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John Saunders


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Event: 48th Varsity Match • Venue: City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC • Date: Friday 21 March 1924
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1923 • Forward to 1925 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 12:17 PM

The 48th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC, on Friday 21 March 1924. All seven game scores from this match are available.

1923«     1924 Varsity Chess Match     »1925
Bd Oxford University 1924 Cambridge University
1w William Ernest Baker Pryer (Pembroke) 0-1 John Elliott West (Downing)
2b Alexander Oppenheim (Balliol) 1-0 Andrew Rowland Benedick Thomas (St John's)
3w Alan Hamilton Crothers (Queen's) 1-0 Arthur Wallis Exell (Emmanuel)
4b Walter Francis Jones (Queen's) 0-1 Roland Melville Dowdeswell (Emmanuel)
5w Alfred William Stonier (Christ Church) 1-0 Geoffrey Warren Furlonge (Emmanuel) (substitute)
6b Jack Edwards (Jesus) 1-0 George Edmund Hewson (St Catharine's)
7w Napier Baliol Scott (Christ Church) ½-½ Edward Hugh Bateman (Trinity)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1924, p132; The Observer, 23 March 1924; The Times, 22 March 1924; A Century of British Chess by PW Sergeant; The Times, 24 March 1924 ('Past' match)

Notes: G. W. Furlonge was a replacement on board 5 for Cambridge, for H. J. C. Herrick who failed to appear (see BCM).

[The Observer, 23 March 1924 - Brian Harley] "The inter-'Varsity match of Friday ended in a victory for Oxford by 4½ to 2½, making their third successive win. At this rate they will soon catch up Cambridge, now only two ahead in the series of 48. I fancy the Dark Blue progress is mainly due to their annual strenuous contest with the Lud-Eagle Club, followed by a wine supper, which takes place the evening before the big event, while Cambridge are reputed to pass the day in prayer and fasting."

[BCM, April 1924, p132] "The forty-eighth Inter-University match was played at the City of London Chess Club on Friday, March 21st, at 2 p.m. Herrick, the Cambridge player on Board 5 did not put in an appearance and so Furlonge took his place, and had to accept nearly half an hour’s handicap on his clock. Herrick turned up later, he thought the match started at 2-30 p.m. The first game was a win to Oxford on board 6, a pretty sacrifice leading to a mate, unfortunately the soundness was spoiled by his taking his opponent’s piece with a Bishop instead of the King, exposing himself to a counter-sacrifice which, however, his opponent did not see. This win was soon discounted by the Oxford player on Board 4 losing his Queen in a similar way to Wenman v. Scott, at Edinburgh. Stonier on Board 5 won a Pawn in the opening, and gradually reduced the position to a winning ending. This was followed by an untoward incident on Board 3, Exell, with a Pawn up, and the better position, placing a piece where it could be taken for nothing, this Crothers did and forced a mate soon afterwards. Meantime Board 7 was the centre of attraction. Bateman won a piece for two Pawns, then gave up his piece quite unnecessarily, but Baliol Scott overestimating his advantage, took no account of his opponent’s attack, possibly owing to time pressure, and found himself threatened with mate, the only way to avoid which was by perpetual check. With his opponent’s help he secured this, and Oxford were safe with 3½, but the other two games were both in Cambridge’s favour. West won after a fine slashing game—with his King’s side attack, but probably had Pryer moved his King towards the centre at the inception he might have escaped the trouble he was in. In the remaining game Thomas with a decided advantage in position pressed it home and Oppenheim had to give up a piece. The game was practically over, and the match a draw, when Thomas playing carelessly advanced the wrong Pawn, giving his opponent a passed Pawn—and a winning ending, despite the piece down. Oppenheim offered a draw, which would have won the match, but Thomas declined so Oppenheim had to play on and win. The score of these matches is now Cambridge 23, Oxford 21, drawn 4."

[The Times, 22 March 1924] "CAMBRIDGE BEATEN BY OXFORD.
(By Our Chess Correspondent.)

"The 48th annual match between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was played yesterday afternoon at the rooms of the City of London Chess Club. Wardrobe-court, E.C., Oxford winning an exciting match by 4½ games to 2½. Cambridge were certainly unlucky at the start, for Mr. H. J. C. Herrick, who was down to play at board No. 5, came at 2.30 instead of 2 p.m. being under the impression that the latter was the starting time. Naturally his place had had to be filled with a reserve, who may be presumed to be weaker than Mr. Herrick. Mr. J. Edwards was the first to score for Oxford last year, and he repeated the performance this year, bringing off a pretty little combination in which he forced his opponent to give up two pieces for the queen, in order to avoid being mated. Mr. R. M. Dowdeswell equalized for Cambridge on Board No. 4, making effective use of an open file on the king’s side, after he had won his opponent's queen in one of the fairly well known "traps."

"Oxford took the lead again when Mr. A. W. Stonier finished off a bishop and pawns against a knight and pawns ending, where the extra pawn in his possession made all the difference, though he played this ending exceedingly well. The game on board No. 7 had in the meantime become quite a comedy of errors, both players missing winning opportunities on several occasions. Finally Mr. Baliol-Scott missed an opportunity of forcing the exchange of queens, which again would have won, and had to be content with the draw by perpetual check. Mr. A. W. Exell had worked out a winning combination which only needed care to ensure success, but he overlooked the “pin” of a piece, which lost the game.

"The Oxford team's score now stood at 3½ points, so they could not lose, and had A. R. B. Thomas not made a positional slip in the ending, they [Cambridge] might have equalized. In this game the position came to a queen and pawn for Oxford against a queen for Cambridge, and the few checks possible did not affect the issue, though both kings were, of course, quite exposed. This was the last game finished, though in the meantime Mr. J. E. West had secured with careful play the win that had been evidently his for a long while. The position was very complicated at one stage, but he managed to keep the piece he had won, and this was decisive.

"The following is the full score; Oxford had the White pieces on the odd-numbered boards, and the time-limit was 20 moves per hour."

Universities' Week

Mar 17 Combined Univs 12½-8½ Insurance
Mar 18 Combined Univs 10-11 Hampstead
Mar 19 Combined Univs 12½-9½ City of London
Mar 20 Oxford Univ 1-5 Lud-Eagle (Consultation Match)
Mar 22 Combined Univs 3½-11½ West London
Mar 25 Combined Univs 6-4 Imperial CC

Oxford Past vs Cambridge Past, Saturday 22 March 1924 at the City of London CC (6th match)

Bd Oxford University Past 1924 Cambridge University Past
1b Theodore Henry Tylor (Balliol) 1-0 William Hewison Gunston (St John's)
2w Philip Walsingham Sergeant (Trinity) 1-0 Harold John Snowden (Queens')
3b Henry Delacombe Roome (Merton) 0-1 Bertram Goulding Brown (Trinity)
4w Edward Paice (Merton) 0-1 John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's)
5b Thomas Arthur Staynes, M.C. (Brasenose) 1-0 Sir Edgar Wigram (Trinity Hall)
6w Charles Wreford-Brown (Oriel) ½-½ Leonard Illingworth (Trinity)
7b Kingsley Garland Jayne (Wadham) ½-½ Charles Edward Taylor (Trinity)
8w Dermot Michael Macgregor Morrah (New) 0-1 George Ernest Smith (St John's)
9b Arthur Hereford Wykeham George (New) ½-½ Rev. William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke)
10w Major Edgar Montague-Jones (New) 0-1 Alan Maurice Ewbank (St John's)
11b Hon. Frederick Gustavus Hamilton-Russell (Christ Church) 0-1 Kenneth Frederick Thomas Mills (St John's)

[BCM, April 1924, p133] "Shifted in date from the Christmas holidays to the Universities’ chess week in town, the Inter-University (Past) Match was played at the City of London Chess Club on Saturday, March 22nd. It was hoped that the alteration of date would enable stronger teams to be got together: but this hope was not altogether fulfilled, Oxford in particular lamenting the absence of E. M. Jackson, who accepted the invitation to play but was unable to come, and of Major R. W. Barnett, who was ill. In addition it had been anticipated that the distinguished veteran, Sir Walter Parratt, one of the founders of the O.U.Ch.C., would play; and it was with the utmost regret that it was heard that he, too, was ill. [He died on 27 March - JS]

"The match looked likely to be close for some time; but gradually successes for the light Blues began to pile up until they had a lead of no less than four points. The last games to be decided, on boards 1, 2, 5, and 9 improved the Oxonians’ position considerably. Cambridge, however, won comfortably, though not so crushingly as last year.

[The Times, 24 March 1924] "On Saturday afternoon the "past" members of Oxford University played a match at the City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe-court, E.C., against the "past" members of Cambridge University, 11 boards aside, Cambridge winning the match by 6½ games to 4½. It was hoped at one time that Sir Walter Parratt, who played in the first inter-University chess match, would be able to take a board, but his doctors forbade him making the journey to London. The following is the full score, with the names of the Cambridge players placed first..."

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Date Notes
8 March 2022 Original upload.
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