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.