Monday, 21 February 2011

Champions Downed

On Wednesday 16th February, the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes was the scene of yet another chess confrontation between Cardigan and Aberystwyth. This time it was the A teams who took part, but Cardigan were at a disadvantage, being a player short. On top board Mark Talbot played a Benko Gambit against the League's strongest player, Howard Williams, who eventually prevailed in the complications. Rudy van Kemenade surprised Iolo Jones with the Bishop's Opening, which soon transposed into an Italian Game, and got a decisive kingside attack. Tony Haigh against David Ferguson was another transposition, from a Trompowsky into a Sicilian. White was left with a favourable ending, and forced Black to give up a piece for two pawns, but finally had to settle for a draw. With the default on fourth board, it was a second win this season for Aber A against the League champions, 2½-1½.

Howard Williams - Mark Talbot 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade - Iolo Jones 1-0

Tony Haigh - David Ferguson ½-½

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

St Valentine's Day Massacre

On the evening of St Valentine's Day, Aberystwyth's B team, still without a win in their first season and whitewashed in their last match by Cardigan A, faced Haverfordwest, who had also whitewashed them in the autumn. This time the result was different. Two of the games finished fairly quickly, leaving the players to watch the more entertaining struggles on the other two boards. Tony Geraghty on Board 4 was first to finish, attacking the weakened black squares round John Florence's king and forcing a win of material followed by mate. On second board, I won a piece early on against Jan Sendall and sealed the win after some ultra-cautious play, having blown some good positions in earlier games against the same opponent. A single draw from the remaining games would be enough to break Aber's duck. Julie van Kemenade on top board was two pieces up against Colin Denham, after his attempted combination went wrong, but he had an advanced passed pawn and aggressively posted rooks, and with time control approaching it wasn't easy to see the way forward. Finally she broke free with the counter-attack that forced his resignation. That left Ian Finlay, who was a piece up but three pawns down in the ending against Scott Hammett. It seemed he must lose, but his opponent missed a succession of wins and eventually walked into a one-move mate. So the B team have their first win, and by the satisfying score of 4-0.

Colin Denham - Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Matthew Francis - Jan Sendall 1-0

Scott Hammett - Ian Finlay 0-1

Tony Geraghty - John Florence 1-0

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Club Championship Looming Again

It has been some time since the last Club Championship (it was in fact held in 2009, which still counts as last season), and a new one is looming. It will be held in our usual venue of the St David's Club over the weekend of Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March. There may also be a first round on the evening of Tuesday 8th March, depending on the number of entries. Please let Tony know if you would like to play:

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Bs Whitewashed

Cardigan A were not the ideal opponents for a B team seeking to end their run of games without a win. On Monday the Bs suffered their second whitewash of the season, though at least this time it was to a much stronger team rather than the (on paper) closely matched Haverfordwest. Julie van Kemenade came under pressure early on against Howard Williams, and a miscalculation left her a pawn down in a lost ending. I also lost a pawn defending against Iolo Jones's English Opening, and rather capitulated after that when I could have set him a much harder task. Ian Finlay made an excellent fight of it against Tony Haigh, eventually losing an ending with a bad bishop against a good one, which he might have held. Cardigan's Caerwyn Owen, taken apart by Mark Talbot's French Defence last week, faced the same opening again, but Tony Geraghty is relatively new to it, and soon had to deal with some classic French headaches, a locked-in queen's bishop and a dominant White knight on d6. It was only a matter of time before he lost material and the game.

Julie van Kemenade - Howard Williams 0-1

Iolo Jones - Matthew Francis 1-0

Ian Finlay - Tony Haigh 0-1

Caerwyn Owen - Tony Geraghty 1-0