Aberystwyth A lost their unbeaten record this season in their first match of the New Year, against champions Cardigan A at the St David’s Club on Tuesday 21st January. Captain Rudy van Kemenade, on second board, gambled by taking the chance for an early draw against Iolo Jones’s Petroff; his reasoning was that Mark Talbot’s Board 1 game also looked drawn while Julie van Kemenade and I both had promising positions. It didn’t work out like that. Mark’s Grunfeld went bad as Howard Williams pushed forward with his pawns on the queenside, turning a quiet-looking position into an overwhelming one quite suddenly. Similarly, Julie lost control of her typical double-edged middlegame against Tony Haigh, giving up a couple of pawns without compensation. Meanwhile I had missed several chances to turn my kingside attack against Jamie Sen’s rather passive handling of the French into a win; the last was an opportunity to exchange into a better ending, instead of which I reached a dangerous one where I had no alternative but to force a draw. 3-1 to Cardigan A.

Howard Williams – Mark Talbot 1-0

Rudy van Kemenade – Iolo Jones ½-½

Tony Haigh – Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Matthew Francis – Jamie Sen ½-½

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