After a couple of hiccups early in the season, Aberystwyth are getting back into contention for the Dyfed League title 1n 2019. On Monday 4 March at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, Aber were in imperious form against Steynton C, helped in places by some convenient errors from their opponents. Rudy van Kemenade was unfazed by Colin Denham' unusual (perhaps improvised?) variation of the Sicilian, which simply lost a pawn without compensation, after which White remained in firm control. Adam Watkin-Jones had reached a level position against Scott Hammett's Stonewall Attack when a miscalculation by White dropped a piece, with the game following soon after. James Cook's Ruy Lopez against Ray Greenwood was a fierce struggle; White won the exchange but Black had two powerful bishops and found some counterplay before being outplayed in the ending. Sam Holman went a pawn up in another Sicilian against Gwyn Evans, but the ending with opposite-coloured bishops should have been drawn till White dropped his bishop to a pawn fork. The result was 4-0 to Aber.
A couple of weeks later, Aber entertained league leaders Cardigan A at home. Rudy's unusual opening brought about a position that may have bemused Iolo Jones, since he soon lost a pawn in a complex game which I don't even begin to understand. At any rate Black retained the advantage and went on to win the ending. Adam, bizarrely, was the beneficiary of a very similar error to the one which had won him a piece and the game against Scott Hammett in the previous match, and Tony Haigh resigned at once. After a quiet Queen's Pawn Game opening, Julie van Kemenade found a kingside attack against Ben Brewer, but White's position didn't seem to have any weaknesses, and his sudden counter-attack was devastating. I built up a strong central position against Awne Osinga's Modern Steinitz Defence to the Ruy Lopez, and broke through with my e-pawn to win a piece. After that I had some problems with a blocked-in bishop but was able to sacrifice it back to reach a winning position. Aber's 3-1 win avenged their defeat earlier in the season, and keeps them close behind Cardigan A in the League.