Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Another Draw

An A-team missing regular players Julie van Kemenade and David Ferguson found it tough going against at the St David's Club on Tuesday 30 October, despite having a grading advantage on all boards. First to finish was my game on Board 2. Having found Owen Llywelyn's Caro-Kann difficult to break down in earlier games, I had prepared a dangerous variation with some hidden traps. Black's natural replies soon got him into trouble, and he was a rook down before getting out of the opening. At this point, things looked good for Aber who were up on Boards 1 and 4, and holding their own on Board 3, where James Cook was Black against the relatively inexperienced David Moore. Then he misjudged an exchange combination, losing a piece and a pawn, and White played the ending out calmly to secure a good win for Gwyddbwyll. On top board Rudy van Kemenade had taken the initiative with his Dutch Defence, winning the exchange and exerting pressure against the king, but Iwan Griffiths was making things as difficult as possible for him. Meanwhile, disaster had struck on Board 4, when Tony Geraghty picked up his queen without stopping to check his planned move and found that his only legal option was to sacrifice it - the kind of mistake every chess player makes at least once in their life, which doesn't make it any easier to get to sleep afterwards. Tegwyn Jones seemed a bit nervous as he tried to force mate before his clock ran down, but got there in the end. Fortunately for Aber, Rudy finally broke through to level the match. The result was the third successive draw for the club, and the second successive draw for the A-team against lower-graded opposition - not the start we were hoping for.

Iwan Griffiths - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Matthew Francis - Owen Llywelyn 1-0

David Moore - James Cook 1-0

Tony Geraghty - Tegwyn Jones 0-1

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Battle of the Bs

Aberystwyth B's first match of the season was away to Cardigan B on Wednesday 15th October. On top board, facing Howard Leah's Philidor, I soon came under pressure on the queenside, and chose a line that dropped the exchange but gave me a solid fortress position and a useful passed pawn as compensation. Black turned down a draw offer, but was unable to find a way through and eventually offered the draw himself, in a position that was now rather worse, but with White short of time. The Board 2 game was a quieter draw, as James Cook quickly neutralized any initiative from Jamie Sen's London System. Tony Geraghty also played the London, but Awne Osinga made the mistake of looking for a counterattack before he was fully developed, getting a bishop trapped and succumbing to an unstoppable passed pawn. Finally on Board 4, Ian Finlay had some trouble defending his isolated queen's pawn position against Nick McIlvenna's Queen's Gambit, and lost the exchange to an easy-to-miss tactic. They played on, but Black dropped a piece not long after, making the deficit a whole rook, and resigned. The result was a 2-2 draw between evenly matched teams.

Matthew Francis - Howard Leah ½-½

Jamie Sen - James Cook ½-½

Tony Geraghty - Awne Osinga 1-0

Nick McIlvenna - Ian Finlay 1-0

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A-Team's Progress Stalled

After a good first match of the season, Aberystwyth A found themselves facing the A-team of their previous opponents, Haverfordwest, at the Emlyn Cafe, Tayngroes, on Wednesday 10th October. Despite strengthening the side with the addition of James Cook on Board 4, Aber found the opposition much tougher this time. Not on top board, however, where Rudy van Kemenade emerged from an unusual line of the French Winawer into a queenless middlegame where he had the two bishops, a superior development and a dangerous attack down the h-file. Ron Wade capitulated quickly, though he might well have played on against a less formidable opponent. Julie van Kemenade's game was the longest of the evening, and characteristically wild, as Colin Denham countered her trademark kingside attack with an unexpectedly successful foray against the queenside-castled king, picking up queen for rook. The position was still complicated however, and Black was able to sustain enough pressure to secure the draw. David Ferguson, playing his first match in a long time, seemed a bit rusty against the new Board 3, John Miller. While he hesitated between queenside and kingside development, Black worked up a fierce attack against the king, leading to a quick mate. Finally, James Cook carelessly dropped a pawn with his Caro-Kann, but kept his pieces active, and Jan Sendall was content with the draw. 2-2 represents a rather disappointing result for Aber, and a good performance by Haverfordwest.

Rudy van Kemenade - Ron Wade 1-0

Colin Denham - Julie van Kemenade ½-½

David Ferguson- John Miller 0-1

Jan Sendall - James Cook ½-½

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Aberystwyth Town Chess Club

Annual General Meeting

The 66th AGM of the Aberystwyth Town Chess Club was held in the first floor meeting room St. David’s Hall, Eastgate St, Aberystwyth, 7:30 pm on Tuesday 11th September 2012.

Present: M Francis {Chair}, A Geraghty {Secretary-Treasurer}, R Van Kemenade, J Van Kemenade.


1.Apologies for absence. Ian Finlay.

2.Minutes of the previous AGM accepted.

3.Matters arising. None.

4.The chairman's report.

Matthew Francis reported that the club had had another good year competitively. Once again we were able to sustain two teams in the Dyfed League and had competed well there as the A team match captain would report. Members had also had a good season in tournaments. Eight Aberystwyth players took part in the Dyfed Closed Championship, where Rudy finished third, and seven in the Dyfed Congress, where Matthew finished in a six-way tie for second in the Major section and Ian Finlay and John Basterfield shared first place in the Minor. Rudy represented Wales in the European Senior Team Championship in Slovenia and achieved the best score of the Welsh team. The Club Championship this year was hit by illness and pressure of work, and was played as a four-player one-day tournament, won by Rudy. Tony, Julie and Matthew all made significant rating gains over the season. In the summer we said goodbye to our regular Board 1 and 2011 Club Champion Mark Talbot, who was graduating from Aberystwyth University, with a friendly chess evening at the Club with Mark, his father and brother. He will be much missed. Despite all the success, however, attendance on club nights remained a concern.

5.Secretary/Treasurer's report.

Tony Geraghty reported the club had a good start from September to Christmas. Attendance was up on previous years and the Home League matches were a boost to the club income. However, we were unable to sustain attendance numbers and once again took a summer break. Financially the club was in the same position as last year. The rent was paid in advance to the end of November and we have a small surplus in the bank.

The secretary also reminded members WCU £10.00 and DCA £5.00 fees are now due.

6.Match Captains’ reports.

Rudy reported Aberystwyth 'A' team had once again finished runners up to Cardigan 'A'. The 'B' team had managed to gain 3rd place. The club had also won the lolo Jones Trophy for the 2nd year.

7.Any other matters.

Tony Geraghty proposed the club championship be reinstated on club nights. The proposal was seconded by Julie, and passed.
Rudy reported that Roland Spencer had given up his position as Treasurer for the DCA and Tony Haigh had taken the post. Our thanks to Roland for the fine work he has done.

8.Election of Officers.

Chair – Matthew Francis.
Secretary and Treasurer – Tony Geraghty.
Match captains:
A Team Rudy Van Kemenade.
B Team Ian Finlay.
Blog Master Matthew Francis.

Anthony Geraghty, Club Secretary.