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John Saunders


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Event: 47th Varsity Match • Venue: City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC • Date: Friday 23 March 1923
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1922 • Forward to 1924 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 12:19 PM

The 47th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC, on Friday 23 March 1923. All seven game scores from this match are available.

1922«     1923 Varsity Chess Match     »1924
Bd Oxford University 1923 Cambridge University
1b Thomas Arthur Staynes, M.C. (Brasenose) ½-½ Paul Ian Wyndham (Trinity)
2w Alexander Oppenheim (Balliol) 1-0 Alan Maurice Ewbank (St John's)
3b Alan Hamilton Crothers (Queen's) ½-½ Norman Mudie Bach (Pembroke)
4w George Wilson Knight (St Edmund Hall) ½-½ John Elliott West (Downing)
5b Charles Edward Kemp (Corpus Christi) ½-½ Roland Melville Dowdeswell (Emmanuel)
6w Jack Edwards (Jesus) 1-0 Edward Hugh Bateman (Trinity)
7b Napier Baliol Scott (Christ Church) 1-0 Sydney Goldstein (St John's)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1923, p129; The Times, 2 & 24 March 1923; A Century of British Chess by PW Sergeant; The Times, 8 January 1923 ('Past' match)

[BCM, April 1923, p129] The 47th annual match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was played at the City of London Chess Club on Friday, March 23rd. Cambridge won the toss and had the move on the odd-numbered boards. The openings adopted were : 1, Sicilian ; 2, Ruy Lopez ; 3, Caro Kann ; 4, Queen’s Pawn ; 5, King’s Bishop Opening ; 6, Ruy Lopez ; 7, Centre Counter. The record in the series previous to this encounter was Cambridge 23, Oxford 19, drawn 4.

[The Times, 2 March 1923] CHESS - OXFORD v. CAMBRIDGE. (By Our Chess Correspondent.)
The forty-seventh annual match between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will be played at the rooms of the City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe-court, E.C., on Friday, March 23, seven boards a side, play beginning at about 2 p.m.
For the period they are in London the Universities will play their usual series of matches as a combined team, and the following fixtures have been arranged:—Monday, March 19 v. the Insurance Chess Club, at the Old Bell, Holborn; Tuesday, v. Hampstead, at Hampstead; Wednesday, v. the City of London Chess Club, at Wardrobe-court; Saturday, v. the Civil Service Chess Association, at the Ministry of Health; and on Monday, v. the London University, at University College, Gower-street, W.C.
In all these matches of the combined teams it is proposed to play twenty boards a side, and the Universities will have the assistance of their "past" members.

[The Times, 24 March 1923] UNIVERSITIES CHESS MATCH. DECISIVE WIN FOR OXFORD. (By Our Chess Correspondent.)

The forty-seventh annual match between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was played at the rooms of the City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe-court, E.C., yesterday afternoon, and ended in a decisive win for Oxford by five games to two.

Cambridge won the toss, and took the White pieces on the odd-numbered boards. The time limit was fixed at twenty moves per hour. It fell to the Oxford player on board No. 6 to score the first point for his side, his opponent underrating the strength of a king’s side attack. Next came the drawn game on the top board, the Oxford player forcing the issue by perpetual check in a queen and pawn ending, the position leaving him little other choice. A draw on the fourth board followed, the game having come down to minor pieces and pawns with a position that justified neither player taking risks. In the meantime the Cambridge player on board No. 2 had got very short of time in a position he had rather complicated from the first, snapped at a pawn in his hurry, and then found he had to lose a piece in consequence. He at once resigned.

The tale of misfortune for Cambridge is not yet complete, for their representative on board No. 7 miscounted his moves and made the thirty-ninth at the end of the second hour on his clock under the impression it was his fortieth. Equally, he had to pay the penalty, and Oxford had then won the match with a clear half-point to the good. The Cambridge player on board No. 3 had a pawn to the good in a rook and pawn ending, but there was no way of making use of this, and a draw was agreed to; leaving only the game on board No. 5 to be finished. This came down also to a rook and pawn ending, where there was only risk in trying to force a win, so both accepted the inevitable, incidentally saving the adjudicators any trouble.

The match started early in the afternoon with the idea of playing every game out, which is by far the better way, as adjudication at best is not the most satisfactory way of arriving at a conclusion. Every game yesterday was played out, and that amply justified the extra time given to the match.

The record for the series now is:—Cambridge, twenty-three wins ; Oxford, twenty ; and four games [matches] have been drawn.

1923 Universities' Week

March 19 Combined Univs 10-10 Insurance
March 20 Combined Univs 7½-11½ Hampstead
March 21 Combined Univs 6½-13½ City of London
March 22 Oxford Univ 0-4 Lud-Eagle (Consultation)
March 24 Combined Univs 11-9 Civil Service
March 26 Combined Univs 7½-4½ RAC
March 27 Combined Univs 10-8 London University

Oxford Past vs Cambridge Past, Saturday 6 January 1923 at the City of London CC (5th match)

Bd Oxford University Past 1923 Cambridge University Past
1b Philip Walsingham Sergeant (Trinity) 0-1 William Hewison Gunston (St John's)
2w Sir Richard Barnett (Wadham) 0-1 (Creassey Edward) Cecil Tattersall (Trinity)
3b Charles Wreford-Brown (Oriel) ½-½ Harold John Snowden (Queens')
4w Dermot Michael Macgregor Morrah (New) ½-½ Bertram Goulding Brown (Trinity)
5b Edward Algernon Michell (Queen's) 1-0 Sir Edgar Wigram (Trinity Hall)
6w L James (Trinity) 0-1 John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's)
7b Major Edgar Montague-Jones (New) 0-1 Dr Vickerman Henzell Rutherford (Sidney Sussex)
8w Reuben Lob (Worcester) ½-½ Rev. William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke)
9b Kingsley Garland Jayne (Wadham) 0-1 George Ernest Smith (St John's)
10w John Harold Morrison (Wadham) 0-1 Kenneth Frederick Thomas Mills (St John's)
11b Hon. Frederick Gustavus Hamilton-Russell (Christ Church) 0-1 Hyman Lob (King's)
12w Rev. Barton Reginald Vaughan Mills (Christ Church) ½-½ James Frederick Chance (Trinity)

[The Times, 8 January 1923] . A UNIVERSITY CHESS MATCH. SUCCESS OF CAMBRIDGE. (by our chess correspondent.)

Past members of Oxford and Cambridge Universities played a match at the City of London Chess Club on Saturday, twelve boards on each side. Cambridge won by nine games to three.

File updated

Date Notes
16 March 2022 Original upload.
All material © 2022 John Saunders