The new Aberystwyth University team is off to an excellent start in the Dyfed League. On Tuesday 27 November they took part in their first local derby against champions Aberystwyth Town (as we must call ourselves for the occasion). On top board for the Town team, Adam Watkin-Jones took a poisoned pawn with his queen in a Sicilian Grand Prix against Owain Davies, and instantly regretted it as his queen was sidelined and his newly castled king faced a devastating attack. His resignation may have been a bit premature, but he was in serious trouble. I got an advantage early on against Cameron Westwood when he accepted my Vienna Gambit (one that should always be declined) and, after dithering a bit, was able to consolidate it when he allowed a tactic that won the exchange. Ian Finlay was doing well after declining Jan Piotrowski's Morra Gambit, and entered the endgame a couple of pawns to the good. However, he overlooked the danger from White's advanced passed pawn till it was too late to stop it. Sam Holman won a piece in a French Defence Advance Variation after a complex queenside skirmish against Dan Hardman. However White was able to pick up some pawns as compensation, and a difficult ending was eventually drawn. The match finished 2½-1½ to the University, taking them to the top of the league, though Cardigan have a couple of games in hand.
The previous week had seen two more games in the Club Championship. Hardman-Holman was a dry run for their league game, in the same variation of the French, though this time Sam prevailed in the ending. I played my favourite Botvinnik English formation against Francis Headley's Sicilian and took advantage of Black's tactical error to win a piece, after which I was always comfortably in control.