The Dumbarton and District Chess Association was formed in 1973 / 1974 with a specific aim “ To foster chess in Dumbarton and surrounding Districts .“

The formation was inaugurated by Jim Mc Cusker of Duntocher / Clydebank, at a meeting in the Concord Leisure Centre , Dumbarton.

Clubs taking part were : Bearsden ; Clydebank ; Dumbarton ; Duntocher ; Diamond Power ; Helensburgh ; Keil School ; Knightswood and Singer.


Office – Bearers were :

President:     Mr. John Mac Neill ( Keil School ) 1974 through to 1982 when he gave up office having secured a teaching post in England.

Mr. Bill Mc Laren   ( Dumbarton )     1982 / 1987

Mr. W. Pickett         ( Keil School )   1988

Mr. Tommy Tait     ( Knightswood ) 1989

Mr. Peter Griffin     ( Phones )           1990 / 1991

Mr. Alec Bruce       ( Netherton )       1992 / 1998

Mr. Pat Mc Connell ( Crowwood )     1999 / 2002

Mr. Fraser Taylor     ( Dalmuir )         2002/ 2012

Mr. Mel Burt           ( Bearsden )       2012 / 2015 through to the present .


Secretary:     Mr. Robert Beacon   1974/ 1975

Mr. Alex Ross         1976

Mr. Robert Holland 1977

Mr. John Mc Cartan 1978 to the present


Treasurer :   Mr. Matt Taylor                                     1974 / 1977

Mr. Robert Holland   ( Knightswood )   1978

Mr. John Mac Neill   ( Keil School )     1979

Mr. Colin Paterson   ( Duntocher )       1980 / 1982

Mr. Bill Mc Laren     ( Dumbarton )       1983

Mr. John Mc Cartan   ( Dalmuir )           1984 through to the present

Dumbarton and District had always resisted any move to affiliate to the Scottish Chess Association in the mistaken belief that as most of the Dumbarton and District clubs were already affiliated through membership of the Glasgow Chess League ; then there was no need in effect for further affiliation, particularly as the main benefit was grading.

Mr. John Mac Neill had been grading all Dumbarton and District games from 1974. On 15th. September 1979 Mr John Mc Cartan the Secretary of the D. &. D. C. A. was invited by the then Secretary of the Scottish Chess Association Mr. Alan Borwell to attend a meeting of the Scottish Chess Association in Edinburgh Chess club to observe the functioning of the S. C. A. with a view to affiliation.

Subsequently on 17th. September 1979 at a meeting of the D. & D. C. A. Item 2 on the agenda a motion by Mr. J. Mc Cartan to affiliate to the S. C. A. was carried unanimously.

On January 19th. 1980 Dumbarton and District Chess Association were officially affiliated to the Scottish Chess Association.

In season 1981 / 1982 the set-up of the Dumbarton and District league was restructured from a single Division of teams of 6 boards to incorporate 2 divisions of teams having 4 boards. In season 1984 / 1985 Three Divisions were formed and continued until 1989 / 1990 when University A were the last recorded winners , as the League then reverted back to 2 Divisions.

On Sunday 31st. October 1982 a team of 8 players representing Dumbarton and District won the Scottish Regional Team Championship at a jamboree in Grangemouth. Each team member was presented with an individual engraved medallion which was the first time this S. C. A. event had offered the winning team in Division 1 such a personal memento of the occasion.


1st.         Dumbarton and District           6½ / 8

2nd         Central                                     5½ / 8

3rd.         Tayside and Fife                       5   / 8

4th.         Lanarkshire                              3½ / 8

5th.         Ayrshire                                   3   / 8

6th.         Eastwood                                 2½ / 8

7th.         Renfrew                                     2 / 8


1D. ByrneDuntocher21550 – 1A. Beveridge1990
2C. GibsonBearsden2155j1 – 0K. Stewart2030
3R. DicksonDuntocher19751 – 0A. J. Hunter1935
4M. SutherlandDumbarton19651 – 0G. Pyrich2045
5S. MacdonaldKnightswood1880j½ – ½S. D. Mannion1890
6P. C. D. DriverLenzie1810j1 – 0A. M. Bennett1700j
7P. J. WardDalmuir1820j1 – 0W. Munn1540
8J. WhyteConcord17551 – 0L. D. Lee1860


Opponents were drawn from the 7 other teams which took part on a jamboree basis, which accounts for the apparent discrepancies in playing strength of the board order.

In 1982 Bearsden Chess Club through Mr. J. M. Burt approached the D. & D. C. A. to take over the running of the “ Dunbartonshire Chess Championship “ known as the Dunbartonshire Open Tournament to be run as a West of Scotland qualifier and this was undertaken . This tournament was eventually discontinued in 1992 when S.R. Mannion was the last recipient of the Dunbartonshire Open Trophy.

Dunbartonshire Open Winners


1992S. R. Mannion23706½ / 7
1991S. R. Mannion22906½ / 7
1990D. M. Bryson22656 / 7
1989I. Swan22806½ / 7
1988jointS. R. Mannion22856½ / 7
1988winnersD. M. Bryson23456½ / 7
1987S. R. Mannion22706½ / 7
1986D. M. Bryson23005½ / 7
1985D. M. Bryson22656½ / 7
1984C. J. Gibson21556 / 7
1983D. A. Bennett20356 / 7

Club History:

Diamond Power went defunct around 1975 with Clydebank capitulating in1978 . Most of the Clydebank players transferred to Duntocher shortly after that and they last played in 1982/83.

Of the other founding members Bearsden have moved premises on a number of occasions but are still going strong.

With the closure of the Singer factory in Clydebank in November 1979 Singer Chess Club were obliged to find new premises and so became Dalmuir Chess Club who continue yet.

Keil School participated until season 1988 – 1989.

Helensburgh finished in season 1989 – 1990.

Dumbarton struggled with a lack of numbers and eventually wound up after 1991 – 1992.

Knightswood remained until 1992 – 1993. They subsequently rejoined in season 1995 – 1996 until 1998 – 1999.

Bishopbriggs joined in season 1977 / 1978 after an incident in the Glasgow Chess League which caused them to withdraw their Division 5 team on a matter of principle. Bishopbriggs eventually changed their name to Woodhead in 1979 / 1980 and thence to Lenzie in season 1980 / 1981 and finished playing in season 1982 – 1983. Bishopbriggs rejoined in 1999 until today.

Lomond School from Helensburgh found favour with the D. & D. C. A. in 1978/79. They had 6 years until 1983 – 1984.

Castlehill from Dumbarton joined in September 1980 and became Concord Chess Club in 1981, they continued until 1992 – 1993. Concord rejoined in season 2002 – 2003 and after winning Division 2 in season 2014 – 2015 are now in Division 1.

Notre Dame from Dumbarton came aboard in 1982 but they only played a few seasons until 1983 – 1984.

Hermitage Academy from Helensburgh were adopted in September 1982, their last season being 1984 – 1985.

Ardencaple who only had a short spell from 1983 until 1986 however, provided the Individual Knockout winner on two occasions. They were fortunate enough to assimilate some of the Hermitage Academy players.

Haldane from Balloch expressed an interest which was fulfilled in 1983 and they ended their association in season 1988 – 1989.

Faifley joined in 1984 with Drumchapel and they continued until 1988 – 1989. Drumchapel subsequently rejoined in1999 and sadly finished up after playing in 2000 – 2001.

Kirkintilloch came along in 1986 and lasted until season1998 – 1999. Phones were also adopted in 1986.

1987 saw the welcoming of Crowwood Chess Club.

With Glasgow University being admitted in 1989. Their tenure lasted until season 1994 – 1995.

All Saints had 4 years from 1990 /1991 until 1993 – 1994.

1996 saw Shettleston taking part until 1997 – 1998, they then rejoined in season 2006 – 2007.

Glasgow Montrose and Polytechnic came along in 1997.

Cumbernauld were then admitted in 2001.

Inverclyde Central being adopted in 2003 had a few successful years until they bowed out after season 2005 – 2006.

East Kilbride in 2005 were accepted and in 2006 Strathclyde University were successful applicants.

Strathclyde University lasted until season 2010 – 2011 when they withdrew their team.

Giffnock came on board in season 2009 – 2010.

In 2013 – 2014 Bellshill and Paisley both came into the fold.

Crowwood and Shettleston amalgamated to become Stepps at this juncture.

Phones found it necessary to suspend their membership in 2014 – 2015 as they were having venue problems.

Glasgow Montrose also severed their membership after playing in Division 1 in season 2014 – 2015 and gave a similar reason.




The ABC of Chess Clubs within the DDCA

How many clubs joined from its inception until today?

Elementary! Why Kirkintilloch, Ardencaple and Netherton all arose

All Saints, Notre Dame, Crowwood as well as Glasgow Montrose

Bishopbriggs, Drumchapel, Faifley and Phones to name but a few

Can we discount Shettleston and Paisley near the tail of the queue?

Out of the question as not even Lenzie and Woodhead end our list

For Lomond School and Inverclyde Central are others so far missed

Concord and Polytechnic although they still feature as well

Hermitage Academy and Castlehill, by the wayside have fell

East Kilbride and Giffnock with Bellshill however all came along

Stepps, Cumbernauld, and Paisley – well they’re still going strong

So what of our founding fathers in 1974 their number being nine?

Clydebank, Duntocher, Diamond Power long away in decline

Leading lights Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Knightswood no less

Unfortunately demised! Along with Keil School too I must confess

Bearsden still carry on though, name changing Dalmuir cannot hide

Singer as they were and 2 Universities also gone, Glasgow and Strathclyde.



John Mc Cartan