After my last post suggesting that Aberystwyth were putting up an unexpectedly good fight in the Open Section of the Welsh Chess Union Online League, our match against Morriston on Thursday 9th December confirmed our good form. On top board, an interesting Budapest Gambit game was in prospect when Rudy van Kemande’s opponent, Moss McCarthy, dropped a rook and resigned at once. It turned out that both players were too hasty: White could have trapped Black’s queen after the capture, forcing her to give herself up for the second rook, leaving an unclear position, while Rudy had overlooked a winning alternative. Adam Watkin-Jones won a piece with a fork in an irregular opening against Chris Howells, who was unable to find any counterplay, and lost further material before resigning. I have recently taken up the Caro-Kann, inspired by Levy Rozman’s Gotham Chess YouTube Channel: of his recommended line against the Advance Variation, he says, “You WILL win White’s centre pawns, often!” and that’s exactly what happened in my game against Francisco Marin, next time I’ll remember to take both of them, but one was enough on this occasion. Sam Holman’s game against Duncan Williams followed a line played several times in the recent World Championship match between Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi. Black won a pawn in the centre but overlooked White’s threats on the kingside and Sam broke through to give mate. 4-0 to Aber was an outstanding result.

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