Sunday, 18 December 2011

Dyfed Closed Round 5

It's a miracle we get any competitive chess in Round 5 of the Dyfed Closed, as most of the players have by that time eaten a huge Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, which is one of the traditions of the event. It proved no problem for Gerry Heap, who won comfortably against the lower-graded Roland Spencer to ensure at least a share of first place. Tony Haigh, on the other hand, had Rudy to cope with, a much tougher proposition, and their fiendishly complicated struggle was certainly the game of the round. Rudy had the advantage for most of the game, emerged from the complications a piece down, but managed to draw the ending. That left Gerry the winner, with Tony second. Rudy tied for third with Jamie Sen, who drew with Colin Denham. Of the other games, a special mention should go to Georgina, who for the second time this tournament narrowly missed the chance of a good result against a much higher-graded player. This time she came within a single king move of a draw with Julie. Once again it was a thoroughly enjoyable tournament - always my favourite of the year. Thanks to Iolo Jones for organizing it, the
Emlyn Cafe for hosting it, and Rudy for analysing the games.

Gerry Heap - Roland Spencer 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade - Tony Haigh ½-½

Colin Denham - Jamie Sen ½-½

Matthew Francis - Jan Sendall 1-0

Julie van Kemenade - Georgina Gray 1-0

Tony Geraghty - Paul Orton 0-1

John Basterfield - Scott Hammett 0-1

Margaret Baron - James Cook 0-1

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dyfed Closed Round 4

For the first three rounds of the tournament, played on the Saturday, we had had an odd number of players, meaning that one player had to have a bye every round, which is always frustrating. On the Sunday, a new player, James Cook, joined us, which gave us the brief illusory prospect of a bye-less last two rounds. Unfortunately, John Florence had withdrawn overnight, so we continued with an odd number. The two leaders, both on maximum points, met in this round, and Tony Haigh did well to hold Gerry Heap to a draw. Jamie Sen continued to do well, with a win against Scott Hammett, and Roland Spencer scored a considerable upset by beating Colin Denham. The last game to finish was a complex ending between Jan Sendall and Tony Geraghty. With all the other players watching (and, rightly, not saying anything) they continued to play for several moves after Tony's flag had fallen. Eventually Jan noticed and claimed the win - but even then Tony, unfamiliar with the digital clock, thought for some time afterwards that he had won.

Tony - Haigh - Gerry Heap ½-½

Roland Spencer - Colin Denham 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade - Matthew Francis 1-0

Scott Hammett - Jamie Sen 0-1

Paul Orton - Julie van Kemenade ½-½

Jan Sendall - Tony Geraghty 1-0

Georgina Gray - Margaret Baron 1-0

James Cook - Ian Finlay ½-½

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Last Match Before Christmas

Aber's last match before the Christmas break was played between the B team and Haverfordwest B in the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 5th December. Playing Black on Board 1, I took advantage of Jan Sendall's blunder - he left a bishop en prise in an even middle-game, after which the win was comparatively easy. James Cook had more problems at first: Tim Kirby broke through his lines with a knight, creating some confusion, before losing control and allowing his own position to fall to pieces. Tony Geraghty was also uncomfortable, in a blocked position where Robbie Coles seemed to have most of the chances. Eventually it resolved into a difficult rook-and-pawn ending where both players, understandably, committed several inaccuracies before agreeing a draw. Ian Finlay should have had it all his own way with his kingside attack against Margaret Baron; in fact, he made a couple of mistakes which a more experienced opponent might have taken advantage of before clinching what was still a quick win. Haverfordwest were heavily outgraded, so the result, 3½-½, was no great surprise.

Jan Sendall - Matthew Francis 0-1

James Cook - Tim Kirby 1-0

Robbie Coles - Tony Geraghty ½-½

Ian Finlay - Margaret Baron 1-0

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Dyfed Closed Round 3

I suppose chess is usually a game of missed opportunities, especially at amateur level. There were plenty in Round 3. The top board encounter between the two favourites was a case in point. Rudy emerged from the opening with the better position, but misplayed it, losing material. Ian was on top against Scott Hammett but lost his way in the complications. John Florence had excellent chances against Roland Spencer in a very unbalanced position, and even the lowest-graded player present, Margaret Baron, could have had a clear advantage against the much stronger Colin Denham at one point. Paul Orton and I both took it in turns to throw away winning chances, so the only draw of the round seemed a fair result. At the end of the first day, Gerry Heap and Tony Haigh were the only players left on maximum points.

Gerry Heap - Rudy van Kemenade 1-0

Julie van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 0-1

Paul Orton - Matthew Francis ½-½

Jamie Sen - Jan Sendall 1-0

John Florence - Roland Spencer 0-1

Margaret Baron - Colin Denham 0-1

Ian Finlay - Scott Hammett 0-1

Tony Geraghty - John Basterfield 1-0