Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Club Championship Report

Seven people took part in the Club Championship at the weekend, which allowed us to play a six-round Swiss with every player except Rudy receiving one full-point bye. The results were as follows:

1. Rudy Van Kemenade 6
2. Matthew Francis 5
3. Julie Van Kemenade 4
4. Ian Finlay 3
5. John Basterfield 2.5
6. Georgina Gray 2
7. Tony Geraghty 1.5

Congratulations to Rudy, whose domination of Aber chess was confirmed. Congratulations also to Georgina, the lowest-graded player, whose win over Tony was selected by Rudy as the best game of the tournament. Her game against Rudy himself was, he says, the most stubborn defence, and featured a delightful square of four passed pawns on the d and e files. I should have beaten Rudy in round 2 - on the other hand I should have lost to nearly everyone else, especially Georgina, who had a nasty attack against me in the first round and missed a hard-to-see mating line and a more straightforward win of material. But as Snoopy once said, we're not playing should'ves. The eighteen games played produced only one draw.

Many thanks to Tony for organizing it. He turned up on Saturday with several gallons of water for making tea and coffee, only to discover there was no kettle. All part of the learning curve. We might also wear thicker coats next time as even with two fires on the St David's Club can get cold. But there will definitely be a next time, as it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Tony is now planning an all-play-all rapidplay tournament to be held on club nights.

I am expecting to get my Internet connection restored next week, so will post the tournament games and the missing games from earlier matches over Christmas.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Club Championship

The Club Championship will be held this weekend, 12th and 13th December at the St David's Club. It will be a six-round Swiss, with the first round beginning at 9.30 on Saturday. If you want to play and haven't yet contacted Tony, please do so:

Thursday, 3 December 2009


At last we have broken the 2.5-1.5 pattern, with a 2-2 draw against Cardigan A. Results as follows:

Mark Talbot - Howard Williams 0.5-0.5
Iolo Jones - Rudy van Kemenade 0.5-0.5
Julie van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 0-1
Awne Osinga - Matthew Francis 0-1

Another good result for Mark, who was promoted to Board 1 to give him a go at the league's strongest player and has improved his grading still more. I am very happy with my win, which comes after a mini-slump with a defeat last week and three recent unimpressive draws against lower-graded players. I just managed to clinch a rook and pawn ending with a couple of minutes left on the clock. We are now tied with Cardigan A on match score, but they are well ahead of us on game score. All the same it's an excellent result for Aber, and shows how the addition of players like Mark (and also David Ferguson who won last week) has strengthened the team.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

2.5 - 1.5

There must be a way of writing a fraction on Blogger, but until I find what it is I will have to stick to .5. Ironic really, as I am getting a reputation as the club's draw specialist. Since my last update, we have played two more matches, against Cardigan B on 18 November and Carmarthen on 25 November, and both of them, like our first two matches, ended in a 2.5-1.5 win for Aber. Can we keep up the same result all season? I can't include the games at the moment as my home modem is broken so I don't have access to ChessBase. Here, though, are the results:

Aberystwyth vs Cardigan B 18/11/09

Caerwyn Owen - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Julie van Kemenade - Howard Leah 1-0
Roland Spencer - Matthew Francis 0.5-0.5
Tony Geraghty - Awne Osinga 0-1

Carmarthen vs Aberystwyth 25/11/09

Rudy van Kemenade - Gerry Heap 0.5-0.5
Huw Morcom - Mark Talbot 0-1
Matthew Francis - David Buttell 0-1
Paul Orton - David Ferguson 0-1

A good debut for Mark Talbot on Board 2. I'm off to play in the match against Cardigan A now. If we win that 2.5 - 1.5 it will be a miracle.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Club Championship

The Club Championship will be held at the St David's Club over the weekend of Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December. There may also be a first round on the evening of Tuesday 8th December, depending on the number of entries. The new format should make for a really exciting tournament this year, especially if all or most of the talented new players who have been turning up to club nights recently are able to take part. Please let Tony know if you would like to play:

Dyfed Closed

The Dyfed Closed Championship was held over the weekend of Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November in the hospitable setting of the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes. Five Aber players took part, and the winner was Rudy Van Kemenade with the convincing score of 5/5. Julie Van Kemenade was second with 3.5/5. I finished in a five-way tie for third, with 3/5, Tony Geraghty scored 2/5 and Ian Finlay 1.5/5. The grading prize was won by Jan Sendall of Haverfordwest with 2.5/5. Here is a notable win by Julie:

Tony Haigh - Julie Van Kemenade 0-1

Friday, 6 November 2009

Match against Haverfordwest

Our latest match in the Dyfed League was against Haverfordwest. Ian Finlay won on top board, and there were draws for John Basterfield, Tony Geraghty and Georgina Gray on the other boards. The games are here:

Jan Sendall - Ian Finlay 0-1

John Basterfield - Colin Denham 0.5-0.5

Robbie Coles - Tony Geraghty 0.5-0.5

Georgina Gray - John Florence 0.5-0.5

Thursday, 5 November 2009

AGM Minutes

Aberystwyth Town Chess Club
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

29th September 2009.

Present, G Gwilliams {Chair}, A Geraghty {Secretary-Treasurer}, R Van Kemenade,

J Basterfield, M Francis, I Finlay G Grey.


1. Apologies for absence. Julie Van Kemenade.

2. Minutes of the previous AGM accepted.

3. Matters arising. None.

4. Secretary/Treasurer's report. Tony Geraghty reported that the club had a good year. The Club Championship has been completed, however fewer games had been played. Matthew Francis was congratulated on winning the tournament. Attendance on club nights has been down compared with the previous year. Financially the club was in good order. The rent was paid to date but lacked the funds in the bank to continue to pay advanced rent. The secretary also reminded members WCU fees of £10.00 were now due.

5. Proposals. In view of the above report a number of proposals were suggested to change the way we fund the club but none were voted on. The treasurer was asked to keep members informed if the club could not meet its financial obligations.

Members agreed we must do more to attract new members. Posters were taken and more are available from the secretary.

It was proposed and accepted that Matthew Francis be given the official title of 'Blog Master'. In addition to promoting the club via the internet Matthew agreed to approach the Cambrian News for some mention of match reports.

The secretary proposed that he approach St David's Club of the availability of the room for a weekend Club Championship Tournament.

Rudy Van Kemenade proposed the AGM be brought forward to help plan for the league fixtures.

6. Match Captain's report. Rudy Van Kemenade stated that the club had completed all their games in the Dyfed League and had finished in 2nd position. Results had been mixed but in the main he had maintained a rotating system which had given all members an opportunity to play. The Dyfed League have agreed to continue subsidising the venue and membership fees.

7. Subscriptions for the coming year. Maintained at present rate.

8. Election of Officers. [Currently these include: Chair, Secretary/ Treasurer, Team Captain.]
Chair-G J Gwilliams
Secretary/Treasurer- A Geraghty
Team Captain- Rudy Van Kemenade
Blog Master- M Francis

Anthony Geraghty, Secretary/ Treasurer

Lluest, Trefenter, Aberystwyth, SY23 4HG. 01974 272 507

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

West Wales Congress

Last weekend, Rudy, Julie and I took part in the West Wales Congress, held at the Glamorgan Arms, Pontlliw, near Swansea. We were all doing pretty well by Saturday night, Rudy on 2.5/3 in the Open, and, in the Major, Julie on 2/3 and me on 2.5/3. Not sure what happened to us next day, but we only scored half a point between us, my draw in the last round. I'm posting one game from the tournament, a ferocious attack by Rudy with a twist in the plot at the end:

Young,AJ (2051) - Van Kemenade,R (2039)

The Welsh Chess Union has a new improved website here.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

1st Match

We had our first match in the Dyfed Chess League on Wednesday, against The games are now linked below:
  1. I. Griffiths 1503 - R. van Kemenade 2039 1-0
  2. M. Francis 1669 - O. Llywelyn 1391 0.5-0.5
  3. E. Llywelyn 908 - I. Finlay 1408 - 0-1
  4. G. Gwilliams 1352 - T. Jones ---- 1-0
A shock defeat for Rudy on Board 1 against the up-and-coming junior Iwan Griffiths. He went wrong in a Budapest Gambit, lost a piece early on and never recovered. I was afflicted with overcautiousness, even though I had beaten Owen Llywelyn last year in the same Caro-Kann exchange variation, and was happy to agree a draw after only sixteen numbingly slow moves, seeing that Ian and Gordon had clinched the match for us with comfortable wins. So a win for Aber but a good result for, who were heavily outgraded on all boards.

Because the Dyfed League covers a wide geographical area, all matches are played in the Emlyn Cafe at Tanygroes, about 25 miles from Aber on the south coast of Ceredigion. This is also the venue for the Dyfed Closed Championship, which will be held on the weekend of 31st October and 1st November. It's always one of my favourite tournaments, with a convivial lunch on the Sunday, after which the last round is extra difficult to play. Also coming up is the West Wales Congress, 16-18 October in Swansea.

At the AGM last week, we decided that the club championship, which was a bit of a wash-out last year, should be a weekend tournament this time, to make it easier to arrange. We're hoping it will be in late November or early December. The signs are that we should have a decent number of players at the club this year: three new players have turned up in the last week or two, and some old ones have either returned or promised to.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Aberystwyth Chess Club - New Season

For most of the summer, there have been only three or four of us at the meetings. Now with the autumn beginning, people are returning. Being based in a university town, our club is very dependent on students to boost the membership, so this is a tense time of year for us as we wait to see whether how many new players we'll get this time. There is currently no chess club at the university itself. From time to time the students try to organize one, but they need to assemble a minimum number of players before the Students' Union will give them any funding, and their plans generally fall through. Then, with luck, the disappointed students arrive at our club.

We meet in the St David's Club, Eastgate Street, Aberystwyth, 7.15 pm every Tuesday. It takes a bit of finding - a few doors along from the Wasabi restaurant is the best way to remember it, and it has a blue door. (If the blue door is locked, it probably means Gordon hasn't arrived yet.) We are planning to hold the AGM on Tuesday 22nd September - these are usually pretty short and there will be time for chess as well. We run a team in the Dyfed League, and came second last year to the impressive Cardigan A. Rudy van Kemenade, our team captain and strongest player, has a policy of picking team members in rotation so anyone who wants a game will get one, subject only to being a member of the Welsh Chess Union. (This only costs £10 a year.)

There are a few summer events to report. Encouraged by our success in the League, we challenged Cardigan to a friendly match, and lost 5.5 - 0.5. I played in the Major section of the South Wales Summer Tournament at Chepstow and scored 2.5/5. Rudy and Julie van Kemenade played in the Open at the Hereford Congress - Rudy scored 4/6 and Julie 2/6. I asked Rudy for an annotated game, and he modestly sent me a defeat. What a defeat, though! I wish I could lose games like that. His annotations are modest, too - no exclamation mark for 12. exf6!! He comments, "The moral is, how to get a winning position by advancing your pieces, and how to then get a losing position by retreating." I've also included a game of my own, my win in the last round at Chepstow, which ensured me a respectable result.

van Kemenade, R. - Zeidler, S.
Jewsbury, K. - Francis, M.

Photos of Matthew Francis and Rudy van Kemenade are copyright Gwynfor Rees and taken from his website Welsh Chess Gallery.