Sunday, 14 December 2014
Matthew Francis - Tony Haigh 0-1
Seamus Cunnane - Tony Geraghty 0-1
James Corrigan - Howard Leah 1-0
Two days later, the A team played Haverchess B at the same venue. Rudy van Kemenade was not thrown off balance by Colin Denham's unorthodox opening and speculative sacrifice; he had seen that Black had much better attacking chances from the resulting position, and soon had the White king surrounded for a straightforward win. Adam Robinson failed to make his extra pawn count against Scott Hammett's Latvian gambit. After he had missed an early chance to invade with his two bishops, the game reached a complex rook and pawn ending, which was drawn in more than 70 moves, after many twists and turns. Georgina Gray, in her first game for the club this season, found herself plunged into wild complications from the opening. Ray Greenwood, playing White, made the decisive mistake of castling into her attack, after which she was able to harry his king across the board to eventual defeat. On Board 4, James Corrigan got a comfortable advantage from his Queen's Gambit against the inexperienced Sandra Whitby, but cannot have expected to win quite so soon, as she allowed an unusual form of smothered mate with a bishop on f7 after only eleven moves - quite a contrast to the game on Board 2! Aber won the match 3½-½.
Colin Denham - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Adam Robinson - Scott Hammett ½-½
Ray Greenwood - Georgina Gray 0-1
James Corrigan - Sandra Whitby 1-0
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Colin Denham - Adam Robinson 1-0
Mike Weston - Scott Hammett ½-½
Ray Greenwood - Tony Geraghty 0-1
Ian Finlay - Margaret Baron 1-0
Aber A's home match against Gwyddbwyll.com at the St David's Club on Tuesday 2 December was quite a contrast, with players taking the adventurous rather than the cautious approach, not always successfully. Rudy van Kemenade kept calm against Iwan Griffiths's enterprising attack in a Petroff, declining a piece sacrifice, and steering the game towards a won ending. I played a sharp line against Owen Llywelyn's Caro-Kann which has brought me success against him in the past. I got the better position again, but was tempted by an unsound pawn sacrifice and should have been in serious trouble; luckily for me, he made a crucial mistake that let my queen in for the win. Ian was typically aggressive against Tegwyn Jones; his piece sacrifice may have been unsound, but was difficult to defend against in practice. An exciting game finished with the players agreeing a draw in a position where White still faced problems trying to win with the extra piece. Only James Corrigan on Board 4 had a trouble-free attack, breaking through quickly against Emyr Llywelyn's Hippopotamus. A 3½-½ win to Aber A.
Iwan Griffiths - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Matthew Francis - Owen Llywelyn 1-0
Tegwyn Jones - Ian Finlay ½-½
James Corrigan - Emyr Llywelyn 1-0
Friday, 5 December 2014
On Wednesday 12 November, a strong Cardigan B team were the hosts against champions Aberystwyth A. Rudy van Kemenade went the exchange up against Tony Haigh in a classical French, but Black had counterplay with his strong knight, and the presence of queens on the board made for complications. Rudy missed chances to win and eventually allowed a perpetual. Against veteran Seamus Cunnane, Julie van Kemenade had the kind of aggressive King's Indian-type position she enjoys, Turning down a draw, she went on the attack with her two bishops, winning a piece and the game. New player Adam Robinson has not had the best of starts to the season, and was looking for a win against the lower-rated Howard Leah. After a quiet closed Sicilian opening, the players reached an ending where White had knight against bishop with an extra pawn. It was a long fight but he prevailed in the end. The other new player, Mike Weston, reached a similar ending from a similar Sicilian line, though in his case he was Black and had the bishop. What looked like being a long-drawn out game came to a premature end when Awne Osinga allowed a winning fork. Aber A won an ending-dominated match 3½-½.
Rudy van Kemenade - Tony Haigh ½-½
Seamus Cunnane - Julie van Kemenade 0-1
Adam Robinson - Howard Leah 1-0
Awne Osinga - Mike Weston 0-1
A few days later, on Monday 17th November, it was Cardigan A's turn to play host to Aber A. Rudy's King's Indian Attack against the league's strongest player, Howard Williams, led to a curious position in which Black had invaded a long way into the White queenside, but with little prospect of further progress. Rudy gave up two pieces for a rook to get a passed pawn on the other wing, then unwisely allowed it to become unpassed again, at which point Howard's queenside invasion suddenly came to life, winning the game. Julie's Philidor looked cramped against Iolo Jones, who had the two bishops and all the time in the world to decide on his attack, which came very suddenly, winning, first a pawn, then the queen. All the pawns stayed on the board till well into the middlegame in Adam Robinson's game against Tony Haigh, causing a blocked position. Tony came close to a breakthrough on the kingside, but Adam had the defensive resources to hold him to a draw. On Board 4 Mike Weston followed a well-trodden path in the Sicilian, so much so that he reached a position against Howard Leah's kingside attack that had already been resigned by Black in a tournament game. Mike played on for a few moves, but there was no defence. Again the result was 3½-½, this time to Cardigan.
Rudy van Kemenade - Howard Williams 0-1
Iolo Jones - Julie van Kemenade 1=0
Adam Robinson - Tony Haigh ½-½
Howard Leah - Mike Weston 1-0
Meanwhile the Dyfed Closed tournament has taken place, at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on the weekend of 8th-9th November. Rudy was the winner with 4½/5, beating frequent winner Gerry Heap into second place. Ian Finlay won the under-1600 grading prize with 3/5, and Jamie Friel was joint winner of the under-1300 prize with Courtney Probert of Cardigan, on 2/5. I'll post the Aber games over Christmas.
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Martin Jones - Matthew Francis 1-0
Mike Weston - John Miller ½-½
Scott Hammett - Ian Finlay ½-½
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Carmarthen often have trouble raising a full team, and for Aberystwyth A's first match of the season, they were only able to field two boards. Somewhat unconventionally, presumably owing to an agreement between the captains, these were Boards one and three, meaning Aber had White in both. Rudy van Kemenade emerged from a complex Bird's Opening with the better position against Gerry Heap, but perhaps relaxed too soon, allowing a destructive pin that, after further complications, left Black with a winning advantage. Tony Geraghty got the kind of kingside attack he aims for with his London System, but gave up a piece for unclear compensation. The position remained difficult for both players, and Paul Orton eventually erred under pressure, dropping not only the piece but a rook as well. A win for each side plus the two defaults gave Aber a 3-1 victory.
Rudy van Kemenade - Gerry Heap 0-1
Tony Geraghty - Paul Orton 1-0
Sunday, 5 October 2014
Howard Williams - Matthew Francis 1-0
Tony Geraghty - Iolo Jones 0-1
Tony Haigh - Ian Finlay 1-0
James Corrigan - Awne Osinga 0-1
Saturday, 20 September 2014
We had the sad news this week that longstanding member of Aberystwyth Chess Club John Basterfield had died after a long illness. John was the first person I met on joining the club nearly eight years ago; a big man with an imposing presence, he was in fact softly spoken, courteous and unfailingly good-humoured, even in later years when he was often in poor health. Before retirement he had been a maths lecturer at Aberystwyth University, and he still had the teacher's mannerism of a slight pause before answering a question while he sorted out a measured and appropriate reply. As a player, he had a solid positional style and an unchanging opening repertoire: e4, the Winawer French and the Nimzo-Indian - if you were playing White and John hadn't pinned your knight on c3, it could only be because you hadn't put it there. Although he was not often able to play for the club in the last few years, he was still capable of some strong performances, including a shared first prize with clubmate Ian Finlay in the Minor section of the Dyfed Open in 2012. When not able to play he liked to attend events to support his friends, and indeed John seemed to have chess friends all over Wales. He will be much missed by us all.
Thanks to Rudy for these two annotated games, which, as he says "seem to exemplify John's careful and persistent style, always to be taken very seriously, no matter by which opponent".
Julie van Kemenade - John Basterfield 0-1
John Basterfield - Roland Spencer 1-0
Colin Denham of Haverchess has put his own tribute, and another of John's games, here.
Meanwhile, the new season has started, and the fixture list is now up on the right.
Friday, 1 August 2014
With the Dyfed League taking its summer break, the now-traditional summer friendly match was played at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Wednesday 16th July. In theory this was between teams representing North and South Dyfed; in practice, however, the games were arranged to pair players of roughly equal strength, and I have no idea which players represented which team, though I gather the result was deemed to be a 4-4 tie. Perhaps this vagueness is all part of being friendly. Of the Aberystwyth players, Rudy beat Tony Haigh, I drew with visiting player Chris Dossett, Julie drew with John Miller, and Tony beat Tegwyn Jones.
Rudy van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 1-0
Matthew Francis - Chris Dossett ½-½
Julie van Kemenade - John Miller ½-½
Colin Denham - Gavin Jones 1-0
Howard Leah - Awne Osinga 1-0
Tegwyn Jones - Tony Geraghty 0-1
Eugene Noakes - Ray Greenwood 1-0
Margaret Baron - Robbie Coles 0-1
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Aberystwyth A are the new Dyfed League champions, having beaten Cardigan A by a mere half point. With two matches to go, it couldn't have been closer. Aber A were to play Carmarthen, while Cardigan A would play Aber B. The strong Carmarthen team were one player short, a handicap which had also applied to their recent match against Cardigan A. The match was played at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 2 June. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade went all out to attack Gerry Heap, despite having Black, sacrificing the exchange to create complications. Though the position was double-edged, it is always harder to defend against such an onslaught, and Rudy scored an impressive win. Julie van Kemenade had the advantage all game against David Buttell's Sicilian, but found it hard to break through in the blocked position. Reaching an ending with opposite-coloured bishops where she was still winning, she was happy to take a draw as the match was already won. On third board, I had managed to equalize against Paul Orton's Ruy Lopez, after a shaky start, and took the initiative in the rook and pawn ending, winning for the first time against this opponent. With the default, that made the final score 3½-½ to Aber A, clinching the championship with a match to spare.
Gerry Heap - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Julie van Kemenade - David Buttell ½-½
Paul Orton - Matthew Francis 0-1
Howard Williams - Julie van Kemenade 1-0
Matthew Francis - Iolo Jones 0-1
Tony Haigh - Tony Geraghty 1-0
Ian Finlay - Howard Leah 0-1
Meanwhile, the club championship has also been decided. Congratulations to Rudy, who wins with a 100% score. Three more games are are below. Julie's games against Tony and me are still to be played, but with nothing depending on them and the summer break due to begin, they may not happen.
Tony Geraghty - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
James Corrigan - Mark Talbot 0-1
Matthew Francis - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Saturday, 31 May 2014
Julie van Kemenade - Tony Haigh ½-½
Awne Osinga - Matthew Francis ½-½
Tony Geraghty - Howard Leah 0-1
Roland Spencer - Ian Finlay 0-1
Two more of the outstanding games in the Club Championship have now been played, resulting in wins for the van Kemenades, though the lower graded players Ian Finlay and Jamie Friel were able to make them work for it.
Ian Finlay - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Jamie Friel - Julie van Kemenade 0-1
Thursday, 22 May 2014
Julie van Kemenade - Martin Jones 1-0
John Miller - Matthew Francis ½-½
Ian Finlay - Gavin Jones 0-1
Robbie Coles - James Corrigan 0-1
Meanwhile the Club Championship had got going at the St David's Club over the weekend of 10th-11th May. With eight players entered, we decided on an all-play-all, which involved some games being finished off on subsequent club nights. At least we got most of the games out of the way, despite the fact that Rudy and Julie could not be present on the Sunday. The games proved very exciting, with upsets almost every round.
I had a bye, so Tony also sat out. The shock result was Ian's win over Julie, though his aggressive style has sometimes given her problems in the past.
Mark Talbot - Jamie Friel 1-0
Rudy van Kemenade - James Corrigan 1-0
Julie van Kemenade - Ian Finlay 0-1
The two favourites met in this round, and Rudy won a difficult ending. Every game was won by Black.
Mark Talbot - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
James Corrigan - Julie van Kemenade 0-1
Ian Finlay - Matthew Francis 0-1
Jamie Friel - Tony Geraghty 0-1
No upsets this round, though James had his chances against me in a complicated struggle.
Rudy van Kemenade - Jamie Friel 1-0
Julie van Kemenade - Mark Talbot 0-1
Matthew Francis - James Corrigan 1-0
Tony Geraghty - Ian Finlay 1-0
The first round of day 2 brought wins for the two lowest-rated players, James and Jamie, against Tony and Ian.
Mark Talbot - Matthew Francis 1-0
James Corrigan - Tony Geraghty 1-0
Jamie Friel - Ian Finlay 1-0
Order was restored again in this round, with all games going according to rating.
Tony Geraghty - Mark Talbot 0-1
Matthew Francis - Jamie Friel 1-0
Ian Finlay - James Corrigan 1-0
Another upset as Tony beat me for the first time in a rated game. Jamie was crushing James when he got his queen pinned; James's subsequent draw offer was sympathetic rather than pragmatic. Rudy and Julie played their game on the subsequent club night.
Ian Finlay - Mark Talbot 0-1
Tony Geraghty - Matthew Francis 1-0
Jamie Friel - James Corrigan ½-½
Rudy van Kemenade - Julie van Kemenade 1-0
Rudy is thus the only player on 100%, with a handful of games still to be played.
Sunday, 4 May 2014
Gerry Heap - Matthew Francis 1-0
Tony Geraghty - Nick Jackson 0-1
Paul Orton - Ian Finlay 1-0
Saturday, 19 April 2014
Tony Haigh - Mark Talbot 1-0
Julie van Kemenade - Awne Osinga 1-0
Howard Leah - Matthew Francis 1-0
Next week, on Monday 14th April at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, it was the B team's turn to put in an unconvincing performance, against Haverfordwest B. I seemed to have the game under control against John Miller, eventually reaching an ending with an extra pawn and a bishop against a knight. After a long hard struggle, though, I blundered horribly, dropping the bishop to a knight fork. Tony Geraghty went wrong against Gavin Jones after some slow manoeuvring, giving Black what should have been a winning ending, but inaccuracies by his opponent allowed him to salvage the draw. Ian Finlay seemed to have equalized with his Sicilian against Scott Hammett, but gave away the crucial c-pawn, after which White's dominant central pawns proved too difficult to stop. Finally, Georgina Gray, a bit rusty after a season in which she has not had much competitive chess, miscalculated her queenside attack against Robbie Coles, dropping material instead of winning it. A 3½-½ defeat was a very disappointing result for Aber B.
John Miller - Matthew Francis 1-0
Tony Geraghty - Gavin Jones ½-½
Scott Hammett - Ian Finlay 1-0
Georgina Gray - Robbie Coles 0-1
Friday, 28 March 2014
Mark Talbot - Howard Williams ½-½
Iolo Jones - Rudy van Kemenade 1-0
Julie van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 0-1
Howard Leah - Matthew Francis 0-1
The next evening, the B team was in action at the St David's Club against Gwyddbwyll.com. Tony Geraghty on Board 1 took advantage of Iwan Griffiths's weakened king position to invade on the dark squares and force the win of a queen for a rook. Iwan defended well, getting his knight on to a dominating square, and, though Tony found the way through, he was now short of time and offered a draw. Ian Finlay's Sicilian gave him active pieces against Owen Llewelyn, but there was not enough of a king's side attack to offer more than the chance of an early draw, a good result against a higher-graded player. James Corrigan's game against Tegwyn Jones followed a well-trodden opening path. (One of the games from the legendary Spassky-Fischer World Championship match was among its predecessors). James got an advanced passed pawn which might have proved either a strength or a weakness; it became a strength when a mistake by his opponent allowed him to use it to win a piece. Chris King, playing only his second game for the club, had a complicated battle against Emyr Llewelyn till the latter miscalculated and lost two pieces in quick succession. 3-1 was a good result for Aberystwyth B.
Tony Geraghty - Iwan Griffiths ½-½
Owen Llewelyn - Ian Finlay ½-½
James Corrigan - Tegwyn Jones 1-0
Emyr Llewelyn - Chris King 0-1
Several club members have formed a new club at Aberystwyth University, which is having its first match on Saturday 28th March, a friendly against Bangor University.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
John Miller - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Matthew Francis - Scott Hammett 1-0
Robbie Coles - Tony Geraghty 0-1
Jamie Friel - Margaret Baron 1-0
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Mark Talbot - Colin Denham 1-0
John Miller - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Matthew Francis - Gavin Jones 1-0
Scott Hammett - Tony Geraghty 0-1
Sunday, 2 March 2014
Tony Geraghty - Mark Talbot 0-1
Rudy van Kemenade - Ian Finlay 1-0
James Corrigan - Julie van Kemenade 0-1
Matthew Francis - Jamie Friel 1-0
A few days earlier, four Aberystwyth players had taken part in the annual Dyfed Congress at the Fishguard Bay Hotel over the weekend of 21st-23rd February. In the Open Section, Rudy van Kemenade scored a solid 3½/5 to finish in a five-way tie for third place, I improved my grading with 1½/4 against strong opposition, while Julie van Kemenade, who has not played much competitive chess recently, scored ½/4. But Aber's best result came in the Minor section, where Georgina Gray finished in joint first place with 4/5. The games from the Open are below.
Rudy van Kemenade - David Williams 1-0
Paul Hatchett - Julie van Kemenade 1-0
Matthew Francis - Richard Miles 1-0
Sven Zeidler - Rudy van Kemenade 1-0
Anthony Hughes - Julie van Kemenade
Matthew Francis - Paul Hatchett 0-1
Rudy van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 1-0
Julie van Kemenade - Keith Downey 0-1
Paul Bridges - Matthew Francis ½-½
Paul Hatchett - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
John Waterfield - Matthew Francis 1-0
Rudy van Kemenade - Peter Bevan ½-½
Julie van Kemenade - Jonathan Ayres ½-½
Sunday, 16 February 2014
Mark Talbot - Iwan Griffiths 1-0
Owen Llywelyn - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1
Tony Geraghty - Tegwyn Jones 1-0
Emyr Llywelyn - James Corrigan 0-1
Saturday, 1 February 2014
Matthew Francis - John Miller 1-0
Gavin Jones - Tony Geraghty 1-0
James Cook - Ron Wade 1-0
Robbie Coles - Ian Finlay 0-1
Saturday, 25 January 2014
Howard Williams - Mark Talbot 1-0
Rudy van Kemenade - Iolo Jones ½-½
Tony Haigh - Julie van Kemenade 0-1
Matthew Francis - Jamie Sen ½-½
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Matthew Francis - Gerry Heap 1-0
Nick Jackson - Tony Geraghty 1-0
Ian Finlay - David Buttell 1-0
Paul Orton - James Corrigan 0-1