As the season draws to a close, Aberystwyth has played its last two Dyfed League matches, with good results. On Monday 13 May, the club had a home match against Carmarthen. Top board Rudy van Kemenade played an unusual formation against Gerry Heap's English Opening, hoping to lure his opponent into a premature attack. The White king became exposed and the game ended with a sudden tactical coup, a good win for Rudy against a very strong opponent. Adam Watkin-Jones's game against David Buttell was also an English, this time by transposition, and once again the Carmarthen player overpressed, creating too many weaknesses and allowing White to invade his position. It was an evening for the hypermodernists, as Julie van Kemenade faced Paul Orton's 1.Nf3 and a slow, careful White development, which didn't allow her an entry point for some time. When things opened up, however, the game finished quickly with a tactical error by White. My own use of an English-like system against the Sicilian is beginning to feel counter-productive. Against Robert Narayan-Taylor, I expanded my position slowly and found weaknesses appearing all over the board. A Black error left me a piece up in a game I should already have lost, but by now I was very short of time, and agreed a draw, The match finished 3½-½ to Aber.
Adam Jones was left without a Board 2 opponent in the match against Cardigan B on Monday 20 May, as Howard Leah was missing. On top board Rudy had a tough battle in the Petroff, playing the White side for once, against Ben Brewer. Black's miscalculated combination left White a pawn up but the knight versus bishop ending required careful play before Rudy was able to secure the point. The bottom board game between James Cook and Awne Osinga was a quiet draw in the Caro-Kann. My Board 3 game against Joshua Brewer was another draw, but anything but quiet. I played the fork trick in the Three Knights Game, and got a strong attack, but a series of weaker options allowed him to counterattack on the kingside. In desperation, I sacked the exchange and looked for a while as if I was forcing mate, but it wouldn't have worked out, even with best play. An exciting game in which both sides made mistakes eventually settled into a drawn ending. The match finished 3-1 to Aber with the default on Board 2. With one match still to play in the League, Cardigan A have already regained the championship, which Aberystwyth held last year. We finish second, and Aberystwyth University are an excellent third, after a fine first season which included a win in their first ever derby match against the town team.