Aberystwyth Town played Dyfed League leaders Pembs on Tuesday 14th March. This was our first online match in the new League, but the Aber players gathered together in a room at the university under the supervision of League Controller Patrick Bourne for the occasion. On top board, Murray Smith had a fierce battle against FM Alex Harakis’s Stonewall Dutch, leaving his king in the centre to speed his attack. The resulting messy position was level for some time, till White overstretched and Black got the upper hand, eventually winning on time. Luis Sanchez’s game against Mark Paffard, a sort of Réti-Catalan hybrid, was equally double-edged, with both sides threatening to advance dangerous pawns. Analysis shows that White had found the best move, allowing him to stop Black’s attack by threatening mate, but he missed the correct follow-up and was instantly lost. Adam Watkin-Jones’s game against Scott Hammett was another Stonewall, this time quieter. White pressed for most of the game, but Black held firm and the game was drawn. My Caro-Kann against Ray Greenwood was also frustrating as I was unable to take advantage of his isolated d-pawn, then made a mistake that should have cost me a oawn before arriving at a drawn ending. The match finished as a 2-2 draw, leaving Pembs as League leaders by half a point from Aber at the halfway stage of the competition.

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