The first match of the season was played between Aberystwyth B and Haverfordwest A in the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 3rd October. The two teams were well matched on paper and the result was in doubt until the very end of the evening. On Board 4 Georgina Gray scored an impressive early victory, conjuring an attack out of nowhere against Robbie Coles’s unorthodox opening, though computer analysis shows that White could have defended it. But Aber was soon in trouble on Board 2, where Ian Finlay lost a piece in a series of exchanges to the higher-rated Ron Wade. He defended resolutely, winning back some material, but eventually succumbed to a passed pawn. On Board 3, Tony Geraghty was involved in an intricate tactical skirmish against Jan Sendall, but his pieces were better co-ordinated, and his opponent’s position abruptly fell to pieces. With the score at 2-1 to Aber, that left only the game on top board to be decided. I had started slowly against Colin Denham, but the advantage swung this way and that as the pressure built up. Both players were in time trouble and began to make blunders. Finally Colin was left with rook and king against lone king, but in a desperate time-scramble with all the other players looking on he was unable to force mate before his flag fell, resulting in a draw. So an exciting first match finished in a win to Aberystwyth B, 2½-1½.

Matthew Francis – Colin Denham ½-½

Ron Wade – Ian Finlay 1-0

Tony Geraghty – Jan Sendall 1-0

Robbie Coles – Georgina Gray 0-1

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