With Aberystwyth A in the unfamiliar situation of leading the Dyfed League, the match against champions and nearest rivals Cardigan A at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Monday 24th March, was a crucial one. Top board Mark Talbot has an enviable record with White against the League’s strongest player, Howard Williams, having drawn every game; this time Howard surprised him with a prepared piece sacrifice in the Modern Steinitz defence to the Ruy Lopez, but it only led to another draw. Rudy van Kemenade sacrificed a pawn in a Pirc Defence against Iolo Jones in an attempt to free his cramped position; in the difficult queen-and-pawn ending that followed, he missed the chance of a perpetual check which would have secured a draw. Julie van Kemenade, after a complex struggle, reached an ending with rooks and bishops of opposite colour against Tony Haigh, but missed the only defence against his advanced passed pawn. I was uncomfortable with my French Defence against Howard Leah, but he never managed to get an attack going, and I was able to take the initiative in the resulting rook-and-pawn ending. Despite Cardigan’s 2½-1½ win, Aber A remain in the lead at this stage.

Mark Talbot – Howard Williams ½-½

Iolo Jones – Rudy van Kemenade 1-0

Julie van Kemenade – Tony Haigh 0-1

Howard Leah – Matthew Francis 0-1

The next evening, the B team was in action at the St David’s Club against Gwyddbwyll.com. Tony Geraghty on Board 1 took advantage of Iwan Griffiths’s weakened king position to invade on the dark squares and force the win of a queen for a rook. Iwan defended well, getting his knight on to a dominating square, and, though Tony found the way through, he was now short of time and offered a draw. Ian Finlay’s Sicilian gave him active pieces against Owen Llewelyn, but there was not enough of a king’s side attack to offer more than the chance of an early draw, a good result against a higher-graded player. James Corrigan’s game against Tegwyn Jones followed a well-trodden opening path. (One of the games from the legendary Spassky-Fischer World Championship match was among its predecessors). James got an advanced passed pawn which might have proved either a strength or a weakness; it became a strength when a mistake by his opponent allowed him to use it to win a piece. Chris King, playing only his second game for the club, had a complicated battle against Emyr Llewelyn till the latter miscalculated and lost two pieces in quick succession. 3-1 was a good result for Aberystwyth B.

Tony Geraghty – Iwan Griffiths ½-½

Owen Llewelyn – Ian Finlay ½-½

James Corrigan – Tegwyn Jones 1-0

Emyr Llewelyn – Chris King 0-1

Several club members have formed a new club at Aberystwyth University, which is having its first match on Saturday 28th March, a friendly against Bangor University.



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