Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cardigan Made to Work

Aberystwyth's B team made the long trek to Cardigan on Monday 23rd January for a match against the strongest team in the Dyfed League, Cardigan A. Aber's top two had swapped boards for the occasion, so I had White against Welsh Champion Howard Williams. I had prepared an unusual line against Alekhine's defence and was able to set my opponent a few problems. Nevertheless, the game was gradually slipping away from me when he made an uncharacteristic error, reversing the advantage and allowing me to offer a draw from a position of strength. Julie van Kemenade had pressure against Iolo Jones on Board 2 for a while but lost a pawn to a neat tactical trap, which seemed to throw her: she walked into a still more devastating move soon afterwards. James Cook's game was a very quiet one; Tony Haigh was unable to impose his usual positional stranglehold and had to accept a draw early on. Finally, Georgina Gray, playing Black against Howard Leah's Italian Game, worked up a terrific counter-attack but went wrong in the complications; White found the winning move seconds before the time control. Georgina has come within a hair's breadth of a win against a much higher-rated player several times now, and it surely won't be long before she nails one. 3-1 to a Cardigan team who were much higher rated on all boards was a satisfactory result for Aber, especially as it helps our A team by preventing Cardigan from pulling clear at the top of the league.

Matthew Francis - Howard Williams ½-½

Iolo Jones - Julie van Kemenade 1-0

James Cook - Tony Haigh ½-½

Howard Leah - Georgina Gray 1-0

Thursday, 12 January 2012

First Match of the Year

An Aberystwyth A team missing a couple of strong players was nevertheless too good for on Wednesday 11th January. Gwyddwyll's young top board Iwan Griffiths put up a good defence in the French against Rudy van Kemenade, who was playing a line he first played nearly fifty years ago, but finally missed a tactic. The game between Owen Llywelyn and Julie van Kemenade was double-edged and both players were soon short of time. In the difficult ending, Julie lost a piece, missed an opportunity to regain it, but was still fighting when her opponent offered a draw in view of the time situation. The clock was also a factor on Board 3, where James Cook dominated the centre and had a decisive material advantage by the time Tegwyn Jones's flag fell. Georgina Gray got her queen trapped against Emyr Llywelyn, but it didn't make any difference because her development was so much better by that stage that she had a choice of winning lines. Aber won 3½-½, but Gwyddbwyll fought hard and made the first match of the year an exciting one.

Rudy van Kemenade - Iwan Griffiths 1-0

Owen Llywelyn - Julie van Kemenade ½-½

James Cook - Tegwyn Jones 1-0

Emyr Llywelyn - Georgina Gray 0-1