Aberystywth A had whitewashed the B team in the first leg of their home derby this season, and, with more than a 600-point grading advantage on each board, were looking for a similar result in the sequel at the St David’s Club on Tuesday 25th February. And so it turned out, but not without some adventures on the way. On top board, however, Tony Geraghty’s 1.b3 met a well-prepared Mark Talbot, who sometimes plays Larsen’s Opening himself, and won a piece almost at once as White neglected his development to go after a pawn. Rudy van Kemenade looked in control against Ian Finlay, an exchange up in a Sicilian, but Ian is at his most dangerous when looking for counterplay, and hustled his strong opponent into a difficult queen-and-pawn ending, where he had drawing chances almost to the end. Julie van Kemenade took a long time to get her attack going in a slow manoeuvering game against James Corrigan, but eventually broke through with the help of a passed pawn. Jamie Friel set me some problems with his unorthodox Petroff, but I was able to steer the game into an ending where my two bishops and strong centre made the difference. 4-0 to Aber A, who remain in contention for the League title.

Tony Geraghty – Mark Talbot 0-1

Rudy van Kemenade – Ian Finlay 1-0

James Corrigan – Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Matthew Francis – Jamie Friel 1-0

A few days earlier, four Aberystwyth players had taken part in the annual Dyfed Congress at the Fishguard Bay Hotel over the weekend of 21st-23rd February. In the Open Section, Rudy van Kemenade scored a solid 3½/5 to finish in a five-way tie for third place, I improved my grading with 1½/4 against strong opposition, while Julie van Kemenade, who has not played much competitive chess recently, scored ½/4. But Aber’s best result came in the Minor section, where Georgina Gray finished in joint first place with 4/5. The games from the Open are below.

Rudy van Kemenade – David Williams 1-0

Paul Hatchett – Julie van Kemenade 1-0

Matthew Francis – Richard Miles 1-0

Sven Zeidler – Rudy van Kemenade 1-0

Anthony Hughes – Julie van Kemenade

Matthew Francis – Paul Hatchett 0-1

Rudy van Kemenade – Tony Haigh 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Keith Downey 0-1

Paul Bridges – Matthew Francis ½-½

Paul Hatchett – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

John Waterfield – Matthew Francis 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade – Peter Bevan ½-½

Julie van Kemenade – Jonathan Ayres ½-½

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