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John Saunders


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Tournament: 34th Varsity Match • Venue: St George's Chess Club, Piccadilly, London • Date: Monday 2 April 1906
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1905 • Forward to 1907 • last edited: Monday December 11, 2023 11:44 PM

The 34th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at St George's Chess Club, 24 Grafton Street, Piccadilly, London, on Monday 2 April 1906.

1905«     1906 Varsity Chess Match     »1907
Bd Oxford University   vs   Cambridge University
1b Thomas Herbert Bumpus (St John's) 0-1 William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke)
2w Herbert Jennings Rose (Balliol) 1-0 Kanwar Dalip Singh (Pembroke)
3b Edward Paice (Merton) 0-1 William Woodhouse Lane (Emmanuel)
4w Noel James Roughton (New) 1-0 Percy St Goar Kelton (Queens')
5b John Rowland Hanning (New) 1-0 Bertram Herbert Russell Stower (Queens')
6w John Gordon Archibald (New) 1-0 William Hough (Pembroke)
7b Alexander James David Lothian (Trinity) ½-½ Alec Joscelyne Bamford (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) Started 12.30 - ended 5.30pm, with a lunch interval at 2pm
(2) 20 moves per hour
(3) No umpire
(4) Herbert Jennings Rose and John Gordon Archibald were the first two Rhodes scholars to come from McGill University, Montreal, Canada - and both played in the Varsity chess match
(5) A Cambridge player, Arthur Cousen Bottomley, would have played but forgot the address of the venue and arrived too late; he was replaced by Percy Kelton.

The Field, 1906 (Leopold Hoffer): "The thirty-third annual match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was played on Monday at the St. George's Chess Club, 24 Grafton-street, Piccadilly. Play commenced at 12.30, at a time limit of twenty moves per hour, and fixed to last till 5.30. The commencement at an earlier hour, and the comparatively fast time limit, gave ample time for the conclusion of all the games, and to dispense with the time-honoured institution of an umpire, dating from the time when the teams played two games on each board. It is always more satisfactory if intricate endings are played off by the competitors themselves than by the umpire when time is called, for reasons which are fairly obvious. There was little speculation, if any, as to the issue of the match, each side being represented by four players who took part in last year's match, the three new men being unknown quantities. Cambridge had the mishap to be deprived of the useful services of Mr Bottomley, who, having forgotten the address of the St. George's, arrived too late, and was replaced by Mr Kelton, quite a young player.

"The toss being won by Cambridge, they chose, as usual, to take the first move on the odd-numbered boards. An interval for luncheon, provided by the hosts, took place at two o'clock, when the positions stood in favour of Oxford on the majority of the boards, that is to say, on those fairly merging into the endgame. After play was resumed Oxford scored three victories in succession, and kept the lead till the end, when their victory was slightly reduced by Mr Greenhalgh, who scored a well-earned victory on board no.1 for Cambridge; Oxford thus winning the second match in succession by four and a half games to two and a half, the same score as last year."


26 March - Combined Universities 13½, West London 7½
27 March - Combined Universities 8, Mrs Rhoda A Bowles' Team 13
28 March - Combined Universities 6½, City of London 13½
29 March - Combined Universities 8½, Metropolitan 11½
30 March - Combined Universities 7, Hampstead 13
31 March - Combined Universities v St George's CC (scheduled for this date but no result has been found yet)

File updated

Date Notes
17 April 2022 Original upload. Biographical details and match reports to be added later.
All material © 2022 John Saunders