Haverfordwest can draw on a strong pool of players these days, and the A-team match against Aberystwyth, at the Emlyn Cafe, Tanygroes, on Wednesday 6th November, was a close one, despite Aber having the higher gradings. On top board, Mark Talbot was unable to make any headway with his Grunfeld against one of Haverfordwest’s recent finds, Martin Jones, who knew the theory well and steered the game to an early draw. The Board 2 game was more dynamic; Rudy van Kemenade won a piece for two pawns in a Bird’s Opening, but weakened his king in the process. Rudy thrives on complicated positions, but even he had his work cut out here, and Colin Denham fought long and hard before losing on time in a position that was now hopeless. Julie van Kemenade has played her Philidor several times against Ron Wade, but this time her usual attack didn’t come to much and the game drifted into an ending with opposite coloured bishops where she missed some winning chances before settling for a draw. On bottom board, Tony Geraghty whipped up the kind of kingside attack he often seems to get with his London System. A tactical trick left his queen hovering over Black’s weakened kingside, and Scott Hammett baled out, allowing his king to be chased deep into enemy territory before being mated. Wins with White and draws with Black made it 3-1 to Aberystwyth A.

Martin C. Jones – Mark Talbot ½-½

Rudy van Kemenade – Colin Denham 1-0

Ron Wade – Julie van Kemenade ½-½

Tony Geraghty – Scott Hammett 1-0

The annual Dyfed Closed Championship was held at the Emlyn Cafe over the weekend of 9th-10th November. Gerry Heap (Carmarthen) won again, with a perfect score of 5/5. Cardigan junior Jamie Sen was second with 4, despite having missed the first round. Third place was shared between David Buttell (Carmarthen), Tony Haigh (Cardigan), Colin Denham (Haverfordwest) and me on 3. The under-1600 grading prize went to Awne Osinga (Cardigan) on 3/5 including a bye, and the under-1300 prize was shared between James Corrigan, 1/5, and Jamie Friel, 2/5 including a bye (both Aberystwyth). Congratulations to Dyfed Closed and Dyfed League organiser Iolo Jones, who has been awarded the FIDE Master (FM) title – fifteen years after he earned it! It turns out he was entitled to it as a result of his 65% score for Wales in the 1998 Chess Olympiad, a fitting reward for someone who has done a tremendous amount for chess in Wales over many years.

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