Thursday, 25 November 2010


The A team turned up hoping to avenge the recent defeat of the B team by Haverfordwest. The earliest game finished in less than an hour when home preparation paid off for a win by Rudy against Colin Denham(one of the league’s most successful players this season). Georgina followed with a strategic plan (albeit with a few tactical hiccups) against her higher rated opponent. John Basterfield ensured victory with a neat K and g pawn win after several diversions(revenge for his loss when playing for the B team against the same opponent). And, to make it 4-0 finally, Dave Ferguson made sure his devious opponent got no real counterchances, forcing Jan Sendall into a position where he tried to resign but was unable to do so before his flag fell.
So it was 4-0 in the end, avenging the B team.

(Report by Rudy)

Colin Denham - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

David Ferguson - Jan Sendall 1-0

John Florence - John Basterfield 0-1

Georgina Gray - Robbie Coles 1-0

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What Might Have Been

Following our catastrophic defeat to Haverfordwest, the B team were in action again on Monday against a strong Carmarthen team. On top board, playing a closed line against Gerry Heap's Sicilian, I found myself, rather to my surprise, a piece up with a winning attack. When he sacrificed a rook as a last resort, I let myself be intimidated by his higher grading and the fact that I had only four minutes left on my clock into allowing the perpetual. John Basterfield rashly castled queenside in the French against the aggressive Huw Morcom and was quickly overwhelmed by the ensuing attack. Tony Geraghty was also facing a much higher-graded opponent on Board 3, and played an enterprising piece sacrifice leading to a complex struggle. David Buttell eventually gave back the material, and was winning the ending when Tony lost on time. On the bottom board, Georgina Gray outplayed Clive Boaler positionally from the opening, and was able to force a pawn through to queen for an impressive win. As Rudy pointed out afterwards, if Tony and I had both taken our chances, it would have been a 3-1 win to the B team against opponents ranked several hundred points per board higher. As it was we kept up Aber's proud tradition of 2½–1½, but from the wrong end.

Matthew Francis - Gerry Heap ½-½

Huw Morcom - John Basterfield 1-0

Tony Geraghty - David Buttell 0-1

Clive Boaler - Georgina Gray 0-1

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Famous Victory

Facing the strongest team in the Dyfed League, Cardigan A, and heavily outgraded on the top three boards, the A team tried to emulate the B team’s recent 1.5 performance. Chances looked good when Mark Talbot scored an early draw against Howard Williams, as a series of piece swaps led to an opposite colour bishop ending. Dave Ferguson was always on top against Tony Haigh and netted an exchange which eventually won comfortably. Julie van Kemenade faced early central pressure against Caerwyn Owen, but held her forces in readiness for the queenside break that led to the destruction of the White centre. And so the match was won. The final seal was put in place when Rudy van Kemenade made life as difficult as possible for his opponent in a losing position (after various ups and downs) and finally won when Iolo Jones miscalculated the complexities in severe time time trouble. So it's the first defeat for Cardigan A in several years (since the disbandment of the erstwhile powerful Carmarthen team) 3½–½.

(Report by Rudy)

Mark Talbot - Howard Williams ½-½

Iolo Jones - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

David Ferguson - Tony Haigh 1-0

Caerwyn Owen - Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Monday, 8 November 2010

Bs Crushed

The B team's good start came to an abrupt end on Monday 1 November when they were crushed 4-0 by Haverfordwest. The trouble began when the team failed to meet up in the carpark at Aber because of a confusion caused by the clocks having changed over the weekend(!) After that it just got worse. Board 1 Julie van Kemenade was the first to resign when a tactical oversight cost her a piece against the league's most improved player, Colin Denham. On Board 2 against Jan Sendall, an opponent I have always found tricky, I dropped a pawn and had to defend against a strong attack. When the smoke cleared I was still a pawn down and resigned before the flag could fall. John Basterfield lost his queen for a rook in John Florence's spirited kingside attack. Finally new team member Cai Lewis was two pieces up at one stage against Robbie Coles but underestimated the power of a remote passed pawn and had to give up too much material to stop it.

Meanwhile the club was well represented the previous weekend at the Dyfed Closed Championship, with seven of our members taking part. Rudy van Kemenade retained the title he won last year, with the same perfect score of 5/5. Julie van Kemenade finished third, behind Carmarthen's Keith Downey, on 3.5. I scored 3, Ian Finlay 2, John Basterfield withdrew due to illness on 1.5/3, Tony Geraghty scored 1, and Cai Lewis, playing his first ever tournament, finished with 0.5. All the games can be found on Paul Orton's Dyfed Chess Association site.

Julie van Kemenade - Colin Denham 0-1

Jan Sendall - Matthew Francis 1-0

John Basterfield - John Florence 0-1

Robbie Coles - Cai Lewis 1-0