Sunday, 16 February 2014

Crossed Wires

Chess players often go astray in the opening, but not usually before the game begins. On the evening of Tuesday 4th February, Aberystwyth's A team turned up at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, to play, and found it in darkness. A quick phone call revealed that the gwyddbwyll team were at the St David's Club in Aberystwyth, where at least they got some friendly games as it was club night. The match was postponed to the following week, 11th February, in Aberystwyth. A strong Aber team had too much firepower for their opponents, despite some resistance on the top two boards. Mark Talbot grabbed a pawn against Iwan Griffiths's French, allowing some dangerous counterplay in a complex game where Black was a little unlucky not to get at least a draw. And Rudy van Kemenade was under pressure against Owen Llywelyn's Ruy Lopez, but benefited from an unfortunate oversight. White picked up a rook to make what looked like a decisive move, not realizing he was in check. The only legal move he could now make would have lost the rook, so he resigned instead. Tony Geraghty had an easier time on Board 3, catching out Tegwyn Jones with a couple of simple tactics, and James Corrigan also got on top quickly, taking advantage of Emyr Llywelyn's uncastled position to win material.4-0 was a result worth waiting for.

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

Picking up the Pieces

After an encouraging start in their first match of the New Year, Aberystwyth B were looking to continue their improvement away to Haverfordwest B at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Tuesday 29th January. I returned to a line against John Miller's French that we had explored in an earlier match, where Black had eventually prevailed after a sharp struggle. Sacrificing a pawn, I got some pressure against his kingside but found no way through, and as he castled out of danger it looked as though the result might be the same as in our previous encounter, when, perhaps relaxing too soon, he dropped a piece and resigned at once. The second-board game was also decided by a blunder; Tony Geraghty had reached a comfortable position against Gavin Jones's unusual opening (the Grob), when he too made a move that dropped a piece. The match was clinched by two strong performances on the lower boards. James Cook has been out all season with a (non-chess-related) injury, but was at his positional best in a Ruy Lopez against Ron Wade, keeping firm control as the game moved into a rook and pawn ending. And Ian Finlay did equally well in his very different style against Robbie Coles in a King's Indian, sacrificing a knight to strip the defence from the White king. The match finished 3-1 to Aber B.

Matthew Francis - John Miller 1-0

Gavin Jones - Tony Geraghty 1-0

James Cook - Ron Wade 1-0

Robbie Coles - Ian Finlay 0-1