Congratulations to Rudy van Kemenade on winning the Welsh Blitz Championship, jointly with William Hewitt, against strong opposition including two FMs. Two of his wins are given below. Meanwhile, the Club is adjourning for the summer. Tuesday 27 June will be our last club night till we resume in September.
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Monday, 5 June 2017
The clubs of the Dyfed League are spread out over a wide geographical area, and their players often live some way from the clubs. Add to that the fact that an unusual number of chess players seem to be non-drivers (me, for example)and it becomes clear why matches are often hard to arrange. Several clubs have had transport difficulties this year, Aberystyth included, with the result that not all the matches have been played by the end of the season. This is particularly hard on the A team, who competed extremely well this year, and could have won the title if all their matches had been played. On the last day of the season, Wednesday 31 May, we consoled ourselves with a 4-0 victory over Carmarthen at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes.
On top board, Rudy van Kemenade played the unusual Chigorin Defence against Gerry Heap, and an odd-looking position was soon reached, with the White king on f1 instead of safely castled. This worked out badly for Gerry as he lost the exchange to a discovered check and was unable to find any compensation. The second-board game was also over quickly. Adam Watkin-Jones developed sensibly against David Buttell's Sicilian, and Black's attempt to start complications backfired, leaving him a rook down. Adam Robinson celebrated his last game for the club by opening 1...a5 against 1.e4. Paul Orton refused to be provoked, and, despite going a pawn down, looked very comfortable for most of the middle game, missing a win before compounding the error with a final blunder. I had a space advantage with my London System against Robert Narayan-Taylor, but could make no headway. Feeling my position about to fall apart, I went in for a risky sacrifice; with both players desperately short of time, I was losing the ending when Black slipped up and allowed me a lucky win - not the first time that's happened to me this year.A 4-0 win was some consolation to Aber for the season that got away.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
The Brynamlwg Tavern will be closed next Tuesday, 18 April, so there will be no chess that night.
Aberystwyth A continued their strong run in this year's Dyfed League with a home win against Gwyddbwyll.com at the Brynamlwg Tavern on Tuesday 4 April. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade won a pawn against Iwan Griffiths in an Italian Game, and Black's two bishops were not enough compensation; Rudy won on time, but was dominating the ending anyway. Adam Watkin-Jones, playing a Sicilian Defence, had reached a level position with only major pieces and pawns left, when Owen Llywelyn blundered, dropping his otherwise defensible b-pawn and letting the Black pieces in for a quick win. Ian Finlay was under pressure in a Queen's Gambit against Tegwyn Jones; it looked as if he could hold, but he fell into a nasty trap, and his position abruptly collapsed. Sam Holman won an exchange early on against Emyr Llywelyn, but it was his kingside pawns, charging down the board, that really did the damage; White's attempts at a mate on the other wing never looked realistic. The match finished 3-1 to Aber.If only we could get some transport for our away matches, this could be a good year for the team.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Sunday, 19 March 2017
Aberystwyth's B team had a good evening on Tuesday 7 March, while the A team were losing narrowly to Cardigan in the cosy space of the small function room at the Brynamlwg Tavern. Julie van Kemenade, continuing her return to chess, played a typically enterprising piece sacrifice with Black against Iwan Griffiths to get a dangerous attack which he was unable to defend. James Corrigan dominated the centre against Owen Llywelyn's King's Indian, and the Black counterplay on the queenside was not enough compensation. Ian Finlay, playing another King's Indian, missed a chance to go a piece up, but Tegwyn Jones lost on time. On fourth board, Sam Holman did win a piece, and by the time Emyr Llywelyn had regained it, White's attack was unstoppable. A clean sweep for the B team, 4-0.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
The capacity of the small function room at the Brynamlwg Tavern was tested to the full on Tuesday 7 March, when the A and B teams had matches at the same time. With the addition of another table, we were able to fit everyone in, and it is at any rate a cosier venue than the St David's Club was in its latter days. News of the B team match will follow in the next post. Cardigan were once again visiting, this time to play the A team. On top board Rudy van Kemenade had prepared carefully for his Leningrad Dutch against Howard Williams, but seemed to lose patience in the middle game, loosening his kingside in search of an attack that was not really there; instead it was White who broke into his opponent's castled position. Robbie Wright tried for pressure on the queenside in his London System against Iolo Jones, but ended up getting his rook pinned and losing the exchange, resigning rather prematurely when he still had some play. Adam Robinson also seemed to have pressure for a while against Tony Haigh's Trompowksy, but apparently missed a chance of an advantage just before the draw was agreed. I got a free gift from Awne Osinga when he dropped a piece on move 5 - not the first time that mistake has been made in the same postion in rated games, according to Rudy's database - after which I had no real problem clinching the win. As with last week's match, the top two boards secured victory for Cardigan,
Friday, 10 March 2017
There is a time in almost every chess season when one or other of the Aber teams seem to be playing Cardigan almost constantly (though, to be fair, this was truer in the days when Cardigan also fielded two teams). That time has now arrived, and on Tuesday 28 February, it was the B team's turn to host the League Champions, the first time we have played them at our new venue of the Brynamlwg Tavern. On top board, Adam Robinson could never quite match Howard Williams's piece activity in a constantly changing ending, and by the time it got down to opposite-coloured bishops the two-pawn deficit was enough to ensure his defeat. Julie van Kemenade, in her first match for some time, played an ingenious exchange sac against Iolo Jones, whose defence was ingenious enough to cope with it. Julie might have had a draw, but lost while trying for more. My game against Tony Haigh was a French Exchange that never looked like being other than a draw, a complete contrast to the game on Board 4, where James Corrigan played the wild Danish Gambit against Awne Osinga, and eventually got the attack he was seeking, winning a piece with more material to follow. The result was 2½-1½ to Cardigan.
Monday, 6 March 2017
Here is a blitz win by Rudy van Kemenade against a German grandmaster, played at Gibraltar recently.He says he had a little help from the GM's IM daughter.
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Aberystwyth fielded a strong B team against the formidable Dyfed League champions Cardigan at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Wednesday 15th February. Playing White on top board, Robbie Wright took on Howard Williams in a sharp theoretical line of the Sicilian, a calculated risk that unfortunately ended in an early mate by Black. Adam Robinson, too, chose a very theoretical opening against Iolo Jones, but his King's Indian led to a blocked game rather than the usual fireworks. Iolo uncharacteristically missed a win in the manoeuvring, and eventually had to settle for a draw. Against Tony Haigh, I found myself facing a line of the Leningrad Dutch that I played myself in a match a few years ago. I couldn't remember the theory, but got as far as move 14 before misplaying it and getting an awful position, from which there was no escape. On Board 4, Conor McEwan's Steinitz Defence against Howard Leah's Ruy Lopez produced a cramped but playable position. Black got a bit of counterplay as White charged down the kingside with his pawns, but it wasn't enough. The match ended 3½-½ to Cardigan.