Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Bs Continue Their Good Start

If a pattern can be said to be emerging so early in the season, it seems to be the B teams putting up strong performances against the As. Following creditable scores by Cardigan B against Aberystwyth A and Aber B against Cardigan A, there was another close match this week between the two Aber teams in the home surroundings of the St David's Club. The biggest upset was on Board 1 where I had White for the B team against Mark Talbot. In a sharp line of the Petroff with the players castled on opposite sides, my attack got through first. The Bs did less well on the middle two boards: Ian found himself under a lot of pressure against Rudy, who won a piece in complications (Ian might have found a better defence but was losing anyway), while John lost an exchange early on to David Ferguson and never recovered. The B team's second good result was on Board 4, where Tony lost a piece against Julie but had good compensation and secured a draw. So the match finished with our usual score of 2.5 - 1.5. On this club night, two other players, Georgina Gray and Cai Lewis, were also present and played a rated friendly (Cai's first ever rated game), which Georgina won.

Matthew Francis - Mark Talbot 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade - Ian Finlay 1-0

John Basterfield - David Ferguson 0-1

Julie van Kemenade - Tony Geraghty 0-5-0.5

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Revenge (Almost)

After last week's draw between Aberystwyth A and Cardigan B, this week's match was a mirror image, with our B team "at home" (actually the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes) to champions Cardigan A. Four of the players, however,(the bottom two boards for Cardigan and the top two for Aber) were veterans of the earlier match. On top board, Howard Williams gradually outplayed Julie van Kemenade in a King's Indian, winning two pawns and then grabbing a piece with a knight fork as Julie tried to win a pawn back. I lost the exchange early in the game against Iolo Jones, but seemed for a while to have compensation until Iolo's accurate defence ensured a won ending. On board 3, Ian Finlay also lost the exchange but did better with his attack, as Caerwyn Owen went wrong and allowed mate. Finally, John Basterfield on bottom board did well to hold Seamus Cunnane to a draw in a blocked position arising from a Ruy Lopez. A good performance by our team, almost equalling Cardigan B's achievement of last week; although heavily outgraded on every board, we lost the match by the narrow margin of 2.5 - 1.5, which, as you may remember from last season, is a score we specialize in.

Howard Williams - Julie van Kemenade 1-0

Matthew Francis - Iolo Jones 0-1

Caerwyn Owen - Ian Finlay 0-1

John Basterfield - Seamus Cunnane 0-5-0.5

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

First Match of the Season

The season got off to a rocky start in our first match at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Monday 11th November when the A team only managed a draw against Cardigan B.

Rudy van Kemenade finally managed to win a crucial pawn and the game against the tenacious defence of Caerwyn Owen, while David Ferguson, playing board two, got a position with a weak pawn, then unfortunately gave away a piece to bring about defeat just as his position looked safe.

On board three, Julie van Kemenade won a pawn but then failed to see the most active way forward and settled for a draw.

Matthew Francis on board four tried hard to get play with a Budapest Gambit against a dogged opponent who swapped off all the main attacking pieces. When Matthew tried a pawn sacrifice as a final attempt, Roger Phillips found a very neat move that won the exchange. However all this had taken time, and Roger was forced to take a draw because of his severe time pressure.

Rudy van Kemenade / Matthew Francis

Rudy van Kemenade - Caerwyn Owen 1-0

Seamus Cunnane - David Ferguson 1-0

Julie van Kemenade - Howard Leah 0.5-0.5

Roger Phillips - Matthew Francis 0-5-0.5

Monday, 4 October 2010

Julie at the Olympiad Part 2 - Report by Rudy

Julie had a slightly less successful second half, yet it very nearly was even better than the first half. She still finished on 50%, equal with the Board no1 Olivia Smith, and just behind the Board no2, Suzie Blackburn, who managed 55%.

A very difficult game with Sara Christina Da Silva Monteiro (1818) of Portugal could have been advantageous if Julie had found the move 10 recommended by two Grandmasters in a Yugoslav encyclopedia. As it was after a complex battle the two Ns and Q were better than her R & Q.

She held Dragana Nikolovska of Macedonia (1752) to a draw in a tricky endgame. Then she held Citlali Duran Juarez (1957) to a draw in a N vs B endgame, also quite complex. Finally she lost to Joy Durno (1866 Scottish rating) in a complex game where she had lost a P built up a winning attack, but went wrong on move 41(just after the time control, and after a longish think) with a move that should have lost instantaneously, yet her opponent didn't find. 3 alternatives at move 41 would have been decisive for Bl.Later yet in a position still drawn, she lost a N by transposing moves.

It just shows how difficult team chess can be. On the same day two 2800 players, the best in the world, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria (both having lost two previous games) went down in 25 and 32 moves respectively after misjudging tactics.

Had Julie won then the match against Scotland would have been a win, not a loss. Her opponent, though Fide unrated achieved a WFM title for the tournament. Unfortunately both the women's and the Open team finished below what their initial ranking indicated.

Further commentary available on the WCU website.

Joy Durno - Julie Van Kemenade - 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade