Chess team’s plan checks out

LAST season’s results saw the Cumbernauld B side earn promotion into the Lanarkshire Chess League division one.

This threw up the prospect of the first all Cumbernauld clash for many years - and as luck would have it, the first fixture of the new season was to be just that.

With so many potential players to choose from, team selection was a difficult choice for both captains.

George Thomson opted for a strong side, which would reflect the true strength of many of the sides in the division, in order to enable the B team to gauge the level of opposition they will face.

John Pearston opted for the four players who had played in most of the games during the previous campaign in the second division.

Statistically the A team should probably have won all four games.

A relatively quick win for Ian Marks over John Pearston on board one saw the A team take an early lead.

George Thomson developed a one pawn advantage over Andrew Carruth, which he held and converted after an epic 70 move tussle on board four. Two for the A side.

Board three saw a sensational piece of giant killing when David McColl dragged the B team back into the match with a fine win over the very much stronger Ralph Stirrat.

On board two David Flaherty had the unenviable task of trying to level the match by overcoming Steven Kelly, a player who has had some remarkable results lately.

Unfortunately, the experience and technical capabilities of Kelly soon ground out another win for the A team.

This 3-1 win is the perfect start for the A team in their division one campaign.

For Pearston’s B team, a side who performed well considering the grading differences, the realities of first division chess will leave them contemplating the difficulties of survival in this league.