Club nights have been cancelled for the past two weeks as we had two successive home matches in our restricted quarters in the Students' Union. Even fitting four games into the space involved a certain amount of furniture moving. Not only that, but just before the match against Cardigan A on Tuesday 26 November, we discovered that three of our clocks had gone missing from the storeroom. It was not the first time this had happened, and on the last occasion they turned up again, having presumably been borrowed, but as I write we still haven't located them for the second time. Fortunately we were able to do some borrowing of our own, from the University team, and the match went ahead. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade played his favourite Leningrad Dutch, and tried to stir up a kingside attack, but Howard Williams bided his time and then struck back, taking advantage of the weakened kingside left by Rudy's advancing pawns. Adam Watkin-Jones reached what looked like a quiet position in an Italian Game against Iolo Jones, but he underestimated Black's queen and rook lined up on the f-file. A knight sacrifice broke his defences open, ending the game quickly. Julie van Kemenade played a good positional game against Tony Haigh with her d6 system against 1.d4 (Rat or Pribyl or whatever it's called). White was left with a bad bishop and a passive position trying to defend a backward pawn, and his exchange sacrifice solved nothing. I got nothing from my Vienna Game until Ben Brewer, trying to set up an ambitious kingside attack, castled on the queenside despite his open a-file. My attack was quicker, and although I should have finished it sooner than I did, my extra material was enough to win the ending. Yet another 2-2 draw for Aberystwyth, but it was a good result against a strong Cardigan team.
On Tuesday 3rd December we had our local derby against the University team. Adam Watkin-Jones on top board had a quiet game with his English Opening against Cameron Westwood. With both players castled on the queenside, neither looked likely to break through, and a draw was agreed. I was under slight but persistent pressure against Jan Piotrowski in an Alapin Sicilian, till he moved his rook away from the back rank to help his effort and allowed a sudden counter-attack against the vulnerable king. I missed the best move and only managed to win an exchange, but the ending was an easy one. Tom Gunn played the classic Greek gift sacrifice in his Colle System against Kieron Judge. Subsequent analysis shows it was not sound, but Black declined it, and despite winning the exchange, found himself in a mating net, ending an exciting game. Anson Howard, playing his first ever rated game, held his own for a long time against Toby Bates in what I think was a Queen's Indian by transposition, but weakened his kingside, which eventually allowed the White attack through. A win for the Town team, 2½-1½.
We have one more club night in the Union before Christmas, but may meet in the Arts Centre bar on 17 December if there is enough interest.