It was not really to be expected that Aberystwyth would continue the exceptional results of the last couple of matches, but we have undoubtedly been competing well in the Open Section of the Welsh Chess Union Online League this time, and came close to drawing our latest match, against Pontyfenni. Rudy van Kemenade’s attacked on the kingside in a Bird’s Opening against Mark Adams, but a flurry of exchanges left Black with the initiative enabling him to grab several pawns, leading to a winning endgame. Adam Watkin-Jones’s Owen’s Defence gave him a good position against Ian Jones, but he went wrong in the middlegame allowing an attack that should have been decisive. White’s miscalculation gave Adam a piece, but stopping the enemy pawns was a challenge, and he eventually resigned in a position where a draw was still in fact possible. I emerged an exchange up against John Waterfield from a series of complications in a Modern Defence, but then hung a rook. Black was now a piece up, but again the ending needed some care, and his return error gifted me a lucky draw. Sam Holman’s kingside attack against Anthony Hughes’s English Opening was a bit premature. White was able to counter in the centre, and when he won a piece with a pawn fork the end followed quickly. A 3½-½ defeat could have been an impressive 2-2 draw if Adam and I had taken our chances.

Tom Gunn’s Queen’s Gambit game against Bence Szakmany in the U-1800 match between Cardigan and North Cardiff Panthers was yet another example of a difficult ending between an extra piece and extra pawns. This time it was Tom with the extra piece and after long manoeuvring he managed to bring home the win.

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