Cardigan are unable to field two teams this season, but they remain extremely strong, with FIDE masters on the top two boards. Predictably, they were too good for Aberystwyth B in the first match of the season at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 5 October. Adam Robinson tried the English Opening for the first time against Howard Williams; the strategy of this subtle system takes a while to learn, and he was soon under pressure. After going a pawn down, with an objectively lost position, he resigned, no doubt sooner than he would have done against a lesser opponent, but Howard doesn’t make mistakes in such situations. My game against Iolo Jones followed a similar course, as I mishandled his anti-Dutch variation and found myself terribly cramped. Iolo characteristically went for quiet moves, trusting his superior understanding and technique, and it seems I might have held out with best play, but I was ground down in the end. Mike Weston’s game on Board 3 was the most exciting. Even though he lost a piece in an early tactical skirmish, his superior development gave him chances against Tony Haigh and a nice combination put him right back in the game for a while before Tony regrouped and took control. Ian Finlay lost a strategic struggle on Board 4 in a Sicilian against Awne Osinga; though only a pawn down he could find no counterplay, and Awne played solidly to push his central pawn mass through for victory. A 4-0 win for Cardigan.

Adam Robinson – Howard Williams 0-1

Iolo Jones – Matthew Francis 1-0

Mike Weston – Tony Haigh 0-1

Awne Osinga – Ian Finlay 1-0

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