With the official Dyfed League season nearly over, teams are rushing to catch up with their remaining matches, and I am trying to catch up with the games we have played. On Monday 12 October, Aberystwyth B played Haverfordwest A at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, hoping to do a bit better than in the disappointing fixture against Carmarthen last time out. On top board Julie van Kemenade got a strong attack against Martin Jones’s Modern Defence and finally broke through despite missing a win in the opening. I was hoping to improve on my last game with Black against John Miller, when I had blundered horribly in the endgame. This time I got pressure with my Budapest Gambit, and won a piece for two pawns but could not find a win with my time running out, and had to be content with a draw. Ian Finlay lost a strategic struggle in a King’s Indian, gradually driven back by Gavin Jones’s dominant central pawns. Finally, James Corrigan made the most of an open h-file against Robbie Coles, charging through with his doubled rooks. 2½-1½ was a good result for Aber.

Julie van Kemenade – Martin Jones 1-0

John Miller – Matthew Francis ½-½

Ian Finlay – Gavin Jones 0-1

Robbie Coles – James Corrigan 0-1

Meanwhile the Club Championship had got going at the St David’s Club over the weekend of 10th-11th May. With eight players entered, we decided on an all-play-all, which involved some games being finished off on subsequent club nights. At least we got most of the games out of the way, despite the fact that Rudy and Julie could not be present on the Sunday. The games proved very exciting, with upsets almost every round.

Round 1

I had a bye, so Tony also sat out. The shock result was Ian’s win over Julie, though his aggressive style has sometimes given her problems in the past.

Mark Talbot – Jamie Friel 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade – James Corrigan 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Ian Finlay 0-1

Round 2

The two favourites met in this round, and Rudy won a difficult ending. Every game was won by Black.

Mark Talbot – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

James Corrigan – Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Ian Finlay – Matthew Francis 0-1

Jamie Friel – Tony Geraghty 0-1

Round 3

No upsets this round, though James had his chances against me in a complicated struggle.

Rudy van Kemenade – Jamie Friel 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Mark Talbot 0-1

Matthew Francis – James Corrigan 1-0

Tony Geraghty – Ian Finlay 1-0

Round 4

The first round of day 2 brought wins for the two lowest-rated players, James and Jamie, against Tony and Ian.

Mark Talbot – Matthew Francis 1-0

James Corrigan – Tony Geraghty 1-0

Jamie Friel – Ian Finlay 1-0

Round 5

Order was restored again in this round, with all games going according to rating.

Tony Geraghty – Mark Talbot 0-1

Matthew Francis – Jamie Friel 1-0

Ian Finlay – James Corrigan 1-0

Round 6

Another upset as Tony beat me for the first time in a rated game. Jamie was crushing James when he got his queen pinned; James’s subsequent draw offer was sympathetic rather than pragmatic. Rudy and Julie played their game on the subsequent club night.

Ian Finlay – Mark Talbot 0-1

Tony Geraghty – Matthew Francis 1-0

Jamie Friel – James Corrigan ½-½

Rudy van Kemenade – Julie van Kemenade 1-0

Rudy is thus the only player on 100%, with a handful of games still to be played.

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