Cumbernauld are champions
CUMBERNAULD Chess Club are this season's Scottish National Chess League Division Two champions.
A remarkable 2.5-2.5 draw from a match against the Edinburgh side Civil-Service/ Bank of Scotland saw them maintain their undefeated run in the SNCL this season.
Winning the league sees them achieve one of the coveted promotion places, granting them the opportunity to cross swords with some of the elite of Scottish chess in division one next season. The SNCL matches are played on a monthly basis in the Glen Pavilion against the backdrop of the beautiful Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline.
This promotion is one of the local club's most memorable achievements in their 40-year history. Cumbernauld have been battling in the second division for four years, coming close on a couple of occasions.
This season's squad, which included the players Alan Grant, Ian Marks, Jack Parkes, Stephen Kelly, George Thomson and John Pearston, performed solidly over the season and finished narrowly ahead of second-placed side Kilmarnock. Both sides finished on nine points, however,
Cumbernauld won the league on board scores which is similar to goal difference in the football leagues. Only one half of a point separated these two sides which drew when they clashed earlier in the season.
Last Monday evening Cumbernauld travelled to face Bellshill in the Lanarkshire League Division One. A win on board one for Ian Marks coupled with three draws on the remaining boards saw Cumbernauld do enough to win this match with a 2.5-1.5 scoreline. The drawn games featured the players David Potts and George Thomson, Wilson Carnie and Ronnie Wallace as well as David Gracie and Robert Kelso. This win saw the Cumbernauld side needing to win their two remaining matches in order to win this division also.
Sadly the Cumbernauld side had their dreams of a league double thwarted on Thursday night when they were held to a 2-2 draw by East Kilbride "C" in the Lanarkshire Chess League Division One. On boards one and two Ian Marks and Jack Parkes performed magnificently and won their games. East Kilbride players Paul Denham and Jacqui Thomas earned two hard-fought wins on boards three and four to level the match. This result means that it is still mathematically possible for Cumbernauld to win this league. Sadly they are now relying on other results swinging in their favour.
In the Lanarkshire Chess League Division Two Cumbernauld "B" ended their season with a 3.5-0.5 win away to Lanark. Wins for John Pearston, David McColl and Lisa Flaherty as well as a draw between David Flaherty and David Stephens saw the Cumbernauld side finish mid table and gain some necessary experience.