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.