After our defeat in the first round of the Open Section of the WCU Online League, Aberystwyth did much better against Morriston on Thursday 4th November. Rudy van Kemenade’s Bird’s Opening brought him no middlegame advantage against Peter Bevan, and they arrived at the ending equal. Apparently Black was distracted by the football at this stage, and went wrong, dropping a pawn and accepting an unfavourable exchange that left him with a weak bishop against a strong knight, after which Rudy was able to win comfortably. Adam Watkin-Jones’s Pirc against Chris Howells quickly transposed into a King’s Indian – I’m not sure whether this was intended or not, but Black’s position seemed awkward and he was two pawns down when he resigned, perhaps a bit prematurely, given the opposite-coloured bishops. Against Francisco Marin Marin in a Closed Sicilian, my kingside attack was faster than Black’s counter on the queenside and in the centre, and the push of the f-pawn broke open his king’s position. My queen’s bishop remained on its home square all game. Sam Holman’s game against Duncan Williams was another King’s Indian, in which Black had a dynamic position and good chances in the early stages. After locking his bishop in, though, he came under pressure, and eventually dropped a rook. A 2-2 draw was a good result for Aber.

In games for other teams, Tom got a good win against Keith Briggs’s Slav Defence, exploiting Black’s queenside weakness to get a passed pawn, then winning with a nice tactic, while Sam, in another King’s-Indian-like opening again had a dynamic position against Gwyn Evans, but after both sides made mistakes in the ending the game was drawn.

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