Carmarthen have one of the strongest line-ups in the Dyfed League, but their results have suffered this season because of player unavailability. On Wednesday 16th March, they were, for once, able to field their best team against Aberystywth A, who were missing their highest-rated player, Mark Talbot. The top-board game between Rudy van Kemenade and Gerry Heap was a complex Sicilian battle in which White reacted wrongly to his opponent’s piece sacrifice. Once the piece was regained he was a pawn down, and struggled in vain to recover. David Ferguson, under pressure against Keith Downey’s English Opening, missed a queen fork to lose a piece, and resigned immediately. In another Sicilian game, Julie van Kemenade was pushed back by Huw Morcom; once he had a rook on the second rank, her position collapsed quickly. On Board 4, I had my first ever game as Black against David Buttell after seven successive Whites. In a cramped and passive position I missed a simple tactic and lost a piece, after which he won the ending with no difficulty. So Carmarthen, beaten by Aber’s B team only a week ago, won 4-0, dealing a blow to the A team’s hopes of a first League title.

Rudy van Kemenade – Gerry Heap 0-1

Keith Downey – David Ferguson 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Huw Morcom 0-1

David Buttell – Matthew Francis 1-0

Meanwhile the Aberystwyth Club Championship is almost completed. With one game still to play, Mark Talbot is the clear winner on 6½/7. A full report will follow.

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