Cardigan A confirmed their domination of the Dyfed League on Monday 30th April with a sweeping home victory against nearest rivals Aberystwyth A. Aber’s only success was on top board, where Mark Talbot, playing White, was never in trouble against FIDE master Howard Williams in an Alapin Sicilian, and achieved an early draw. Rudy van Kemenade tried to unbalance his game with an unorthodox formation of isolated and doubled pawns and an exchange sacrifice which Iolo Jones chose to decline. Black could reach equality in some lines, but never really had an attack, and White was able to regroup and exploit the weaknesses in his position. Julie van Kemenade played a King’s Indian Attack type formation against Tony Haigh’s Franco-Sicilian. The players ended up castled on opposite sides and her pawns eventually succumbed to Black’s pressure. On Board 4 I was facing the King’s Gambit for the first time. Howard Leah had a dangerous kingside attack, but I managed to get counterplay; with both players short of time, I baled out into an inferior ending instead of continuing to try for a win, and compounded the error with a blunder just after the time control. 3½-½ to Cardigan A. It is not quite clear at time of writing if the League has now finished for the year, or if Carmarthen will be able to catch up on at least some of their outstanding matches, but Cardigan A, with a record of twelve wins and only a single draw, are worthy champions again.

Mark Talbot – Howard Williams ½-½

Iolo Jones – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Julie van Kemenade – Tony Haigh 0-1

Howard Leah – Matthew Francis 1-0 1-0

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