Aberystwyth B’s away match against Cardigan A on Monday 16 February looked something of a mismatch, especially as Aber was below strength while the formidable hosts, unbeaten this season, fielded their best team. The result was as expected, but the manner of it was much less so, as Aber put up an excellent fight. Nowhere was this truer than on top board, where Tony Geraghty held out for some sixty moves against multiple Welsh Champion Howard Williams, and made him work really hard for the win. Tony’s decision to give up a piece for a couple of pawns to free his cramped position was not the best, but it was still a difficult ending for Howard, despite all his experience and technique. Mike Weston came under pressure following White’s e6 sacrifice in a Pirc Defence, a rare example of Iolo Jones going for a middlegame win. Eventually White won the exchange, and Mike resigned – perhaps rather early, but Iolo doesn’t blow advantages like that. Ian Finlay was totally in character, playing for a kingside attack against Tony Haigh in a Nimzo-Indian, but his piece sacrifice only opened his own king’s position for a quick finish. James Corrigan was also aggressive, keeping his king too long in the centre in a Sicilian, and allowing Howard Leah to smash through. A 4-0 whitewash to Cardigan A, but Aber showed good fighting spirit.

Tony Geraghty – Howard Williams 0-1

Iolo Jones – Mike Weston 1-0

Ian Finlay – Tony Haigh 0-1

Howard Leah – James Corrigan 1-0

Four club members took part in the annual Dyfed Congress at the Fishguard Bay Hotel, Pembrokeshire, on the weekend of 20-22 February, all of them in the Open section. Rudy van Kemenade scored 3/5, Julie van Kemenade 2½, and Mike Weston and I both 1½, including a draw against each other. Meanwhile, over the same weekend, the Aberystwyth University team, featuring several players who are also members of the town club, performed superbly at the British Universities Chess Association Championship, held in Birmingham, winning the Shield. There were outstanding performances from Adam Robinson (Silver on Board 1), James Corrigan (Gold on Board 2) and Robert Wright (Silver on Board 3 and Gold on Board 4.

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