Chess club just pipped at the post

WEDNESDAY evening saw five Cumbernauld players travel to Grangemouth to compete in another Central Chess League division one match.

Cumbernauld started the match as underdogs with every player being out-graded by a substantial margin. Cumbernauld had the additional handicap of being without two regular first team players, another fact which made this match a bit of a one-sided affair.

The Cumbernauld players who were available took no notice of the grading differences and went out and played attacking chess with the aim of causing an upset. Unfortunately, it was the Grangemouth side that drew the first blood with wins on boards two and three for Douglas Will and Ian Mason.

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Cumbernauld were dragged back into the match with two exceptional wins for Ian Marks and George Thomson after both created miniscule advantages which could be developed and cultivated in order to produce winning positions. With the score standing at two points each the result of the encounter on board four suddenly became crucial and would determine the final outcome of this match. Ex-Cumbernauld player Mark Monaghan faced a very determined Ronnie Wallace who battled hard in order to try and overcome a 200-plus grading point difference. Sadly Monaghan was equally determined not to lose the match as a result of any mistake on his part. He slowly built up a game and match winning one pawn advantage which he securely held with precise play. His nervy win handed the Grangemouth side a 3-2 win in a match in which they would have probably expected to cruise to an easy victory.