Monday, 22 June 2015

Summer Break

Aberystwyth Chess Club will be adjourning for the summer at the beginning of July. The last club night of the season will be on Tuesday 30th June, and the first club night of the new season will be on Tuesday 1st September.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Club Championship 2015

The long-postponed Club Championship was held this year as an end-of-season finale, over the weekend of 6th-7th June. Disappointingly, only five players turned up, and we held a five-round all-play-all, with each player getting a bye.

Round 1

I had my most interesting game of the tournament against Rudy van Kemenade. Forced after a disastrous opening to give up my queen for two pieces, I got a surprising amount of compensation and missed a couple of winning chances in the complications before succumbing. Against Sally Rowles, a former member of the club making a return this weekend, Julie van Kemenade won a pawn and brought the king-and-pawn ending to a successful conclusion, though analysis showed some inaccuracies by both players.

Matthew Francis - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Julie van Kemenade - Sally Rowles 1-0

Round 2

Rudy's King's-Indian-style play against Sally paid off as he opened the g-file for a winning kingside attack. James Cook, also returning to the Club after an absence, played an enterprising piece sacrifice to get linked passed pawns against Julie, and had some chances thereafter, but the material deficit decided the game in the end.

Saly Rowles - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

James Cook - Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Round 3

This round produced the first draws of the tournament. The battle of the Van Kemenades was a ferociously complicated King's-Indian, reaching an unbalanced position with Rudy's two rooks against Julie's queen. Julie had the best of it but was short of time and allowed the draw by repetition. I won a pawn against James in an exchange Ruy Lopez, but followed up wrongly and had no advantage in the end.

Rudy van Kemenade - Julie van Kemenade ½-½

James Cook - Matthew Francis ½-½

Round 4

With tiredness perhaps setting in, both games in this round were decided by blunders. James dropped a piece against Rudy. I was disappointed by the failure of my attempted attack against Sally's Caro-Kann, and walked into a winning check when a simple alternative would have kept me in the game.

Rudy van Kemenade - James Cook 1-0

Matthew Francis - Sally Rowles 0-1

Round 5

In the final round, I had a disaster against Julie, winning a pawn with what should have been a comfortable position but overlooking a later knight fork, while Sally and James played out a quiet draw in the Colle System. The Championship this year was tied between Rudy and Julie, on 3½/4, with Sally third (2), James fourth (1) and me fifth (½).

Julie van Kemenade - Matthew Francis 1-0

Sally Rowles - James Cook ½-½

Default is Ours

Aberystwyth B's last match of the season was against a depleted Cardigan B at the St David's Club on Tuesday 26th May. On top board, Tony Geraghty made a tired-looking late-season blunder against Tony Haigh, dropping a piece for nothing, and had no chance thereafter against such a strong opponent. Mike Weston got a dominant position on the queenside against Howard Leah, but settled for a draw as both players became very short of time. Ian Finlay got a passive position against Awne Osinga, who took all the time he needed to build up a winning attack With Cardigan defaulting on Board 4, Aber lost the match 2½-1½. The league title went to Cardigan A, with Aberystwyth A third behind Carmarthen. Aberystwyth B finished fifth.

Tony Haigh - Tony Geraghty 1-0

Mike Weston - Howard Leah ½-½

Awne Osinga - Ian Finlay 1-0