The line-up for Aberystwyth Town’s away match to Carmarthen B on Monday 15th May had an eerily familiar look. The Aber team was the same as for the match against Carmarthen A three weeks earlier. Not only that, but Carmarthen had picked the same four players who had represented the A team in the earlier match, having lost one of their intended players due to illness. With Aber playing White on odd boards, the match was a rerun of the earlier encounter. On top board, Luis Sanchez again won a pawn in the opening against Ewan Ferguson, this time in a Caro-Kann, and won easily as in their previous game. Adam Watkin-Jones, having chosen the Sicilian this time, had another hard fight against Julie Ward, but eventually gained control with his powerful central pawns and pushed them through for the win. Peter Windows played another English against Mark Reynolds, this time transposing to a Queen’s Gambit Declined, and got a much easier win than before as his opponent’s king was trapped in the centre. I was unnerved to find myself playing Peter Evans, against whom I’d had my débacle last time; my last-minute switch to the Sicilian instead of the Caro-Kann was a sign of my dented confidence, and his speculative piece sacrifice unsettled me further. Even at the very end of the short and stormy game, I could have reached a comfortable position, but instead I walked into a mate in one. The result, 3-1 to Aber, was identical to that of the previous match.

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