Saturday, 29 January 2011

Another Instalment

With two teams each, and playing home and away matches, Aberystwyth and Cardigan are scheduled to meet eight times this season in the Dyfed League. The match between Aberystywth B and Cardigan B hardly seemed over when Aber's A team sat down again to play the same line-up. Mark Talbot on top board got a big opening advantage from the Classical Variation of the French Defence, winning a couple of pawns and destroying White's centre. Caerwyn Owen played on only a few more moves before accepting his inevitable defeat. Rudy van Kemenade also dominated from the opening, getting a crushing position from Howard Leah's inaccurate defence to the Ruy Lopez. On Board 3, I played the Scandinavian against a Cardigan player for the second week in a row, and emerged from the opening with a more comfortable position than I achieved against Howard Leah. Nevertheless Roland Spencer had some pressure for a time, before succumbing to a counterattack against the White king. The most complex game was played on bottom board, where Ian Finlay won Awne Osinga's queen for rook and knight with a knight fork, but had to deal with a dangerous passed pawn. After several more twists, the game was drawn. Aber won the match 3½-½.

Caerwyn Owen - Mark Talbot 0-1

Rudy van Kemenade - Howard Leah 1-0

Roland Spencer - Matthew Francis 0-1

Ian Finlay - Awne Osinga ½-½

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bs Go Down Fighting

The B team suffered another defeat this week against Cardigan B, despite playing some adventurous chess - all four games could have gone the other way. On Board 1, Julie van Kemenade won a pawn against Caerwyn Owen but had to negotiate a long and difficult rook ending, eventually losing on time in an attempt to level the match score with a win. I managed to create some complications against Howard Leah, despite being comprehensively outplayed in a Scandinavian Defence. At one point, desperately short of time, I moved my queen to an illegal square to claim checkmate, withdrew it when my error was pointed out, then moved another piece, an infringement of the touch-move rule which neither player noticed in the heat of the moment. After several more adventures I scored a lucky win. John Basterfield was just back from the South Wales Winter Congress in Penarth, where he finished joint first in the Minor Section. He might have trapped Roland Spencer's queen, then went the exchange down but with excellent compensation in the form of two connected passed pawns. He missed several winning chances to let the game slip, a no-doubt temporary setback in his recent run of good form. Finally, Georgina Gray took the initiative against the higher-rated Awne Osinga but overlooked a pin which won him a piece, a disadvantage from which she could not recover.

Julie van Kemenade - Caerwyn Owen 0-1

Howard Leah - Matthew Francis 0-1

John Basterfield - Roland Spencer 0-1

Awne Osinga - Georgina Gray 1-0