The second round of the Online Dyfed Closed was played on Tuesday 12 January with two Aberystwyth playerson on 1 and the other three on 0. My English Opening against Howard Williams did not give me any real attacking chances, but I held my own against a very strong opponent until I allowed my position to become too passive and he played a fine exchange sacrifice to break through in the centre with his pawns. It’s strange how some players have lower-rated opponents who always cause them trouble. For me it was the late Jan Sendall, for Rudy van Kemenade it seems to be Martin Jones. In a complex position arising from a Pirc Defence, Rudy miscalculated a tactical sequence and ended up a piece down. Though he did his best to generate counterplay, there was no reprieve. So, with the two players who won last week losing this week, it was left to the others to salvage the honour of the club. Adam Watkin-Jones got a big advantage when Scott Hammett played inaccurately against White’s tricky Nc3 line in the Dutch; Black never equalized and the threats quickly became too great. Tom Gunn had to negotiate a difficult knight ending against Mark Paffard after a Closed Sicilian; White’s queenside pawn majority gave winning chances, but Tom managed to draw with his higher-rated opponent. Finally Sam Holman’s Ruy Lopez brought a textbook kingside attack against Awne Osinga, a good recovery after his disappointingly quick defeat last week. Four Aber players are now on 1/2, with Tom on ½/2.

Congratulations to Tom, who is confirmed as Welsh Online U1500 Champion for his performance in the WCU Online League.

 

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