Thursday, 29 November 2012

Busy Night

Matches come thick and fast at this stage of the season, so much so that the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, hosted two of them on the same evening, Wednesday 21st November. While Aberystwyth A were playing Carmarthen, Cardigan A were beating by 3½-½. Aber's match was a closer affair, between two well-matched teams. On top board, however, Rudy van Kemenade had a comparatively easy victory against Gerry Heap, who miscalculated a pawn fork, losing a piece, and allowed his king to be overwhelmed soon afterwards. Julie van Kemenade also got a free gift, when Huw Morcom trapped his own queen; though he got a rook and a certain amount of counterplay for it, she made no mistake. Things went against Aber on Board 3, where David Ferguson's King's Indian was slowly strangled by Keith Downey, who picked up several pawns before the inevitable end. Finally, on Board 4 I found that Paul Orton was much too solid a player to allow me to begin the long climb out of my autumn slump, snuffing out my attack very efficiently. Nevertheless the draw helped secure a win for Aber by 2½-1½.

Gerry Heap - Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Julie van Kemenade - Huw Morcom 1-0

Keith Downey - David Ferguson 1-0

Matthew Francis - Paul Orton ½-½

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

First Win for the B-Team

A B-team looking for their first win of the season had another chance against Haverfordwest B on Monday 19th November at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes. On Board 1, I was playing a new opponent in John Miller, whose French Defence led to an exciting position with both sides attacking on opposite flanks. A piece sacrifice gave him the initiative, and he was able to take advantage through more accurate play. Meanwhile, James Cook was several pawns up against Jan Sendall, and looked to be comfortable before allowing some dangerous counterplay, which, fortunately for him, didn't come to anything. Tony Geraghty's game was also difficult, and he let Robbie Coles back in a couple of times before finally prevailing in the rook and pawn ending. Only captain Ian Finlay on fourth board had an easy evening, as Margaret Baron gave away pieces freely before allowing mate. 3-1 to Aberystwyth.

Matthew Francis - John Miller 0-1

Jan Sendall - James Cook 0-1

Tony Geraghty - Robbie Coles 1-0

Margaret Baron - Ian Finlay 0-1

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Club Championship Under Way

The new format for the Club Championship allows games to be played on club nights whenever it's convenient for the players. On Tuesday 13th November, there were inly four players at the St David's Club, but, fortified by newly available supplies of tea and coffee, we drew lots and started the Championship. Tony Geraghty had White against James Cook and played his favourite London System, obtaining an open h-file and a strong attack. His piece sacrifice was by no means clear-cut, but difficult to defend against, and Tony scored a quick and impressive victory against a higher rated opponent. Meanwhile Ian Finlay and I were playing each other for the second time in a few days, after my unimpressive performance in the Dyfed Closed. I also played a favourite system, the Budapest Gambit, and got a well-posted knight and an extra pawn. But I have been finding it hard to close out games recently, and a couple of inaccuracies allowed Ian to cancel out the advantage, leading to another draw.

Tony Geraghty - James Cook 1-0

Ian Finlay - Matthew Francis ½-½

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Repeat Performance

After the A-team's disappointing draw against, Aberystwyth B had the opportunity to show them how it should be done at the St David's Club on Tuesday 6 November. Playing Black on Board 1, I was a bit tentative against Iwan Griffiths's Queen's Gambit, but had two bishops and some pressure against his king, when an unexpected reply to a move I had thought decisive flustered me, and I blundered an exchange, losing soon afterwards. When James Cook and Owen Llywelyn play each other they always face the same problem: each is a Caro-Kann devotee, and no one wants to refute their favourite opening. This time James, as White, played a potentially dangerous line once used by Bobby Fischer, but missed the sharpest possibilities and the game resolved into a drawn position. New club member James Corrigan, playing his first ever competitive match on Board 4 against Emyr Llywelyn, attacked confidently and soon had what should have been a winning advantage, when he overlooked a fork and dropped a piece. He had some compensation, however, and the game was eventually agreed drawn. That left team captain Ian Finlay on Board 3, a pawn up in a difficult rook ending, to try to level the match. Tegwyn Jones managed to reach a drawn position but his flag fell before he could claim it, an unfortunate way to lose. So this match also ended in a 2-2 draw, which appears to be Aber's default result at this stage of the season.

Iwan Griffiths - Matthew Francis 1-0

James Cook - Owen Llywelyn ½-½

Tegwyn Jones - Ian Finlay 0-1

James Corrigan - Emyr Llywelyn ½-½

Congratulations to Rudy van Kemenade, joint winner of the Dyfed Closed Championship. He tied with Gerry Heap of Carmarthen on 4½/5. Full report to follow.