Saturday, 30 January 2016


The St David's Club is being used to film an episode of the TV crime series Hinterland on Tuesday 2nd February, so there will be no club night next week. Meanwhile at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Wednesday 27th January, the latest episode in the continuing drama of the Dyfed League was played out in a match between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth A. On top board Rudy van Kemenade reached the endgame a piece up against David Buttell, but made a rare slip to allow the draw. The middle two boards both saw kingside attacks from the Aberystwyth players, with the same result but by different routes. On Board 2 Adam Watkin-Jones allowed Paul Orton to fend off the attack at the price of a lost endgame, while Julie van Kemenade forced a quick mate against Richard Thomas. In the only non-Sicilian game of the match, Adam Robinson and Robert Narayan-Taylor had reached a level position with queens and rooks when Adam was unfortunately taken ill and the game was abandoned as a draw. The match ended in a 3-1 win for Aberystwyth.

Rudy van Kemenade - David Buttell ½-½

Paul Orton - Adam Watkin Jones 0-1

Julie van Kemenade - Richard Thomas 1-0

Robert Narayan-Taylor - Adam Robinson ½-½

The latest Club Championship match was a draw between Tony Geraghty and Ian Finlay - a good result for Ian but it might have been even better as he missed a win of his opponent's queen.

Tony Geraghty - Ian Finlay ½-½

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Derby Day

The megamatch between Aberystwyth's A and B teams took place as planned at the St David's Club on Tuesday 12th January, with the four official boards supplemented by two extra games. All but one were over very quickly. On top board for the B team, I played a quiet system against Rudy, but my kingside fianchetto gave him a target for his f pawn, and I had no coherent plan against his kingside attack. The one long game of the evening was the board two encounter between Adam Watkin-Jones and Tony Geraghty. Adam won a pawn early on, but his pieces were not ideally placed, and Tony was able to hold out till both players were nearly out of time before White finally won the ending. Ian Finlay had a good result for the B team on Board 3, when Robbie Wright's dubious combination turned out to win material at the cost of allowing dangerous counterplay. Black was eventually forced to return the material with interest, and Ian chose to take the draw against a much higher-rated player. Sam Holman, never afraid of a sharp opening line, played the Najdorf against Adam Robinson but his king was too vulnerable in the centre, and White soon broke through. The official match finished 3½-½.

The first unoffical game was a second Sicilian, this time a Dragon, in which Francis Headley, playing White, allowed his rook to get caught in a deadly pin, leading to a quick win for Jamie Friel. Meanwhile, Damien Clarke misjudged his opening against Joel Greenwood, and was soon under attack all over the board, resigning when his queen was lost to a knight fork.

Matthew Francis - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Adam Watkin Jones - Tony Geraghty 1-0/a>

Ian Finlay - Robbie Wright ½-½

Adam Robinson - Sam Holman 1-0

Francis Headley - Jamie Friel 0-1

Damien Clarke - Joel Greenwood 0-1/a>

Monday, 18 January 2016

Top of the League

Aberystwyth B began their match against Haverfordwest A at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Monday 11th January in the unfamiliar position of first in the Dyfed League. Unfortunately this was due to having played more matches than any other team rather than a higher win percentage, but the team was determined to make the most of their spell of supremacy. On Board 1, I reached a rook ending three pawns up against Colin Denham, and proceeded to blunder away two of them. Fortunately for me, the remaining extra pawn was enough to see me home. Tony Geraghty also had pawns in hand, in a knight ending against John Miller, but couldn't find a win with time running out on his clock, and settled for a draw. In another seesawing ending, Mike Weston looked certain to lose, until Scott Hammett ran into a deadly check. Ian Finlay's game was the only one not to get to the ending, as Ian dropped a pawn to a discovered attack, which also allowed Gwyn Evans to invade the Black position with rooks and queen, leading to a middlegame mate. A 2½-1½ win kept Aberystywth B on top for a little longer.

Matthew Francis - Colin Denham 1-0

John Miller - Tony Geraghty ½-½

Mike Weston - Scott Hammett 1-0

Gwyn Evans - Ian Finlay 1-0

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Next Tuesday, 19th January, the A team will take on the B team at the St David's Club in the first of this year's two Aberystwyth derby matches in the Dyfed League. Although only the first four boards will count towards the League result, we are hoping to get as many players involved as possible in a mega-match, so please turn up to club night at the usual time.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Eggdance could only field two players for their match against Aberystwyth B at the St David's Club on Tuesday 5th January. Board 1 Iwan Griffiths was expected but did not arrive, so the match took place on Boards 2 and 3. Tony Geraghty won a pawn with his French Defence against Owen Llywelyn, and was always in control thereafter. By contrast, Jamie Friel sacrificed a pawn (even though Tegwyn Jones had declined his King's Gambit) to get attacking chances, and took them well to win the exchange and the game. With the two defaults, a 4-0 win for Aber. Rudy's annotations have introduced me to the word eggdance, which I intend to use frequently from now on - this is what comes of having a sociologist annotating the games.

Owen Llywelyn - Tony Geraghty 0-1

Jamie Friel - Tegwyn Jones 1-0

The four other players present took the opportunity to play Club Championship games, both of which turned out to be very interesting. I missed a chance to save my game against Rudy, while Ian's win against Sam Holman was an eggdance of great complexity, with both players playing well above their grading according to Rudy:

Matthew Francis - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Ian Finlay - Sam Holman 1-0