As part of the continuing preparations for the return of the Dyfed League in January, members of Aberystwyth Town Chess Club too part in some individual online friendly matches against similarly rated players from other clubs on Wednesday 30 November. In the strongest match-up, Murray Smith conjured up a strong attack against Lluis Navarro in the usually quiet Exchange Variation of the Caro-Kann. In a high-quality encounter, White’s pressure eventually led to the gain of a pawn and a winning ending. Peter Windows walked into a fierce attack from Mark Paffard with his English Opening. Black’s imaginative play culminated anticlimactically in a missed mate, and Peter was able to force a draw an exchange down. Against a player only identified as Josh, I sprung a familiar trap with my Vienna Gambit, and was relieved when he not only fell into it, but missed my error that could have let him right back into the game, after which the win was comfortable. Sam Holman got a strong position with advanced passed pawns against Filip Zurek, in a Sicilian Defence, but blundered a rook. Samuel Raybone was another player who fell into an opening trap, in a Caro-Kann against Ewan Ferguson; it didn’t lose material as White only regained a gambited pawn, but Samuel lost the right to castle and the defence of his position ultimately proved too difficult. Mixed fortunes for the Club, and bad luck for Luis Sanchez and Tom Gunn, whose opponents didn’t show up.

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