With the main part of the Club Championship due this weekend, we decided to hold a first round on Tuesday 8th March with the six eligible players who were present. Tony Geraghty was in the daunting situation of playing Black against Mark Talbot’s Torre Attack (by transposition) and did well in a queenless middle game until a tactical oversight cost him a piece. Cai Lewis at least had White against Rudy van Kemenade’s Petroff and seemed to have chances, though Rudy’s pieces were very active. It was all over very suddenly as Cai dropped a piece and was mated immediately after. Neither Ian Finlay nor I will remember our game with much affection. Ian dropped a bunch of pawns against my Budapest Gambit, and I then missed the chance to swap off into an easy ending and instead laboured for thirty more moves before clinching the win. Apologies to the three visitors who turned up that evening to find there were no club players free to play them – everything will be back to normal next week.

Meanwhile, a belated summary of our exploits in the Dyfed Congress in Fishguard. In the Minor, John Basterfield finished 2nd= with 4/5, Georgina Gray had 3/5 including a win against the highest-rated player, and was unlucky to miss out on a grading prize, while Ian Finlay had 2½. In the Open, Rudy van Kemenade scored 2/5, Julie van Kemenade 1½, and I, playing my first Open, scored 1. I’ll put the games up round by round over the next couple of weeks.

Mark Talbot – Tony Geraghty 1-0

Cai Lewis – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Ian Finlay – Matthew Francis 0-1

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