The Dyfed League is now finished for the season, with Aberystwyth the new champions. The title was already secure when we played our last match of the season, against Carmarthen at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Wednesday 16th May. On top board Brendan-Budok Durand-Le Ludec went for broke in a Sicilian against Huw Morcom, launching a kingside attack more reminiscent of a King's Indian. White missed out on a hard-to-see chance to take advantage of the looseness this created in his opponent's own king's position, and instead lost material in the complications. Rudy van Kemenade also attacked on the kingside, with his Bird's Opening, but his advancing pawns were stopped, and David Buttell, unlike his team-mate, found a way into the gaps they had left behind them to force mate. On a night when Aber seemed intent on inflicting the maximum possible violence in the shortest time, Adam Watkin-Jones also attacked on the kingside in a Pirc Defence, and landed the killer blow before Paul Orton had even finished developing. While all this was going on, Julie van Kemenade, usually a fierce attacker herself, had reached a comfortable position against Robert Narayan-Taylor's shaky-looking irregular defence, but, seeing a draw was enough to bring Aberystwyth's season to a successful close, she offered it. A 2½ - 1½ win meant the Club had gone through the whole season undefeated, conceding only one draw, to second-placed Cardigan A.
Monday, 28 May 2018
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Aberystwyth are the new Dyfed League Champions, having clinched the title with a match to spare. We played Cardigan B at home on Tuesday 8th May, needing only 1½ points out of 4 for the Championship and achieved the result comfortably enough. On top board, Brendan-Budok Durand-Le Ludec took control against Tony Haigh's Trompowsky with a kingside advance that later gave him a passed pawn in the centre, after which things became so complicated that no one had much idea what was going on, not even Rudy with the benefit of digital hindsight. Eventually Brendan forced the win with a passed pawn on the queenside. In the battle of the Dutchmen, which was an Italian Game rather than a Dutch Defence, Rudy van Kemenade took advantage of his extra space for a quick attack on Awne Osinga's castled king which led to an early resignation by Black. Cardigan put up more resistance on the bottom two boards, where the Brewer brothers both achieved draws against higher-rated opponents. Adam Watkin-Jones used a lot of time against Ben Brewer, and offered a draw in a position where he perhaps had a slight advantage. Meanwhile, I was struggling against Joshua in a Vienna Game. My ponderous attack ground to a halt and I lost a pawn leaving me with an inferior bishop ending, which I managed to hold when Black couldn't find the most accurate line. 3-1 to Aberystwyth was more than enough for the title.
Friday, 4 May 2018
Aberystwyth maintained their good form of the season at home to Gwyddbwyll.com on Tuesday 17th April with a comfortable win, dominating all the games from the early stages. Playing White on top board, Adam Watkin-Jones took advantage of Iwan Griffiths's unfamiliarity with the theory of the Semi-Tarrasch Defence, gaining a passed pawn and a big space advantage, which he soon transformed into the win of a piece. I was nervous against Tegwyn Jones after a bad run of form recently, but quickly picked up two pawns in a Budapest Gambit, and was able to exchange into a winning ending without too much difficulty. Sam Holman's no-nonsense approach to the tricky Bird's Defence to the Ruy Lopez was not the best, but Dylan Jones didn't know the theory either and got a cramped position, allowing White to build pressure against a pinned knight and eventually win it. Dan Hardman's game against Emyr Llywelyn was a quiet Reti where White's aimless manoeuvring let him in for a knight fork, after which he was always ahead. A 4-0 win for Aberystwyth keeps the club on course for this year's League title.
Saturday, 21 April 2018
Steynton B could only field three players against Aberystwyth at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Wednesday 11 April, meaning that we needed one and a points to seal the match. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade won a pawn early on against John Miller in a King's Indian and had a dominating position throughout, picking up more material as Black looked vainly for counterplay. I got good pressure in a Sicilian against David Pinch's King's Indian Attack setup, but missed a tactic which won him a pawn. I should still have been OK, but was thrown off my stride by my mistake and blundered to bring the game to a quick conclusion. Dan Hardman, playing his first game for the Club, got a dangerous passed pawn against Gwyn Evans's Sicilian, and Black's attempt at a kingside counterattack only blundered a piece, a good start for the new player against a higher rated opponent. Aberystwyth won the match 3-1 with the default on Board 4.
Monday, 2 April 2018
At last, with the Dyfed League season approaching its climax, Aberystwyth's run of wins is over. We are not complaining, though, as a draw with Cardigan A after our win over them in the first leg only consolidates our lead. Here is team captain Rudy's summary of the match, which was played at Brynamlwg on 20 March.
Having managed a last-minute defeat of Cardigan in the first leg of the League, the Aberystwyth team strategy was keep the draw in hand on all boards, and push for more if possible. On Board 1, Brendan tried to keep very active by opening things up. This led to an unbalanced position, whuch Howard Williams could have won - a blunder that might have been a Black win was missed, then, despite engines being clear about a win for Cardigan, time pressure produced a repetition. On Board 2, preparation gave Rudy the chance to gain a persistent pressure to give Iolo a taste of what he does to others, but not enough to gain more than the desired draw. On Board 3, Adam got a promising position against Tony, but it petered out to a draw. Julie got a good position against Howard Leah and Black should have barricaded earlier. As it was there could have been a White breakthrough, but then it settled to equality. Result, Aberystwyth got its four draws