© 1997-2024
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Event: 56th Varsity Match • Venue: City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC • Date: 19 March 1932
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1931 • Forward to 1933 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 11:59 AM

The 56th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC, on 19 March 1932. All game scores from this match are available.

1931«     1932 Varsity Chess Match     »1933
Bd Oxford University 1932 Cambridge University
1w * [Alfred] Rupert [Neale] Cross (Worcester) 0-1 Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander (King's)
2b Emanuel Wax (New) 0-1 Richard William Barnes Clarke (Clare)
3w James Macrae Aitken (Balliol) ½-½ Peter Reid (St Catharine's)
4b Michael James Albery (Exeter) 0-1 Dr Michael Benger (Corpus Christi)
5w John Montgomerie (Corpus Christi) 1-0 Charles Alfred Coulson (Trinity)
6b William Pitkin Wallace (New) 1-0 James Edmund Frank Hope (Clare)
7w Nicholas Anthony Perkins (St John's) ½-½ John Metcalfe Coulson (Christ's)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1932, p162; The Times, 21 March 1932 (including all game scores)

Match notes: Cambridge fielded twin brothers Charles and John Coulson in their team.

[BCM, April 1932, p162] "The 56th Inter-’Varsity match took place at the City of London Chess Club on March 19, the running being much in sympathy with the boat race. Oxford took the lead straight away and scored 2½ points in the first hour. This was the limit of their success, for Cambridge notched 3½ out of the remaining four games and thus won the match by one length. This is Cambridge’s 26th win, against 24 by Oxford, with 6 drawn matches."


The fifty-sixth annual match between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will be played to-day at the rooms of the City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe-court, E.C., and play will begin at 2.15 p.m. The teams will be selected from the following players:-

Oxford University.—J. M. Aitken (Balliol). M. J. Albery (Exeter), Rupert Cross (Worcester), J. Montgomerie (Corpus Christi), E. Wax (New College), W. P. Wallace (New College), and either S.H. Llewellyn-Smith (New College) or N. A. Perkins (St. John's).

Cambridge University.—C.H. O'D. Alexander (King's), M. Benger (Clare), R. W. B. Clarke (Clare), C. A. Coulson (Trinity), J.A. Coulson (Christ's), J. E. Hope (Clare), P. Reid (St Catharine's), with I.M. Ainslie (St. Catharine's) as the reserve.

"This order is not to be taken as the playing order. The adjudicated result between Cambridge University and Ipswich (given in The Times on Thursday) completes the results of the two universities in their matches of the last two terms. Including the simultaueous displays given by Sir G. A. Thomas against both, Oxford University won seven matches to their opponents' nine, scoring 104 games to their opponents' 95. Cambridge University won seven and a half matchies to their opponents' seven and a half, scoring 87 games to 94. The percentage thus slightly favours Cambridge, and perhaps their first four boards may be slightly better than those of Oxford, but the incalculable element of nerves has had a habit of upsetting all one's preconceived ideas of this match. It, is a large assumption to suggest it will be absent to-day, but if there are no pronounced cases, the figures I have given may be the best guide to the result."

[The Times, 21 March 1932] "OXFORD BEATEN BY CAMBRIDGE FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT - The 56th 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., on Saturday, and ended in a victory for Cambridge by the odd game.

"Though this result bears out the underlying suggestion in my notes in The Times on Saturday, the earrly stages of the match indicated a hollow victory for Oxford, so much so that one of the Cambridge players suggested to me that they might score half a point, at the finish! This was just before the tea interval, when Oxford had scored two-and-a-half points out of the first three games finished. Perhaps then the doubtful position was on Board no. 4, but there was a distinct advantage on the first, and third boards and on the second board there was no cause for anxiety. How far over-confidence or nerves may have sent the Oxford University players on the wrong road hardly matters, but the fact remains that they proceeded to give all their advantage away, and their opponents won the just reward of a plucky uphill fight. The record now stands at Cambridge 26 wins, Oxford 24 wins; six matches have been drawn." (All seven game scores appended)

Oxford Past vs Cambridge Past, 19 December 1931 at City of London CC (13th match)

Bd Oxford University Past 1931 Cambridge University Past
1w Theodore Henry Tylor (Balliol) 1-0 William Hewison Gunston (St John's)
2b John Harold Morrison (Wadham) 0-1 John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's)
3w Edward Mackenzie Jackson (New) ½-½ (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry (Trinity)
4b George Shorrock Ashcombe Wheatcroft (New) 0-1 George Ernest Smith (St John's)
5w Philip Walsingham Sergeant (Trinity) 0-1 Eric Augustus Coad-Pryor (Trinity)
6b Richard Hilary Newman (Worcester) 1-0 Paul Ian Wyndham (Trinity)
7w Reginald Walter Bonham (St Catherine's) 1-0 Leonard Illingworth (Trinity)
8b Rev Arthur Eric Smith (St Edmund Hall) 1-0 Coventry Ernest Woodhouse (Pembroke)
9w Alan Hamilton Crothers (Queen's) ½-½ Rev William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke)
10b Joseph Francis Palmer Deller (Lincoln) ½-½ Philip L Sherman (Trinity)
11w Dermot Michael Macgregor Morrah (New) 1-0 Dr Vickerman Henzell Rutherford (Sidney Sussex)
12b Edward Paice (Merton) 1-0 George Cecil Ives (Magdalene)

Oxford past proved easily the better team v Cambridge past, at the City of London Chess Club on December 19 [1931]. As they obtained 6 points before their opponents scored, Cambridge may be congratulated on their plucky rearguard action. [BCM, January 1932, p12]

File updated

Date Notes
15 February 2022 Original upload.
All material © 2022 John Saunders