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