© 1997-2020
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Event: (unofficial) Varsity Match • Venue: Oxford • Date: [day ? month ?] 1944 • last edited: Friday March 6, 2020 10:05 PM
List of Varsity MatchesBack to 1942 (Unofficial), 1939 (official) • Forward to 1945 (unofficial), 1946 (official)

This unofficial Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held in Oxford on [day?] [month?] 1944. No game scores from this match are available.

Bd Oxford University
Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1 Valentine Grieve (St John's)
Klaus Friedrich Roth (Jesus)  
2 Anthony Maitland Spence (Trinity)
Leonard Charles Walters (St Catharine's)  
3 John Ouvry Lindfield Roberts (Wadham)
Edwin Darnley Clements (St Catharine's)  
4 Sohrab Ardeshir (Hertford)
Michael Barker Glauert (Trinity)  
5 Christopher Taylor (Merton)
Leonid Mitlin (Emmanuel)  
6 William Timothy Whiffen (St John's)
Christopher Anderson Webb (Jesus)  
7 Adrian David Hugh Bivar (Corpus Christi)
David Russell Bland (Trinity)  

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1944, p87.



Venue: Oxford. Colours, openings not known.

[BCM, Apr 1944, p87] "The Inter-Varsity Chess match was played at Oxford this year, on seven boards, as usual. It was a very close match, and the result was a draw, the score being 3½-3½. The detailed scores were [as above - Grieve is shown as Oxford captain, Bivar the Oxford sec., Walters the Cambridge captain and Glauert the Cambridge sec.]. It is pleasant to be able to report the revival of this old-established fixture, which had lapsed for several years*. Mr. T. H. Tylor, of Balliol College, acted as referee and adjudicator for the match." [* only one year, in fact. There was no match in 1943 but unofficial matches were held in 1940, 1941 and 1942.]

Valentine Grieve (St John's) (1926-1998). Solicitor, Manchester. Known as Val Grieve, very active in the church in Manchester and very well documented online.

Anthony Maitland Spence (1925-1950). RNVR during war, married Dec 1949, died barely seven months later.

John Ouvry Lindfield Roberts (1925-2001). Doctor.

Sohrab Ardeshir (1919?-1997) - commoner, Hertford, 1938. Barrister.

Christopher Taylor.

William Timothy Whiffen (1925-2010). Clergyman. Canon. Former Vicar of St. Mary's, Woughton-on-the-Green and lately of Lovat Fields Village, Willen Park, after spending some time in Sri Lanka.

Adrian David Hugh Bivar (1926-2015). Professor of Iranian Studies, SOAS, London University. Numismatist. Wikipedia.

Klaus Friedrich Roth (1925-2015). German-born British mathematician and first British winner of the Fields Medal. After Cambridge, research at UCL. Professor at University College London in 1961, and moved to a chair at Imperial College London in 1966, a position he retained until official retirement at 1988. He then remained at Imperial College as Visiting Professor until 1996. Wikipedia. Published problemist - BCM, Jan 1945, p28 (Mate in 4 - 8/8/8/5p2/3P1N2/4NP2/6K1/2B1k3 w - - 0 1) - also endgame studies - viz. BCM, 1951, pps 225, 240, 305. "[After Cambridge] became a junior master at Gordonstoun, where he divided his spare time between roaming the Scottish countryside on a powerful motorcycle and playing chess with Robert Combe. On the first day of the first British Chess Championships after the war, Klaus famously went up to Hugh Alexander, the reigning champion, to tell him that he would not retain his title. He was of course right -- the previously largely unknown Robert Combe became the new British Champion." (Imperial College obit, 2015)

Leonard Charles Walters (1923?-2010?)

Edwin Darnley Clements (1923-2012). Worked in Meridian and Astronomy departments of the Royal Greenwich Observatory at Herstmonceux Castle from 1955 to 1982, retired to Guildford. Played chess for Hampshire, then for Guildford after retirement, "before encountering an age-old problem: 'I couldn't get to sleep after playing'" (obit online). Keen hill-walker.

Michael Barker Glauert (1924-2004). Professor of Mathematics at the University of East Anglia and co-author of a bridge book (Bridge Odds for Practical Players by Hugh Kelsey & Michael Glauert)

Leonid Mitlin (1922-86). Author, Pocket Book of Chemical Technology

Christopher Anderson Webb (1917-1975)

David Russell Bland (1926-2001). Author of books on mathematics, physics (wave theory). Taught at the Cranfield Institute of Technology, now Cranfield University.

All material © 2019 John Saunders