With the season practically over, the clubs have been racing to squeeze in their last few matches. For Aberystwyth’s teams, this meant two one-sided encounters, with the A team dominant and the B team well beaten. The A team’s match was against Haverchess A at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes on Wednesday 13th May. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade played a line of Bird’s Opening in which he has long experience. Martin Jones’s position looked OK, but he is lacking confidence after a poor season by his standards, and went in for a flawed sacrifice which soon lost him the game. By contrast, Haverchess’s Board 3, Colin Denham, has been playing well recently. I felt my central passed pawn gave me an edge, and steered for an ending, only to find the win was never there. Tony Geraghty was looking for revenge after a painful defeat against Scott Hammett not long ago, and it duly came when Black miscalculated a tactic, losing a piece. It looked for a while as though the position was too blocked for the win, but Tony found his way through. Much the most exciting game was on second board, where Julie van Kemenade ran short of time in a very complex position against John Miller. White had a dangerous passed pawn, Black an attack against the exposed king. Julie handled the situation with admirable calmness and reached a winning ending with just under two minutes still on her clock. Aber won the match 3½-½.

Rudy van Kemenade – Martin Jones 1-0

John Miller – Julie van Kemenade 0-1

Matthew Francis – Colin Denham ½-½

Scott Hammett – Tony Geraghty 0-1

Also at the Emlyn Cafe, on Monday 18 May, the B team played a Carmarthen side who were unable to field a fourth board. Adam Robinson played sharply against Gerry Heap on the White side of a Sicilian, but this is precisely the sort of game Gerry likes best, and he was always in control of the complications. Tony was also facing a strong opponent in David Buttell and tried a King’s Indian, but his inexperience in the opening showed as White overwhelmed him on the queenside. Finally, Ian Finlay made a positional misjudgement in his Queen’s Gambit against Paul Orton, allowing Black to get a dominant position in the centre, and material loss soon followed. With the default on Board 4, the match finished 3-1 to Carmarthen.

Adam Robinson – Gerry Heap 0-1

David Buttell – Tony Geraghty 1-0

Ian Finlay – Paul Orton 0-1

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