When the A and B teams play on successive nights it can put a strain on the club’s limited supply of players. So far, however, we have managed to raise the necessary teams without conceding any walkovers, and the matches on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th February produced heartening results. The B team were in action first, playing at home against close rivals Cardigan B. I tried team-mate Rudy van Kemenade’s favourite Leningrad Dutch defence against Cardigan’s strong top board Tony Haigh, and, though I didn’t get the kingside attack I was hoping for, did a reasonable job of defending my weak pawns, and even gained an advantage in the ending before the position resolved into a draw. James Cook, under pressure early on from Jamie Sen’s queen, set a little trap for it, which Black duly walked into and resigned in disgust, though he had compensation and could have played on. Tony Geraghty equalized and even took the initiative against Awne Osinga’s conservative play with White, but with both players running out of time in a difficult queen-and-pawn ending, a draw was the safest option. Finally, on Board 4, Ian Finlay won the exchange against Nick McIlvenna’s overoptimistic opening play and had a dominant position when his opponent abruptly ended the game with a blunder. The match finished 3-1 to Aberystwyth.

Tony Haigh – Matthew Francis ½-½

James Cook – Jamie Sen 1-0

Awne Osinga – Tony Geraghty ½-½

Ian Finlay – Nick McIlvenna 1-0

Next evening, at the Emyln Cafe, Tanygroes, an A team borrowing a couple of players from the victorious team of the night before had a similar succes against Haverfordwest A. It was not without difficulty. however. On top board, Rudy van Kemenade found himself in a fearsomely complex struggle (admittedly the kind of game he loves) against the much lower-rated Martin C. Jones, who stayed on terms right till the end, when he allowed a passed pawn to get through. Julie van Kemenade’s game was also dramatic, though not in a way she will have enjoyed. In another complex position, she was distracted by her attacking possibilities and allowed the win of her queen. She played on to make a fight of it, and John Miller, perhaps still stunned by his good fortune, dropped his own queen in return. After that Julie was ahead, and soon finished the game off. Tony Geraghty showed no fear playing Black against the higher-graded Ron Wade, and looked to have the better position, but was content to construct a pawn blockade to secure the draw. And Ian Finlay played confidently, too, in a sharp queen’s gambit, in which he had attacking chances before reaching a drawn rook ending. Again the result was 3-1 to Aber.

Martin C. Jones – Rudy van Kemenade 0-1

Julie van Kemenade – John Miller 1-0

Ron Wade – Tony Geraghty ½-½

Ian Finlay – Colin Denham ½-½

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