Saturday, 17 October 2015

Win with White, Draw with Black

Aberystwyth A's first match of the season was against Carmarthen, the team who beat them into third place last season, at the Emlyn Cafe, on Wednesday 14 October. On Board 1, Rudy van Kemenade did well against Gerry Heap's surprise choice of the Bishop's Opening,helping to create the kind of complex position both players enjoy. However, it quickly resolved into an ending neither really fancied, and they agreed an early draw. Julie van Kemenade was facing an unknown quantity in Robert Narayan-Taylor, who had not played over the board for many years, and was probably playing too high up the order - a player's current strength is always difficult to assess in such circumstances. Julie happily accepted his pawn sacrifice in a Ruy Lopez, and soon found a tactic that won a piece and the game. Adam Robinson seemed to have chances in a King's Indian against David Buttell, who had taken too many moves to bring his king to the queenside. But Black's pawn sac produced nothing, and Adam could only take advantage of the exposed king to force a draw. On bottom board, my English-type formation against Paul Orton's Sicilian gave me a big space advantage after he lost his stronghold on d4, and I was able to clinch the game quickly with a kingside attack. Wins with White and draws with Black gave Aber a 3-1 victory.

Good luck to Rudy and the other Dyfed players who are currently in Skopje, Macedonia, representing Cardigan in the European Club Cup.

Gerry Heap - Rudy van Kemenade ½-½

Julie van Kemenade - Robert Narayan-Taylor 1-0

David Buttell - Adam Robinson ½-½

Matthew Francis - Paul Orton 1-0

Sunday, 11 October 2015


Cardigan are unable to field two teams this season, but they remain extremely strong, with FIDE masters on the top two boards. Predictably, they were too good for Aberystwyth B in the first match of the season at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 5 October. Adam Robinson tried the English Opening for the first time against Howard Williams; the strategy of this subtle system takes a while to learn, and he was soon under pressure. After going a pawn down, with an objectively lost position, he resigned, no doubt sooner than he would have done against a lesser opponent, but Howard doesn't make mistakes in such situations. My game against Iolo Jones followed a similar course, as I mishandled his anti-Dutch variation and found myself terribly cramped. Iolo characteristically went for quiet moves, trusting his superior understanding and technique, and it seems I might have held out with best play, but I was ground down in the end. Mike Weston's game on Board 3 was the most exciting. Even though he lost a piece in an early tactical skirmish, his superior development gave him chances against Tony Haigh and a nice combination put him right back in the game for a while before Tony regrouped and took control. Ian Finlay lost a strategic struggle on Board 4 in a Sicilian against Awne Osinga; though only a pawn down he could find no counterplay, and Awne played solidly to push his central pawn mass through for victory. A 4-0 win for Cardigan.

Adam Robinson - Howard Williams 0-1

Iolo Jones - Matthew Francis 1-0

Mike Weston - Tony Haigh 0-1

Awne Osinga - Ian Finlay 1-0