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John Saunders


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Event: 51st Varsity Match • Venue: City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC • Date: Friday 25 March 1927
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1926 • Forward to 1928 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 12:11 PM

The 51st Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC, on Friday 25 March 1927. All game scores from this match are available.

1926«     1927 Varsity Chess Match     »1928
Bd Oxford University 1927 Cambridge University
1w Kenneth Humphry Bancroft (Pembroke) ½-½ (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry (Trinity)
2b Gerald Abrahams (Wadham) 1-0 Victor Coates (Sidney Sussex)
3w Graham Russell Mitchell (Magdalen) 1-0 James Andrew Herrick (Pembroke)
4b Arthur Eric Smith (St Edmund Hall) ½-½ Ronald Cherry Weaver (Corpus Christi)
5w Giovanni Marie Denis George Costigan (St John's) ½-½ Maurice Arthur Vernon (Trinity)
6b Reginald Walter Bonham (St Catherine's) 0-1 John Edward Pepper (St John's)
7w Hugh Findlay Sutherland (Balliol) ½-½ Ronald Langley Mitchell (Trinity)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1927, p156-157; The Times, 26 March 1927 (including all game scores); BCM, Jan 1927, p10 (Past match); A Century of British Chess by PW Sergeant

Notes: Boards 1, 3 and 6 were adjudicated by Sir George Thomas

[The Times, 26 March 1927] OXFORD’S NARROW WIN. (From Our Chess Correspondent.) The 61st 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 by the odd game. The play was keen all through, and there were no conspicuous oversights. Oxford had the white pieces on the odd-numbered boards. The games on boards 1, 3, and 6 were adjudicated by Sir George A. Thomas. The record now is :—Cambridge 24 wins, Oxford 23 wins, and four matches drawn."

Universities' Week

18 March - Cambridge University 3½-2½ North London
19 March - Combined Universities 8-8 London University
21 March - Combined Universities 11-9 Insurance
22 March - Combined Universities 12-10 Hampstead
23 March - Combined Universities 4½-13½ City of London

BCM, April 1927, ppn 156-157

University Week—The week commencing March 18th was a busy one for the University players. On March 18th Cambridge University defeated North London, the leaders in the [London] "A" League this year, by 3½ to 2½. On March 19th the combined Universities, past and present, drew with the University of London, at 8 all. On the 21st the combined teams, post and present, defeated the Insurance by 11 to 9, and on the 22nd Hampstead by 12 to 10. On the 23rd they met a strong team of the City of London, but were handicapped by an unpleasant incident, resulting in two of their players not taking part in the match. They were defeated by 13½ to 4½. On the 24th Oxford University, with the help of two of their past players, played a consultation match against the Ludeagle Chess Club and were defeated by 3½ to 2½. The players and "Tellers" were afterwards royally entertained by Mr. E. R. Turner1.

Cambridge were slight favourites, but after a hard contest and adjudications on boards 1, 3 and 6, by Sir G. A. Thomas, Oxford just won 4 to 3.

The battle between the first strings was specially interesting in that at the twenty-second move Bancroft sacrificed his Queen for a Pawn. This, after several moves, ended in the loss of the Exchange for three Pawns. It was quite a pretty combination, but he was unable to get more than a draw out of the position.

Nearly all the games were well fought and most of them went to well over 40 moves, the only exception being that on board 4 which was more like a game between Alekhine and Capablanca, after the prizes had been decided.

This brings the record to Cambridge 24, Oxford 23, drawn 4.

1 Eustace William Raymond Haselar Turner (1868 - 20 October 1943) - obit, BCM, February 1944, p33

Oxford Past vs Cambridge Past, 18 December 1926 at City of London CC (9th match)

Bd Oxford University Past 1926 Cambridge University Past
1 Theodore Henry Tylor (Balliol) 1-0 William Hewison Gunston (St John's)
2 George Shorrock Ashcombe Wheatcroft (New) ½-½ (Creassey Edward) Cecil Tattersall (Trinity)
3 Philip Walsingham Sergeant (Trinity) 0-1 John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's)
4 John Harold Morrison (Wadham) 1-0 Kenneth Arthur Lulham Hill (Emmanuel)
5 Henry Delacombe Roome (Merton) ½-½ John Elliott West (Downing)
6 Alexander Oppenheim (Balliol) 0-1 Eric Augustus Coad-Pryor (Trinity)
7 Alan Hamilton Crothers (Queen's) 0-1 George Ernest Smith (St John's)
8 Dermot Michael Macgregor Morrah (New) 0-1 Charles Edward Taylor (Trinity)
9 Sir Richard Barnett (Wadham) ½-½ Harold John Snowden (Queens')
10 Napier Baliol Scott (Christ Church) 0-1 Leonard Illingworth (Trinity)
11 John Rowland Hanning (New) 0-1 John Brown (Sidney Sussex)
12 E Maxwell (Christ Church) 1-0 Dr Vickerman Henzell Rutherford (Sidney Sussex)
13 Hon. Frederick Gustavus Hamilton-Russell (Christ Church) 0-1 Frederick Russell Hoare (Trinity)
14 Arthur Hereford Wykeham George (New) 0-1 George Cecil Ives (Magdalene)

[BCM, January 1927, p 10]"At the City of London Chess Club on the afternoon of December 18th [1926] a match was played between teams of 14 a-side drawn from past members of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Neither side was quite representative, notable absentees being H. E. Atkins for Cambridge, and E. M. Jackson and J. A. J. Drewitt for Oxford ; but it is always difficult in this fixture to get teams approaching full strength.

"The victory of the Light Blues was expected ; and they showed no mercy to their opponents, starting off with 4 wins and ending up with a score of 9-4, with one game to be adjudicated, Tattersall and Wheatcroft not being able to come to a decision about their difficult end-game." (board 2 adjudicated - result given in Sergeant, p305)

File updated

Date Notes
3 March 2022 Original upload.
11 February 2023 Added report from BCM, April 1927.
All material © 2022 John Saunders