With the season drawing to a close, Aberystwyth B had to face a rematch against league champions Cardigan A at the St David’s Club on Tuesday 17th April. In the earlier fixture, the B team had managed a very creditable 1-3 defeat despite being heavily outgraded, and hoped to achieve something similar this time. On top board I had prepared a sharp line of the Leningrad Dutch against Howard Williams, who drew on his long experience to play an idea of his own invention involving a pawn sacrifice. I should probably have declined, when the position looked equal. Instead I took the gambit (also probably OK if played correctly) and soon found myself under pressure, leading to a lost ending. On Board 2, Julie van Kemenade was also trying out a risky opening, the Veresov. Unfortunately, she didn’t castle in time, and Iolo Jones was able to counterattack strongly against her centre, mating in only 18 moves. On third board, James Cook was suffering from a bad cough and had to leave the room twice in his short game; it must have been this that distracted him, causing him to leave his queen en prise. He resigned immediately, an easy win for Tony Haigh. That left Tony Geraghty to try and salvage something on Board 4. He has become very proficient at the London System, and worked up a dangerous kingside attack, sacrificing a knight on g6. Howard Leah should have taken it, when play was unclear; instead he declined and Tony was able to force Black’s king across the back rank, ending in mate. This was an outstanding win against a player graded around 300 points higher, and confirms Tony’s recent improvement, as well as enabling the team to match their earlier result against Cardigan A, 3-1 to the champions.

Howard Williams – Matthew Francis 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Iolo Jones 0-1

Tony Haigh – James Cook 1-0

Tony Geraghty – Howard Leah 1-0

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