As mentioned in my last posting, I have been away for a month, staying in a castle in Scotland to get some non-chess-related writing done. In my absence, the A and B teams have had a match each. The A team, current league champions, played a crucial home game against all-conquering Cardigan A at the St David’s Club on Tuesday 24th March, needing to win to have any real chance of retaining their title. On top board, in a King’s Indian, Rudy van Kemenade allowed Howard Williams to get his queen into a dominant position on d6; a slight miscalculation seemed to throw him off-balance and he followed up with a most uncharacteristic blunder, dropping a piece and resigning immediately. Julie van Kemenade retained parity for a long time against Iolo Jones in a Bishop’s Opening; both players became very short of time, and Iolo, as I know from my own experience, seems to play nervelessly in such situations. He took charge of the ending and eventually won on time with a minute to spare. Adam Robinson had prepared against Tony Haigh’s Trompowsky Attack, but got the moves in the wrong order – his neat tactic was foiled by a mate threat, leaving him a simple piece down, a fatal disadvantage against such a strong player. On fourth board, Tony Geraghty was able to get a point for Aber, working up a strong queenside intitiative against Awne Osinga with his London System and eventually pushing his pawns through to victory. A 3-1 victory to Cardigan who are surely heading towards the league title.

Howard Williams – Rudy van Kemenade 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Iolo Jones 0-1

Tony Haigh – Adam Robinson 1-0

Tony Geraghty – Awne Osinga 1-0

On Monday 30 March, the B team had an away match against Haverfordwest B at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes. Tony’s London System proved less successful on top board; he is usually the one giving up pieces for a kingside attack, but on this occasion Scott Hammett got in first with a sacrifice that didn’t look sound but was certainly unsettling. In defending, Tony not only gave back the piece, but lost another into the bargain, leaving defeat inevitable. In an interesting irregular opening that offered chances for both sides, Mike Weston got the positional advantage against Gwyn Evans, putting a knight on a strong outpost at d3 – the game tends to play itself in such positions, and victory soon followed. Ian Finlay plunged into complications against Robbie Coles in a Queen’s Gambit Accepted, but hadn’t looked into them deeply enough; the combination didn’t work out in his favour, and he lost material instead of winning it. Georgina Gray had more success with tactical play against Sandra Whitby. In this case, the combination was defensible, though not unsound, but the inexperienced White player didn’t find the best defence. Four wins for Black meant the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Tony Geraghty – Scott Hammett 0=1

Gwyn Evans – Mike Weston 0-1

Ian Finlay – Robbie Coles 0-1

Sandra Whitby – Georgina Gray 0-1

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