The A team were missing a couple of strong players when they hosted at the St David’s Club on Tuesday 14th April, but still outgraded their opponents on every board. The match had its share of surprises, though, and three of the games could easily have gone the other way. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade got his queen trapped against Iwan Griffiths, and had to give it up for two pieces. Converting that particular imbalance to a win is not always straightforward, however, and Rudy was able to keep things complicated till his opponent, neglecting the chance to bail out for a draw, ran out of time and lost – competitive chess can be tough. My game was the only dull one, as I played an unambitious line of the Scandinavian against the solid Owen Llywelyn, getting a slight advantage in the ending, but not enough to give me a realistic chance of winning. James Corrigan also had a small ending advantage against Tegwyn Jones; in fact he might have thrown it away as he allowed the possibility of a tactical coup, but Black didn’t see it, and let James take control for the win. On fourth board, both Jamie Friel and Emyr Llywelyn suffered from chess blindness in the early middlegame. Jamie cannot have expected his opponent to put his queen en prise, and simply didn’t notice it. Fortunately for him, he emerged from the complications a piece up anyway, and made no mistake in enforcing the win. 3½-½ to the A team, but not one of their more impressive victories.

Rudy van Kemenade – Iwan Griffiths 1-0

Owen Llywelyn – Matthew Francis ½-½

James Corrigan – Tegwyn Jones 1-0

Emyr Llywelyn – Jamie Friel 0-1

The next week, Tuesday 21st April was the occasion of the A versus B team match, an event that often produces a whitewash for the A team. Tony Geraghty got a lesson in the vulnerability of the queenside-castled king from Rudy on top board; the Black rooks broke into the position, giving themselves up for a queen which proved to be much more powerful than the White rooks. For the A team, Julie van Kemenade built her attack quite slowly against Mike Weston’s Modern Defence, but the strong f-pawn and Black’s vulnerability on the dark squares proved decisive. It was left to Ian Finlay on Board 3 to provide an upset for the B team; Adam Roberts allowed his pieces to become unco-ordinated, and Ian’s central control gave him a positional win. On Board 4 I also broke through in the centre against James Corrigan’s Sicilian, but then missed my way in the subsequent kingside attack. Just when I was preparing to settle for a long-drawn-out ending he opened a line to his king, and lost quickly. A 3-1 won to the A team.

Tony Geraghty – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Julie van Kemenade – Mike Weston 1-0

Ian Finlay – Adam Robinson 1-0

Matthew Francis – James Corrigan 1-0

We received a reminder of the Club’s history recently when we learned of the death of a former member (indeed, a Life Member) and Welsh Champion, Briant Bourne. None of the current members knew him, but the obituary on the Welsh Chess Union’s site gives an account of a strong player who made a great contribution to Welsh and British chess. Our condolences to his family and friends.

The date of the Club Championship has finally been fixed for the weekend of the 6th and 7th June. We hope to see a good attendance and the usual very competitive chess.



One response

  1. Another excellent report – thank you, Matthew, and please keep them coming – so much better than posting just the bare results (NB. the rest of us in the Dyfed League!)

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