Aberystwyth’s B team made the long trek to Cardigan on Monday 23rd January for a match against the strongest team in the Dyfed League, Cardigan A. Aber’s top two had swapped boards for the occasion, so I had White against Welsh Champion Howard Williams. I had prepared an unusual line against Alekhine’s defence and was able to set my opponent a few problems. Nevertheless, the game was gradually slipping away from me when he made an uncharacteristic error, reversing the advantage and allowing me to offer a draw from a position of strength. Julie van Kemenade had pressure against Iolo Jones on Board 2 for a while but lost a pawn to a neat tactical trap, which seemed to throw her: she walked into a still more devastating move soon afterwards. James Cook’s game was a very quiet one; Tony Haigh was unable to impose his usual positional stranglehold and had to accept a draw early on. Finally, Georgina Gray, playing Black against Howard Leah’s Italian Game, worked up a terrific counter-attack but went wrong in the complications; White found the winning move seconds before the time control. Georgina has come within a hair’s breadth of a win against a much higher-rated player several times now, and it surely won’t be long before she nails one. 3-1 to a Cardigan team who were much higher rated on all boards was a satisfactory result for Aber, especially as it helps our A team by preventing Cardigan from pulling clear at the top of the league.

Matthew Francis – Howard Williams ½-½

Iolo Jones – Julie van Kemenade 1-0

James Cook – Tony Haigh ½-½

Howard Leah – Georgina Gray 1-0

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