Following our brave but ultimately unsuccessful struggle against Cardigan in our first match in the new Dyfed Online League, Aberystwyth were looking for our first win against Steynton B on Tuesday 17th November. Adam Watkin-Jones played actively against Paul Orton on the Black side of a Ruy Lopez, and won material, but then White counterattacked and had chances of his own, as both players overlooked the capture of a rook, after which a counter-counter-attack ended things quickly: one of those games, perhaps, where the lower-rated player didn’t really expect to win, and lost out as a result. I developed quietly against Jonathan Jones’s Scandinavian and had a comfortable position when he tried a speculative pawn sacrifice. There was nothing there for Black in view of White’s central control and good development, and he threw away too much material in an attempt to create tactical possibilities. Tom Gunn dominated the board when Keith Briggs played passively in a London system. White’s attempt to find kingside counterplay led to nothing, and the capture of his problem bishop ended the game. Sam Holman, playing White in a Ruy Lopez, won the exchange against Gwyn Jones and was better for most of the game, but it’s often difficult finishing in such circumstances, and Black belatedly got his two knights working together for a tactical coup. A 3-1 win for Aber, but with some adventures along the way.

[Event “Dyfed Online League”] [Site “Lichess”] [Date “2020.11.17”] [Round “2.1”] [White “Orton, Paul”] [Black “Watkin-Jones, Adam”] [Result “0-1”] [ECO “C78”] [WhiteElo “1612”] [BlackElo “1918”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “68”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [WhiteTeam “Steynton B”] [BlackTeam “Aberystwyth”] {[%evp 0,68,31,15,25,13,15,15,24,-6,7,-10,12,-28,14,-2,24,35,51,-22,-21,-36,22, 21,15,-24,0,14,9,15,64,70,51,-62,9,14,11,21,17,-81,-30,-38,-62,-87,-93,-74,-25, -3,1,0,21,0,51,43,15,29,0,5,1033,60,917,-4,27,-62,-54,-604,-914,-897,-1055, -1067,-1067]} 1. e4 e5 (1… c5 {usual Bl response}) 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5 {as played by Alehine} (5… Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 10. Be3 {Orton-Trombley, Dyfed Congress 2008,1/2-1/2}) (5… d6 6. Re1 Be7 7. h3 O-O 8. c3 b5 9. Bc2 Bb7 10. d4 {Orton-Geraghty, Dyfed Closed 2007,1-0}) 6. c3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. d4 Bb6 9. h3 (9. a4 {main; a useful move for Wh, probes b5}) 9… O-O 10. Re1 h6 11. Be3 Na5 (11… Bb7 {main, the position has transposed to an Archangesk variation}) 12. Bc2 exd4 (12… Nc4 13. Bc1 exd4 14. cxd4 Bb7 15. b3 {3-0}) 13. cxd4 Bb7 $14 {3 Wh wins, 1 draw} 14. Nbd2 d5 $146 (14… Re8 {transposes to 31 games, including ones at elite GM level; 58% for Wh}) 15. e5 Ne4 16. Nxe4 (16. Bf4 $16 {Stockfish12}) 16… dxe4 17. Nd2 Bxd4 18. Bxd4 Qxd4 19. Bxe4 (19. Nxe4 Qxe5 20. b4 $11 {Stockfish12}) 19… Bxe4 (19… Rfd8 $15 {improving piece activity}) 20. Rxe4 (20. Nxe4 Qxe5 21. Qc2 $11 {Wh has Q side pressure to compensate for the pawn}) 20… Qxb2 $17 21. Qe1 Rad8 22. Re2 Qd4 (22… Qb4 $19 {Stockfish12}) 23. Nf3 Qa4 24. e6 fxe6 25. Rxe6 $11 {Wh has better co-ordinated pieces now than Bl} Nb7 (25… Nc4) 26. Re7 Nd6 27. Qe6+ Kh7 28. Rxc7 $11 Rf6 $2 (28… Qf4 $11) 29. Qe7 (29. Qxf6 $18) 29… Rg8 (29… Nf7) 30. Re1 (30. Qxf6 $18) 30… Qf4 (30… Rg6 $11) 31. Rc6 (31. Qe2 $11) 31… Re8 $19 {now it’s Wh’s backrank that is the problem} 32. Qd7 ( 32. Qa7 Rg6 $19 {the Wh Q is offside}) 32… Rxe1+ 33. Nxe1 Qxf2+ 34. Kh2 Qxe1 0-1 [Event “Dyfed Online League”] [Site “Lichess”] [Date “2020.11.17”] [Round “2.2”] [White “Francis, Matthew”] [Black “Jones, Jonathan”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “B01”] [WhiteElo “1648”] [BlackElo “1547”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “51”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [WhiteTeam “Aberystwyth”] [BlackTeam “Steynton B”] {[%evp 0,51,66,15,28,23,23,69,92,92,89,86,80,56,59,64,95,79,83,61,81,52,52,26, 40,25,38,37,113,106,138,173,355,240,266,233,291,230,266,260,605,634,638,566, 593,591,595,586,666,721,990,1089,1094,1094]} 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 (2… Nf6 { 2-0 vs Jonathan Jones}) 3. Nf3 (3. Nc3 {main}) 3… c6 (3… Nf6) (3… Bg4 { main lines}) 4. d4 Bf5 (4… Bg4) (4… Nf6) 5. c4 (5. Be2) 5… Qd8 6. Nc3 e6 7. Be2 {4 Wh wins, 1 draw; Wh has a space advantage & easier development} Be7 ( 7… Nf6) 8. O-O Nf6 {transposes to 130 games} 9. h3 (9. Bf4) (9. Nh4) 9… Nbd7 (9… O-O) 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Bh2 (11. d5 $16 {Stockfish12}) 11… h6 12. Qd2 Bb4 (12… Ne4) 13. Qe3 e5 $6 {an attempt at freeing Bl’s position, but the Wh pieces are better placed to deal with this. Bl just has to sit and wait with} ( 13… Re8) 14. dxe5 $18 Re8 15. Qf4 (15. Rad1 {even stronger- Stockfish12}) 15… Bxh3 {the tactics must be in Wh’s favour with his better placed pieces} 16. exf6 (16. gxh3 {and Bl has nothing} Bxc3 17. bxc3 Nh7 18. Kh1 $18 { Stockfish12}) 16… Bxc3 17. bxc3 Nxf6 18. Rfe1 (18. Ne5) (18. Rfd1) 18… Re4 19. Qd2 (19. Qg3) 19… Qe8 20. gxh3 Rd8 21. Qc2 Qe6 22. Bf1 Qf5 23. Rxe4 Nxe4 24. Bg2 {there is no real weakness in Wh’s position} Rd2 $5 25. Nxd2 Qxf2+ 26. Kh1 1-0 [Event “Dyfed Online League”] [Site “Lichess”] [Date “2020.11.17”] [Round “2.3”] [White “Briggs, Keith”] [Black “Gunn, Tom”] [Result “0-1”] [ECO “A47”] [WhiteElo “1350”] [BlackElo “1398”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “76”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [WhiteTeam “Steynton B”] [BlackTeam “Aberystwyth”] {[%evp 0,76,19,31,14,23,29,35,49,40,38,32,59,49,45,42,27,18,2,4,43,40,84,56,41, 25,40,37,33,22,21,20,35,32,40,26,16,-9,46,15,33,-19,-25,-46,-5,-48,-42,-32,-15, -68,-69,-198,-206,-233,-258,-321,-107,-138,-130,-525,-238,-358,-251,-405,-390, -525,-595,-595,-594,-623,-610,-655,-624,-694,-540,-546,-540,-719,-712]} 1. d4 Nf6 (1… d5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bf4 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. c3 e6 6. Nbd2 Bd6 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. Bb5 O-O 9. Qa4 Nb8 10. Nh4 {Briggs-Ward, WCU U1800, 2020,1-0}) 2. Bf4 { The London System,akin to the Colle played by the Bl player} (2. Nf3 b6 3. e3 Bb7 4. Bd3 Ne4 5. O-O {Gunn-Paffard, Dyfed Major 2020,1/2-1/2}) 2… e6 (2… g6 {main}) 3. e3 b6 4. Nf3 Bb7 5. Nbd2 c5 6. c3 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qc2 (8. h3) ( 8. O-O) (8. Qe2 {main lines in elite GM practice of the now fashionable system, that once was only practised by a few diehards in clubs.}) 8… h6 $11 { this variation has worked out very well for Bl, with 5 wins and a draw against a single Wh win} (8… Nc6) (8… d5 {most frequent}) 9. h3 (9. g4 {is rather liked by Stockfish12, aiming to make use of the h6 hook for a rapid K side attack.}) (9. Rg1 Nh5 10. Bxb8 $11 {1.5-0.5}) 9… Re8 $146 {planning to counter in the centre with e5} (9… d5 {transposes, yielding 3 wins each side} ) 10. O-O Bf8 11. Be2 {A strange decision (perhaps Wh was worrying about a possible pawn fork if the Bl pawn gets to e4? But Wh is fully in change of the e4 square already.) The B is well placed enough on d3. Logical would be gaining space in the centre with} (11. e4 {threatening e5 ( Colle players would be content with the delayed occupation of e4} cxd4 12. cxd4 d6 13. Rac1 $14) 11… d6 12. Rad1 cxd4 13. exd4 Nbd7 14. Nc4 Qc7 15. Rfe1 Rad8 16. Ncd2 ( 16. Ne3 {is preferred by Stockfish12}) 16… e5 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Bh2 Bd6 { a bit passive} (18… Qc8 {Stockfish12- the position still gives both sides chances}) 19. Bb5 (19. Nc4 $16 {Stockfish12- gains the 2 Bs for Wh because of the threats against the e5 pawn}) 19… a6 20. Bd3 (20. Bf1) 20… Nc5 21. Bf1 {4th time for the unforunate B} Rd7 $6 {wishing to double Rs, but gives Wh a chance} (21… e4 $15) 22. Nh4 (22. b4 $1 Ne6 {d7 is no longer available} 23. Nxe5 b5 (23… Bxb4 $2 {tries to exploit a loose Q, but gives up a loose R}) 24. Nb3 Rdd8 25. Rxd6 Rxd6 26. Ng4 $18 {Stockfish12}) 22… e4 $15 23. Bxd6 Rxd6 24. b4 {too late now} Nd3 $19 25. Re3 Nxb4 26. Qb2 Nbd5 27. Rg3 Rc6 { Bl thought during the game that this was an error. It’s not the best, but should be enough to keep Bl’s advantage} (27… e3 $1) (27… Nh5) (27… Bc8 { all give Bl a bigger advantage than the text according to Stockfish12}) 28. Nf5 Nh5 29. Nxh6+ {this fails} (29. c4 {is a better try, when the only move to keep Bl’s winning lead is} Ndf6 {then Wh’s R has to move away eg} 30. Rb3 (30. Nxh6+ Kh7 {and again the N (or an exchange) is lost}) 30… Nd7 $19 (30… Nf4 $19)) 29… Kf8 (29… Rxh6 {looks simpler}) 30. Rg4 gxh6 (30… Rxh6) (30… e3 $1 {Preferred by Stockfish12 as gaining the most out of the position}) 31. c4 Ndf6 32. Nxe4 Rxe4 33. Rxe4 Nxe4 34. Qh8+ Ke7 35. Re1 Re6 36. Bd3 Nhf6 ( 36… Nf4 {Stockfish12}) 37. Qxh6 Qd6 38. f3 Qxd3 {the end of the B’s adventures} 0-1 [Event “Dyfed Online League”] [Site “Lichess”] [Date “2020.11.17”] [Round “2.4”] [White “Holman, Sam”] [Black “Evans, Gwyn”] [Result “0-1”] [ECO “C77”] [WhiteElo “1386”] [BlackElo “1192”] [Annotator “kemen”] [PlyCount “124”] [EventDate “2020.??.??”] [WhiteTeam “Aberystwyth”] [BlackTeam “Steynton B”] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 (3. Bc4 Be7 4. a3 a6 5. d3 b5 6. Ba2 Nf6 7. Ng5 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nxf7 {Holman-Narayan-Taylor; Dyfed League 2016,1-0}) 3… a6 4. Ba4 b5 (4… Nf6 5. Qe2 b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. c3 Na5 $6 (7… O-O 8. O-O d5 { is an interesting gambit, akin to a Marshall.}) 8. Nxe5 {Leah-Evans, Dyfed League 2016,1-0}) 5. Bb3 Nf6 6. d3 (6. Ng5 d5 7. exd5 Nd4 {is a promising pawn sacrifice for Bl} (7… Nxd5 {though,walks into an inferior version of the ancient Fried Liver Attack (=Fegatello); usually encountered in an Italian opening as in the note above. Both} 8. Qf3 {and} (8. Nxf7 {then are excellent for Wh at nealy 90% in both cases.}))) 6… Be7 7. c3 d5 (7… O-O) (7… d6 { main lines}) 8. Qe2 (8. exd5 Nxd5 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. g4 Bg6 {is a complex line, where Wh gains an e pawn, but has a very weakened K side}) 8… dxe4 (8… O-O {leaves Bl with a bit more choice & is more usual at elite GM level, with Tiviakov the main deployer of the line for Wh}) 9. dxe4 O-O 10. O-O Bb7 (10… Bd6) (10… Bg4 {alternatives}) 11. Rd1 Qc8 (11… Qe8 {has been played, but 5 Wh wins, 1 draw}) 12. Bg5 Rd8 (12… Qg4 {3-2}) 13. Nbd2 h6 14. Bh4 Na5 (14… Nd7 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16. Nf1 Ng6 17. Ng3 Nc5 18. Bc2 Qe6 19. Qe3 Qe7 20. Nf5 Qf8 21. b4 Ne6 22. Bb3 Qe8 23. Bc2 Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Rd8 25. Rxd8 Qxd8 26. Qd2 Qxd2 27. Nxd2 {Rohmann-Marek, Kiel op 2003,1-0}) 15. Bc2 $16 { with the centre stable, Wh has more prospects of being able to make use of either the d5 or f5 square, than Bl has of getting an effective N onto f4.} c5 $2 (15… Nc6 16. b4 Nd7 {looks neccessary, though Wh then retains a clear edge }) 16. Nf1 {missing the error} (16. Nxe5 $18) 16… Qc7 17. b3 Nh5 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. Ne3 Nf4 20. Qf1 Bc6 21. g3 Ng6 22. Nf5 (22. Nd5 {alternative}) 22… Qb7 (22… Qc7) 23. Qe2 Rac8 $2 (23… Qc7) 24. Nd6 $18 Qa8 25. Nxc8 Qxc8 26. Rxd8+ Qxd8 27. Rd1 Qc8 28. Nd2 {the other N now goes to the advaced stepping stones of d5 & f5} Nb7 29. Nf1 Qe6 30. Ne3 Nd6 31. Nd5 (31. Qg4) (31. Nf5 { preferred by Stockfish12}) 31… Bd7 32. a4 (32. Qd3) 32… Qh3 33. axb5 (33. Nb6 {Stockfish12 forces the pace} Nf4 34. gxf4 (34. Qf1 {more cautious & leaves Bl with little} Qxf1+ 35. Kxf1 Bh3+ 36. Ke1 Ng2+ 37. Ke2 Nb7 38. Bd3 { and all of Bl’s pieces are in useless positions}) 34… Bg4 35. Rd3 Bxe2 36. Rxh3 exf4 37. e5 $18 {and Wh is a R up}) 33… axb5 34. Qf1 (34. Nb6) 34… Qg4 35. f3 (35. Ne3 Qe6 36. Qd3 {Stockfish12- picks up a pice}) 35… Qh5 36. Qf2 ( 36. h4 {covers up the h3 square, though it virtually forces Bl into the desperation sacrifice (which should be no real risk to Wh, but care will be needed}) 36… Nb7 37. Nf6+ (37. Ne7+ {Stockfish12-is more accurate as it allows a skewer of 2 pieces} Nxe7 38. Rxd7) 37… gxf6 38. Rxd7 Na5 39. Ra7 ( 39. Qxc5) (39. Bd1) 39… Nc6 40. Ra6 Nce7 (40… Nge7 $5) 41. Rxf6 (41. h4 { preferred by Stockfish12}) 41… Qg5 42. Rb6 (42. Rd6) 42… Nf4 43. Qe1 (43. h4 Qg7 44. Kh2) (43. Qxc5 {both Stockfish12 choices, but the text should be fine as well}) 43… Nh3+ 44. Kh1 Qh5 45. Bd1 Ng5 46. Qf2 (46. f4 Nf3 47. Qf2 { would end all of Bl’s hopes}) 46… Nh3 47. Qe1 {Wh has lots of good moves} ( 47. Qf1) (47. Qxc5) 47… Qg5 48. Rxb5 Qc1 49. Rb8+ (49. Kg2 {looks safest, driving the N away}) (49. Rxc5 {Stockfish12-trickier} Qxd1 (49… Nf2+ 50. Qxf2 Qxd1+ 51. Kg2 Qxb3 52. Rxe5 $18 {leaves Bl with little}) 50. Qxd1 Nf2+ 51. Kg2 Nxd1 52. b4 {Bl has 2 Ns for the R, but they are disconnected and the 2 Q side pawns are unstoppable}) 49… Kg7 50. Rd8 (50. Kg2) 50… Nc6 51. Rd6 (51. Qd2 Qa1 52. Rd6 {Stockfish12 & Bl is running out of moves}) 51… Na5 52. b4 (52. Kg2) 52… Nc4 (52… cxb4) 53. Rd3 (53. bxc5 Nxd6 54. cxd6 {is the Stockfish12 solution} Qxd1 (54… Nf2+ 55. Qxf2 Qxd1+ 56. Kg2 Qxd6 57. c4 { and the Q (unlike a R) can escort the pawn home.}) 55. Qxd1 Nf2+ 56. Kg2 Nxd1 57. d7 {and it’s over}) 53… Nb2 {now a second N has come to the support of the Q & Wh is in a difficult position . He has a R, but Rs are bad defenders as a general rule} 54. Rd5 $11 (54. Rd2 {now is the only way that Wh can keep hold of the win according to Stockfish12} Qxc3 55. Qe2 Nxd1 56. Rxd1 cxb4 57. f4 Qc8 (57… exf4 58. Qg4+ Kh7 59. Rf1 (59. Qxh3 Qf3+ $19) 59… Ng5 60. gxf4 Ne6 61. Rg1 $18) 58. Rf1 b3 59. Qb2 Qc4 60. Qxe5+ Kf8 61. Ra1 Qxe4+ 62. Qxe4 Nf2+ 63. Kg2 Nxe4 64. Ra4 {and the R cdeals with the last danger on b3}) 54… cxb4 {this ‘safety move’- better played at earlier moves eg 52…cxb4, should give one last winning chance} (54… Nxd1 {draws- Stockfish12} 55. Rxd1 Qxd1 56. Qxd1 Nf2+ 57. Kg2 Nxd1 58. bxc5 Nxc3 59. c6 Nb5 60. Kh3 Kf6 61. f4 { Wh has just enough entry space on the K side to stop the Bl K from collecting the c pawn, but Wh can’t get his K to the Q side either.}) 55. cxb4 (55. Kg2 bxc3 56. Qe2 (56. Kxh3 c2 57. Qc3 cxd1=Q 58. Qxe5+ Kg6 59. Rxd1 Nxd1 60. Qd6+ { and Wh has to settle for a perpetual}) 56… Ng5 57. Bb3 $18 {Stockfish12}) 55… Nxd1 56. Kg2 {& now the move which earlier would have safeguarded the win for Wh, loses. Attacks with a Q & N are frequently dealy as the two pieces complement the squares they control. Q & 2 Ns are deadlier still.} (56. Rxd1 { and the distant passed pawn holds the draw for Wh, coming close to winning even!} Qxd1 (56… Nf2+ 57. Qxf2 Qxd1+ 58. Kg2 Qb1 59. Qc5 {is losing for Bl}) 57. Qxd1 Nf2+ 58. Kg1 (58. Kg2 {leads to a doublet} Nxd1 59. b5 Ne3+ $1 60. Kh3 Nc4 $11) 58… Nxd1 59. b5 Nc3 60. b6 Ne2+ $1 61. Kf2 Nd4 62. b7 Nc6 {just in time} 63. Ke3 $11 {Stockfish12}) 56… Ne3+ $19 57. Qxe3 Qxe3 58. Kxh3 f6 59. Kg4 Kg6 60. h4 h5+ 61. Kh3 Qxf3 62. Kh2 Qxe4 {One of those games that shows how difficult it can be to win a won game, given all the multitude of good moves available. And showing how a desperation attack can bring confusion & create enough chaos to turn round a lost position.} 0-1

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