Saturday, 25 October 2014

A.N. Other Strikes Again

The renamed Haverchess A, formerly Haverfordwest, were unable to raise four players for the match at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Monday 20 October, but outgraded Aberystwyth B on the three boards they did field. I kept up my 0% record against Martin Jones, who, playing White in a Queen's Pawn opening built up a dominant position on the queenside and never allowed me any counterchances. Mike Weston, in his first match for the club after many years away from competitive chess, played solidly to secure a draw against the strong John Miller, having to defend for a while but never looking in any real danger. The most exciting game was on Board 3, where Ian Finlay, up on material following Scott Hammett's miscalculated combination, got involved in hectic complications, trying to secure a mate before his pinned rook could fall. He missed the win in the end but a draw was a good result against this opponent. With the default on Board 4, the match was drawn - A.N Other is Aber's most consistent player at the moment.

Martin Jones - Matthew Francis 1-0

Mike Weston - John Miller ½-½

Scott Hammett - Ian Finlay ½-½

Sunday, 19 October 2014

All White on the Night

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

Hard Coffee

Aberystwyth B ended last season with a 4-0 defeat to Cardigan A, and have started this season with the same result. On a well-attended club night at the St David's Club on Tuesday 30 September, the lively atmosphere was only slightly tarnished by the fact that the coffee had fused to the inside of the jar over the summer and had to be chipped away with a spoon. On top board, I was quickly demolished by Howard Williams, who whipped up a kingside attack out of a quiet position; when playing such a strong opponent I always find that my pieces seem to gravitate to the wrong squares despite my best intentions. Tony Geraghty had a similar experience against the other FM, Iolo Jones, getting a lost position from the opening, though he managed to survive for longer. Ian Finlay, playing the Black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined, got interesting complications against Tony Haigh, and was equal for a while before miscalculating; White gave up a queen for a decisive material advantage though he could have won more simply. Finally, James Corrigan had trouble defending against Awne Osinga's powerful bishop pair in a Ruy Lopez, and allowed the Black queen into his kingside, with gain of material.

Howard Williams - Matthew Francis 1-0

Tony Geraghty - Iolo Jones 0-1

Tony Haigh - Ian Finlay 1-0

James Corrigan - Awne Osinga 0-1