Most clubs now have a mounting backlog of games to catch up on. Last Monday evening Cumbernauld Chess Club managed to compete in two matches, both of which were home matches. A short break in the weather and clearer roads allowed teams from both Hamilton and Lanark to make the journey to Cumbernauld.

The first match was played in the Lanarkshire Chess League division one and saw Cumbernauld face a Hamilton “A” side that were capable of raining on the Cumbernauld parade. David Johnstone earned the first win for Cumbernauld with a fine performance on board three. Hamilton then levelled the match with an against-the-odds win by Lawrence Freel on board four. On board one Ian Marks secured another point for the local side with another solid performance. These results meant that both Jack Parkes and Luke Greenslade had it all to play for on board two. Both players battled ferociously in order to try and secure the point. In the end neither player could make the final breakthrough and both were forced to settle for a draw. This drawn game saw the match result swing in favour of the Cumbernauld side with a 2½-1½ scoreline. This win allows the Cumbernauld side to maintain their position at the top of division one.

In the Lanarkshire second division clash, Cumbernauld faced a Lanark “C” side which had travelled a fair distance in order to play in this match. The Lanark players started the match determined not to have a wasted journey. William Strachan gave Lanark their first point with a win on board three. Maurice Benyon added another with a fine performance on board one. Cumbernauld seemed to be heading toward disaster when David Flaherty clawed them back into the match when he kept his head and delivered a very cool and measured performance on board two.

The board four game suddenly gained immense significance and became a match decider like the Parkes versus Greenslade game in division one. With all eyes watching and the pressure mounting George Sinclair produced a wonderfully creative combination which saw him bamboozle his opponent and earn another point for the local side. This win saw both sides share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

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