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John Saunders


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Tournament: 32nd Varsity Match • Venue: St George's Chess Club, Victoria Street, London • Date: Monday 28 March 1904
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1903 • Forward to 1905 • last edited: Monday May 2, 2022 5:27 PM

The 32nd Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at St George's Chess Club, Northumberland Club, St Irmin's Court, Victoria St, London, on Monday 28 March 1904. FJ Lee acted as match umpire.

1903«     1904 Varsity Chess Match     »1905
Bd Oxford University   vs   Cambridge University
1b Henry Delacombe Roome (Merton) ½-½ Bertram Goulding Brown (Trinity)
2w Thomas Herbert Bumpus (St John's) ½-½ Harry Bateman (Trinity)
3b Adolph Christian von Ernsthausen (Balliol) ½-½ George Leathem (St John's)
4w Samuel Nevile Foster (Worcester) ½-½ Rev. John Arthur Horrocks (Selwyn)
5b William Nicolaas Macfarlane (University) 0-1 Thomas Lodge (Trinity)
6w Edward Paice (Merton) 0-1 Rev. William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke)
7b John Rowland Hanning (New) ½-½ William Woodhouse Lane (Emmanuel)

Main sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), (compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987); Sergeant, Philip W, A Century of Chess (London 1934, referred to in the text as PWS); Ancestry.com; FindMyPast.com; Who Was Who 1897-2007; Wikipedia. All seven games are available in the download.

(1) C. S. James (Oxford) and Z. V/W. Ahmed (Cambridge) were the reserves. [Cholmondeley Sherwood James, Christ Church, subsequently played in the 1907 Varsity match; unable to find the college of Z V (or Z W) Ahmed]

The Field, 2 April 1904 (Hoffer):"The 35th annual match between the sister Universities was played on Monday at the St George's Chess Club, Northumberland Club, St Ermin's Court, Victoria. These are the new quarters of the St George's, and commodious rooms they are, quite secluded, and appropriate to the cultivation of the game, The match was fixed for an early hour, 12 o'clock noon, the place being then deserted; only two members were present, Dr Dunstan and Mr G Allan Heron, who had the arrangements in hand. Cambridge, having won the toss, took the Surrey side, or rather the first move, which secured them, being uneven numbers, the first move on the four odd-numbered boards. An adjournment for luncheon took place at 1.30, the conversation during this interval being, naturally enough, cricket, and not chess.

"No perceptible advantage was noticeable on any of the boards, except on Board No.1, the Cantab having given up (or lost) a pawn; but he had a compensating attack for it. Very shortly after play being resumed the Oxford men began to waver, especially on Boards 6 and 7, and these were the only games lost eventually, the four top pairs dividing honours by scoring four draws. By six o'clock only one game was in progress, and this was adjudicated a draw by Mr Lee.

"Messrs MacFarlane, Paice and Hanning are new men in the Oxford team, and Messrs Horrocks, Greenhalgh, and Lane in the Cambridge team. There is a decided improvement noticeable in the style of last year's players, and the freshmen have a promising grasp of the game, requiring, however, cultivation as yet. The games are fairly interesting, and decidedly above the average of games which are played, by amateurs of the strength of the University teams, in the regular club matches."

Westminster Gazette - Monday 28 March 1904: "THE UNIVERSITIES CHESS MATCH. The Annual Universities Chess Match commenced at twelve o’clock noon under the auspices of the St. George's Chess Club, Northumberland Club, St Ermin’s-court, Victoria-street. An adjournment took place at half-past one, and play continues till seven o’clock, when unfinished games will be adjudicated upon. The following are the teams in the order of pairing: [team lists] C. S. James and Z. V. Ahmed are the reserves for Oxford and Cambridge respectively.

File updated

Date Notes
17 April 2022 Original upload. Biographical details and match reports to be added later.
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