With the return of over-the-board chess still looking a distant prospect, the Welsh Chess Union has organized a new online contest, the WCU Online League. Aberystwyth has entered the Under 1800 section of this, with Rudy van Kemenade, who is too strong to play in this section, as non-playing captain. Matches are played on Lichess, with four-player teams and a rather faster time-limit than we were used to in the Dyfed League. Results do not count towards national grading.

On Tuesday 15th September, we played our first match, against North Cardiff Titans. I had White on Board 1 against Liam Penny, in the Portugese Variation of the Scandinavian Defence (one of those delightful hybrid names that chess occasionally comes up with). Black weakened his kingside position but was holding well, and a pawn up, till I found a tactic that regained the material with advantage. Passing up an opportunity for a kinghunt, I transposed into a favourable rook ending, and was able to win it without too much trouble. On Board 2, Julie van Kemenade played a Philidor-type opening with an early queen sortie that she has been using recently – I’m not sure if it has a name, but it seems active and interesting. The position was level till she missed a trick that cost her a pawn, which seemed to discourage her, though she was still reasonably well placed. White took the initiative and invaded on the seventh rank, winning material and the game. On Boards 3 and 4, Tom Gunn and Sam Holman were playing much lower-rated opponents, Callum Penny and Kushi Bagga. Both the Aber players had White, because of a technical issue which meant the Board 4 game was played with reversed colours. The two games, a Colle System and a Ruy Lopez, Bird’s Variation, followed a similar course, with the Cardiff players attacking prematurely and giving up material without compensation, allowing their opponents to launch mating attacks with their extra firepower. Our first online match was a 3-1 win to Aberystwyth.

[Event “Rated Classical game”] [Site “lichess.org”] [Date “2020.09.15”] [Round “?”] [White “Matthew Francis”] [Black “Liam Penny”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “B01”] [WhiteElo “1648”] [BlackElo “1793”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “101”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [TimeControl “2700+15”] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 (2… Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 {Horrell-Penny, WEst Wales Major 2019,1-0}) 3. d4 Bg4 {B01 Scandinavian Defense: Portuguese Variation} (3… Nxd5 {Matthew has faced this 3 times, but only in Aberystwyth club games}) 4. Be2 (4. f3 {a more complex line}) 4… Bxe2 5. Qxe2 {main} Qxd5 6. Nf3 e6 7. c4 (7. O-O {main} Nc6 8. Nc3 Qh5) 7… Qf5 { 47% for Wh} (7… Bb4+) (7… Qh5 {main}) 8. Nc3 (8. O-O) 8… Be7 (8… Bb4) 9. O-O O-O 10. h3 (10. d5 {main} Bc5 11. dxe6 Nc6 {63% for Wh}) 10… h5 $6 { prevents g4, but is a permanent weakness to watch} (10… Nc6 11. Be3 Ne4 { 1 game each} (11… Rfe8 12. Rfd1 Rad8 13. a3 {Kleinwaechter-Harzer, EU Seniors tm Dresden 2004,0-1})) (10… c6 11. Be3 Bb4 12. Rac1 Nbd7 13. a3 Bxc3 14. Rxc3 Rfe8 {Jarvis-Mountford, 4NCL 2016,1-0}) (10… h6 11. Rd1 Re8 12. Ne5 c6 13. g4 $14 (13. Rd3 $14 {Komodo14 MC})) 11. d5 $16 (11. Nh4 $16) 11… Bc5 12. dxe6 (12. Nh4 Qh7 13. dxe6 $16 {Komodo14 MC}) 12… fxe6 (12… Nc6 { Komodo14 MC}) 13. Bg5 (13. Nh4 Qh7 14. Qxe6+ $18 {Komodo14 MC}) 13… Nc6 14. Rfe1 (14. Rad1) 14… Rae8 (14… e5) 15. Bh4 (15. Rad1 $16) (15. Bxf6 $16) 15… e5 $11 16. Ne4 (16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Rad1 Nd4 18. Qd3 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 16… Nd4 (16… Bb4) 17. Nxf6+ (17. Nxd4 $11) 17… gxf6 18. Nxd4 Bxd4 19. Rad1 c5 $11 {Though Bl’s B looks a better placed than Wh’s} 20. Kh1 Rf7 21. b4 {Komodo14 MC first choice} (21. b3 {looks sensible} e4 $15 {Komodo14 MC}) 21… Bc3 (21… b6 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 22. Rf1 (22. Rg1 cxb4 23. Rd5 $11 {Komodo14 MC }) 22… cxb4 23. Rd5 $11 {for half a pawn, Wh gets the open file} Qg6 24. Rfd1 (24. f4 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 24… Rfe7 (24… Rg7) 25. R1d3 (25. Rd7) 25… Rg7 26. f3 (26. Rg3 {Rudy & Komodo14 MC , after a bit of consideration [ looks promising as Bl has to take care of a draughty K side]} Qf7 (26… Qb1+ 27. Rd1 Qf5 28. Rxg7+ Kxg7 29. Rd6 Rf8 30. c5 Qb1+ 31. Kh2 Qf5 32. Qb5 Rf7 $11) 27. Qd3 Kf8 28. Rxg7 Kxg7 29. Qe4 Re7 30. Rd3 f5 31. Rg3+ Kh6 32. Qf3 Re6 33. Rg5 Bd2 34. Rxf5 e4 35. Qf4+ Bxf4 36. Rxf7 Be5 37. g4 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 26… Bd4 $2 { appears to hold the fort, but allows an invasion elsewhere} (26… Ra8 $11 { Komodo14 MC}) 27. Bxf6 $1 $18 (27. Be1 {looks posible, however} a5 $1 $15 28. Rxa5 Bf2 $1 $19 {Komodo14 MC}) 27… Qxf6 (27… e4 $5) 28. R5xd4 (28. R3xd4 { looks stronger- keeping a R on the active d5 outpost}) 28… Rc8 (28… e4) 29. Re4 Rg5 (29… Rc5 30. Rd5 Rxd5 31. cxd5 Rc7 32. Rxb4 $18 {Komodo14 MC}) 30. Rd5 (30. Rd7 {preferred by Komodo14 MC}) 30… Qc6 {seeking activity rather than defend weak pawns} (30… Re8 31. Qd2 $18 (31. f4 Rf5 32. fxe5 $18 (32. Rd7 $18))) 31. Rdxe5 (31. Rexe5 {appears stronger} Rg6 (31… Rxe5 32. Qxe5 { leaves the Bl K very exposed}) 32. Qe4 Rf8 33. c5 (33. Rxh5 {also}) 33… Rg7 34. Re6 Qc7 35. Re8 Qf7 36. Rxf8+ Qxf8 37. Qh4 Qf7 38. Rxh5 {Wh just picks up pawns, while Bl has great difficulty covering the K}) 31… Rxe5 (31… Qf6) 32. Rxe5 Qxc4 (32… Rc7 $5) (32… Rd8 $5) 33. Rg5+ (33. Re8+ {is another K hunt} Kh7 (33… Rxe8 34. Qxc4+) 34. Qe7+ Kg6 35. Qd6+ Kg7 36. Qe5+ Kg6 37. Re6+ {the kind of positions Engines adore, where humans, especially in time pressure, go in for simpler measures ( though the Bl K position is dire enough) } Kf7 38. Re7+ Kg6 39. Rg7+ Kh6 40. Qg5# (40. Qf6#)) 33… Kf7 (33… Kf8 { may be a little bit better} 34. Rf5+ Kg8 35. Qf2 h4 36. Rg5+ Kf7 37. Rg4 Qc1+ 38. Kh2 Rg8 39. Rxh4 $18) 34. Qxc4+ (34. Qe5 $18 {Komodo14 MC}) 34… Rxc4 35. Rxh5 $14 Rc1+ $6 {helps the K forward} (35… Rc2 {at once}) 36. Kh2 Rc2 37. Ra5 (37. Rh7+ $18 Ke6 (37… Kg6 {holds up the Wh pawn advance, but is also liable to end up in a mating net} 38. Rxb7 a5 39. a4 (39. a3 bxa3 40. Rb5 { looks simpler}) 39… Ra2 40. h4 Rxa4 (40… Ra3 41. Rb5) 41. g4 Ra2+ {Bl would have had better chances if the Wh K were still on h1} 42. Kg3 Ra3 43. h5+ Kf6 (43… Kh6 44. Kh4 Rxf3 45. g5#) 44. h6 Rc3 45. g5+ Kxg5 (45… Kg6 46. Kg4 {mating net}) 46. h7 Rc8 47. Rg7+ Kf6 48. Rg8 {note that the Bl pawns have scarcely been able to move}) 38. Rxb7 Rxa2 (38… a5 39. h4 Rxa2 40. h5 Rc2 41. h6 Rc8 42. g4 Ra8 43. h7 $18 {is much too slow}) 39. Rxb4 $18) 37… a6 38. Kg3 $16 {Bl has 2 and a half pawns to 1 on the Q side, while Wh is 3-0 on the other.} Kg6 39. Ra4 (39. h4 $18) 39… Rb2 40. f4 (40. h4 {preferred by Komodo14 MC}) 40… b3 {there is little else for Bl to try} 41. axb3 Rxb3+ 42. Kg4 (42. Kh4 Kf6 43. g4) 42… Rb2 43. g3 Rb5 44. h4 {a saying is that Bl pawns travel faster, not here.} Kh6 45. f5 (45. Re4) 45… Rb3 46. f6 (46. Rd4) 46… Kg6 47. Rf4 Kf7 48. h5 {the extra Wh pawn on g3 limits Bl’s R mobility} b5 (48… Rb1 49. h6 Rh1 50. Kg5 Kg8 51. f7+ Kf8 52. Kg6 {and the Bl pawns are nowhere}) 49. h6 a5 50. h7 a4 51. h8=Q {Normal Black resigns.} 1-0 [Event “Rated Classical game”] [Site “lichess.org”] [Date “2020.09.15”] [Round “?”] [White “Gavin Williams”] [Black “Julie van Kemenade”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “B07”] [WhiteElo “1640”] [BlackElo “1641”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “79”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [TimeControl “2700+15”] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 c6 {B07 Czech Defense} 4. f4 Qa5 5. Bd3 e5 6. dxe5 (6. Nf3 { main}) 6… dxe5 7. Nf3 (7. f5 {main} h6 8. Nf3 Nbd7 9. Qe2 Ng4 10. h3 Ngf6 11. Bd2 Qb6 12. O-O-O a5 {Williams- Van Kemenade, Tom Weston Major, 2015, 0-1}) 7… Nbd7 8. O-O h6 (8… Be7 {main, 39% for Wh}) 9. Bd2 Qc7 (9… Qb6+ 10. Kh1 Bd6 {alternative}) 10. fxe5 (10. f5) 10… Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Bf4 Qc5+ 13. Kh1 Ng4 (13… Be6 14. e5 Nd5 15. Ne4 Qb6 16. Qf3 Nxf4 17. Qxf4 O-O-O $11 { Komodo14 MC}) 14. Qf3 (14. Qe2) 14… Be6 15. Rad1 Be7 (15… O-O-O $11 { Komodo14 MC}) (15… g5 16. Bg3 Bg7 17. Nd5 cxd5 18. exd5 Qxd5 19. Qe2 O-O-O 20. Bf5 Qc6 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. Bxg4 Bxg4 23. Qxg4+ Qe6 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 16. h3 (16. e5 g5 17. Ne4 Qb6 18. Bg3 O-O-O 19. Nd6+ (19. h3 h5 $14) 19… Bxd6 20. exd6 h5 21. Bf5 h4 22. Qxg4 hxg3 23. Bxe6+ fxe6 24. Qxg3 Qxb2 25. Qxg5 $16) 16… Ne5 $11 {Bl now retains control over e5, which blocks Wh’s KB} 17. Qg3 Ng6 {Komodo14 MC} (17… Bf6 {Rudy} 18. Nd5 {Komodo14 MC} cxd5 19. b4 (19. Bxe5 O-O-O 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. exd5 Qxd5 22. Qf4 $16) 19… Qxb4 20. Bxe5 O-O-O 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. exd5 Rxd5 $11) 18. Be3 (18. Bc7 Qg5 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 18… Qe5 19. Qxe5 Nxe5 20. Be2 O-O $11 21. Bf4 Bf6 (21… f6 $15 {Komodo14 MC} 22. Bxe5 fxe5 {Bl has 2 Bs & the Wh’s minor pieces have no good squares}) (21… Ng6 22. Bg3 (22. Be3 Bb4 $15) 22… Rad8 $15 {Komodo14 MC}) 22. Bxh6 gxh6 (22… Rfd8 $11 {Komodo14 MC, despite a pawn down} 23. Bf4 (23. b3 Rxd1 24. Nxd1 gxh6 25. Rxf6 Kg7 26. Rf2 Rd8 27. Ne3 Rd4 28. Bf3 c5 29. Rf1 c4 $11) 23… Nc4 24. b3 Bxc3 25. Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Bxc4 Bxc4 27. bxc4 Rd4 $17) 23. Rxf6 Kg7 (23… Rfd8) 24. Rff1 $16 (24. Rf2) 24… Rad8 25. b3 b5 26. a3 (26. Kg1) 26… a5 27. a4 ( 27. Kg1) (27. Kh2) 27… b4 28. Nb1 Rc8 (28… c5 $11 {Komodo14 MC – All of Wh’s pawns are on the same colour as his B- c4 is a threat & the e4 pawn is still a liabilty}) 29. Nd2 c5 30. Nf3 Nc6 {Bl has begun retreating well placed pieces} (30… Nxf3 31. Rxf3 Rfd8 {Komodo14 MC} (31… c4 {Rudy & Wh worried about it} 32. Bxc4 Bxc4 33. bxc4 Rxc4 34. Rd2 Rxe4 $11 (34… Rfc8 $11))) 31. Rd6 (31. Bc4 $16 {Komodo14 MC}) 31… Rfd8 32. Rfd1 (32. e5 $14) 32… Rxd6 ( 32… Nd4 33. Rxd8 Rxd8 34. e5 Bf5 $11 {Komodo14 MC}) 33. Rxd6 Kf8 (33… Kf6 $14 {Rudy & Komodo14 MC centralises the K} 34. Kg1 Ne5 35. Nd2 Ke7 36. Ra6 Rd8 37. Nf1 c4 38. Rxa5 cxb3 39. cxb3 Nc6 40. Ra6 Nd4 41. Bc4 Nxb3 42. Bxb3 Bxb3 43. Rb6 Bxa4 44. Rxb4 Bc6 45. Ne3 $16 {with the addition of the N Wh retains some winning chances rather than R s only with pawns all on the same side, However usually R & B co=operate betther than R & N}) (33… Nd4 34. Nxd4 cxd4 35. Bd3 Rc3 36. Rxd4 $16) 34. Rd2 (34. Ba6 Rc7 35. Bb5 Nd4 36. Nxd4 cxd4 37. Bd3 {transposes the previous note}) 34… f6 (34… Ke7) (34… Nd4 35. Bc4 ( 35. Nxd4 cxd4 36. Bd1 Kg7 37. Rxd4 Kf6 $11 {Wh’s B is passive}) 35… Bxc4 36. bxc4 Rd8 37. g3 Ke7 38. Kg2 Rd6 $14 {Komodo14 MC}) 35. Kg1 Ke7 (35… c4 36. Bxc4 Bxc4 37. bxc4 Ne5 38. Nxe5 fxe5 39. Rd5 Rxc4 40. Rxa5 Rxc2 41. Rxe5 $18 { Komodo14 MC}) 36. Kf2 Bf7 (36… Ne5 $5) 37. Ke3 (37. Bc4 $16 {Komodo14 MC}) 37… Rg8 38. g4 Bg6 {cedes key squares to Wh} (38… Ne5) 39. Bb5 $18 (39. Rd5 $18) 39… Na7 (39… Nd4 $5) (39… Rc8 40. Bxc6 Rxc6 41. Kf4 $18) 40. Rd7+ { Normal Black resigns.} 1-0 [Event “Rated Classical game”] [Site “lichess.org”] [Date “2020.09.15”] [Round “?”] [White “Tom Gunn”] [Black “Callum Penny”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “D05”] [WhiteElo “1398”] [BlackElo “905”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “55”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [TimeControl “2700+15”] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 {D05 Colle System} Bd6 5. Nbd2 Nc6 (5… Nbd7 {main, avoids blocking the c pawn} ) 6. a3 (6. c3 {is the more usual Colle structure}) 6… O-O 7. O-O {10 Wh wins, 2 draws, 2 Bl wins from here} Re8 (7… e5 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Bxe5 10. Nf3 $11 {however, 4-0}) 8. Re1 (8. e4 e5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. Re1 Bd7 13. Nf3 Bg4 (13… Bf6 $11) 14. Bd2 (14. Bxh7+ Kxh7 15. Qd3+ Kg8 16. Nxe5 $14 {Komodo14 MC}) 14… Qf6 {Bakirova-Fedotov, Vladivostock op 2007,1-0}) 8… e5 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5 Bxe5 11. Nf3 Ng4 {a premature attack} (11… Bg4 $15 {Bl has superior development}) 12. h3 Bh2+ (12… Nf6 13. Nxe5 ( 13. c4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 Qxd1 15. Rxd1 Bd6 16. b3 $14) 13… Rxe5 14. b4 $16 { Wh has 2 strong Bs}) 13. Nxh2 Nxh2 14. Kxh2 {Wh is simply a piece- while blunders are possible, Bl has nothing} Qd6+ 15. Kg1 Qf6 16. Rb1 (16. Qh5 g6 17. Qxd5) 16… Qg5 17. Qf3 (17. e4 {liberating the QB also is fineagainst the Bxh3 threat}) 17… d4 18. e4 (18. exd4 Rxe1+ {would not be good}) (18. Rf1 $18 ) (18. Bd2 $18) (18. Re2 $18) 18… Qa5 19. b4 Qb6 20. Bb2 Qd6 21. Rbd1 { superior development & extra piece. Bl never quite gets his Q side moving} h6 22. Bc4 (22. Bb5) 22… Rf8 (22… Be6) 23. Rxd4 Qe7 24. Qg3 g6 (24… Qg5 { holds up the mate}) 25. Qxg6+ Kh8 26. Rd7+ {the Engine has fun} (26. Rd8+) (26. Bxf7) (26. Rd5+) 26… Qe5 27. Bxe5+ f6 28. Rh7# {Normal White wins by checkmate.} (28. Qxh6#) (28. Qh7#) (28. Qg7#) 1-0 [Event “Rated Classical game”] [Site “lichess.org”] [Date “2020.09.15”] [Round “?”] [White “Sam Holman”] [Black “Kushi Bagga”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “C61”] [WhiteElo “1386”] [BlackElo “882”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “67”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [TimeControl “2700+15”] 1. e4 {Sam should have been playing Bl, but his opponent couldn’t find him initially. Fide rules , 7’2, say a game stated with colours reversed shall continue, unless an arbiter decides otherwise.} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O Nf6 (5… Bc5 {main}) 6. d3 {80% for Wh} (6. e5 {scores better for Wh 87%, but can get complex}) 6… Bc5 (6… c6) (6… Be7) 7. Bg5 { main} (7. Nd2 O-O 8. c3 dxc3 9. bxc3 c6 10. Ba4 b5 11. Bc2 Re8 12. d4 Bb6 13. e5 Nd5 14. Ne4 {R Van Kemenade-Mason, Bradford Swiss 1988,1-0}) 7… Be7 (7… h6 {5-0}) (7… O-O 8. e5) 8. c3 {Komodo14 MC} (8. Nd2 {1.5-0.5}) 8… dxc3 9. bxc3 {Wh has gained a centre & superior development. The Engine still considers it level, but Bl must play carefully to avoid Wh obtaining a powerful K side iattack} O-O 10. Nd2 d5 11. e5 Ng4 (11… Ne8 {looks safer}) 12. Bf4 c6 (12… f6 {Bl should limit the easy flow of Wh’s centre}) 13. Ba4 Re8 {begins to leave the K unprotected} (13… f6) 14. h3 (14. Nf3 $16 { Komodo14 MC}) 14… Nxf2 (14… Nh6 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. d4 $16 {leaves Bl’s K side in a mess, but giving up the piece also gives Wh a valuable open f file}) 15. Rxf2 $18 d4 16. Rf3 (16. Ne4) 16… f6 17. Bb3+ {Wh has other equally good moves available} Kh8 18. Ne4 dxc3 19. d4 (19. exf6 {also}) 19… fxe5 20. Bxe5 {the Wh pieces converge against the K while Bl’s Q side remains in stasis} Rf8 21. Qd3 (21. Rg3 {Komodo14 MC} Bf6 22. Nxf6 gxf6 (22… Qxf6 {is Komodo14 MC’s response}) 23. Qh5 Bd7 24. Rf1 (24. Qh6)) 21… Bf5 22. Raf1 Qc8 23. g4 (23. Qe3) 23… Bg6 24. Qe3 (24. Rxf8+ Bxf8 25. Qf3) 24… Bxe4 25. Qxe4 Qe8 (25… Rxf3 26. Bxg7+ $18) 26. Bf7 (26. Rxf8+ Bxf8 27. Qf5 (27. Bc2)) 26… Qd8 27. Bxg7+ (27. Rf5 {and again Komodo14 MC suggests Bl give up her Queen}) 27… Kxg7 28. Qe5+ Kh6 29. Qh5+ (29. g5+ Bxg5 30. Rf6+ {also works} Bxf6 31. Rxf6+ Kg7 32. Rg6+ Kxf7 33. Qe6#) 29… Kg7 30. Qe5+ Kh6 31. Rf6+ Bxf6 32. Rxf6+ Kg7 33. Rf5+ Kh6 34. Rh5# {Normal; Bl’s K is the most advanced piece} 1-0

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