick had a great start with a three pawn centre v Kings Indian Defence, winning an exchange and a pawn, looked good for the win but Susan is no pushover a very solid positional player which Derek could not finish off. In the end a draw and Brighton take the honours.

In summary, Hastings played really well and at one point looked to be winning 3-1 but the extra quality of Brighton carried them through. New team member Leon was outstanding on top board and it won’t be long before he is knocking on the door of our second and even the first team!

Hastings play Worthing at home next before a trip to Haywards Heath for the final game of the season.

Come on you Thirds!