Aberystwyth B took on formidable opposition on Monday 20th February at the Emlyn Cafe, but were helped by the fact that Carmarthen could only raise three players. (It was unfortunate, however, for Tony Geraghty, who didn’t get a game.) On top board, Julie van Kemenade underestimated Gerry Heap’s queenside attack – she sacrificed a rook to try to get some play on the kingside, but it was never enough. Buoyed up by some recent good form and the chance to get my live grading over 1700, I went after Keith Downey’s Sicilian with uncharacteristic aggression, sacrificing a pawn, then a piece, then the exchange. The advantage was not always clear in the complex position, and both players used a lot of time, but it was harder in practice to defend than to attack, and the gamble paid off. James Cook got a comfortable position from his Caro-Kann, but when Huw Morcom began to probe for attacking chances he unwisely weakened his kingside and was quickly finished off. With the default on Board 4, the match was tied at 2-2, an excellent result for the B team.

Gerry Heap – Julie van Kemenade 1-0

Matthew Francis – Keith Downey 1-0

Huw Morcom – James Cook 1-0

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