Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Black Wednesday

Eight days after Cardigan's victory over Aberystwyth B, the same team played Aber A, this time at home in Cardigan. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade got an excellent position against Howard Williams's Sicilian, but allowed the advantage to slip away. In the queen-and-rook game which followed, White was at a disadvantage with the more exposed king, and duly lost. Adam Watkin-Jones has a similar quiet style to that of Cardigan's Board 2, Iolo Jones, who finds the lower-graded player difficult to break down on the evidence of their games so far. The king-and-pawn ending was completely blocked. Julie van Kemenade should have lost a piece to a fork early on against Tony Haigh, who somehow missed it, an unusual lapse for both players. But Julie didn't seem to have the thread of the game, and soon began dropping pawns, resulting in a quick defeat. Adam Robinson got a strong attack against Howard Leah's Reti, almost from the opening moves, and dominated the position for a decisive win. 17th February proved to be Black Wednesday, as Black scored three wins and a draw. 2½-1½ to Cardigan.

Rudy van Kemenade - Howard Williams 0-1

Iolo Jones - Adam Watkin-Jones ½-½

Julie van Kemenade - Tony Haigh 0-1

Howard Leah - Adam Robinson 0-1

Two more club championship games:

Matthew Francis - Francis Headley 1-0

Sam Holman - Jamie Friel 0-1

And congratulations to Rudy, who achieved his first ever win against a Grandmaster, in an internet blitz game.

Igor Efimov - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Friday, 19 February 2016

Sudden Death

The match between champions Cardigan and Aberystwyth B, at the St David's Club on Tuesday 9th February, saw four decisive results, all of them hinging on a mistake that had devastating consequences. On top board, Julie van Kemenade made a simple fingerslip in the opening, playing her moves in the wrong order, and Howard Williams took advantage to win material and, shortly after, the game. Adam Robinson's mistake on second board was even more drastic, a miscalculated exchange combination that dropped a pawn, after which his position fell apart within a couple of moves. Joel Greenwood competed impressively against the much higher rated Tony Haigh, and had what looked like a winning attack, but another miscounted trade cost him a piece. On Board 4, Jamie Friel salvaged some honour for Aber with a well-judged exchange sacrifice. This time it was the Cardigan player who blundered, as Awne Osinga cut short his own resistance by allowing an unstoppable mate threat. The match finished 3-1 to Cardigan.

Howard Williams - Julie van Kemenade 1-0

Adam Robinson - Iolo Jones 0-1

Tony Haigh - Joel Greenwood 1-0

Jamie Friel - Awne Osinga 1-0

Meanwhile, the club chamionship continues, and Rudy still has his 100% record.

Francis Headley - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Monday, 8 February 2016

Newbies Shine

Aberystwyth A are competing strongly in the Dyfed League this season, having lost only once, to champions Cardigan.They were favourites against Haverfordwest A at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Wednesday 3rd February, with a higher grading on every board. In the event, however, their opponents gave them a much harder time than anticipated. Rudy van Kemenade played the unusual Tennison Gambit against Martin Jones on Board 1, looking to get a White equivalent of the Budapest Gambit he favours with Black. Martin handled the unfamiliar position well and defused the kingside attack with a well-judged queen exchange that left a White rook out of play. Rudy's attempt to force his way back into the game made matters worse, and he soon resigned. Adam Watkin-Jones was also in trouble on second board, where John Miller had worked up a dangerous kingside attack against his Sicilian. Desperately short of time, White missed a decisive bishop sacrifice, and ended up giving the bishop away for nothing. On a bad evening for the van Kemenade family, Julie got no advantage from her quiet opening against Scott Hammett and agreed an early draw. Finally, after middlegame complications and mistakes on both sides, Sam Holman reached a king and pawn ending against Robbie Coles which he won with a dramatic advance of an apparently immovable pawn. Wins for the two newer members of the team clinched the match 2½-1½.

Rudy van Kemenade - Martin Jones 0-1

John Miller - Adam Watkin Jones 0-1

Julie van Kemenade - Scott Hammett ½-½

Robbie Coles - Sam Holman 0-1