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Event: 64th Varsity Match • Venue: Lud-Eagle CC • Date: 18 March 1946 • last edited: Monday November 16, 2020 1:33 AM
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The 64th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at St Brides' Institute on 18 March 1946. No game scores from this match are available.

Bd Oxford University 1946 Cambridge University Openings
1w Leonard Judah Richenberg (Corpus Christi) 1-0 Kenneth Preston Charlesworth (Emmanuel) Dutch
2b David le Brun Jones (Trinity) 0-1 John Edward Richardson (Jesus) QGD
3w Robin Charles Oliver Matthews (Corpus Christi) 1-0 James Malcolm Mitford Veitch (St John's) QP
4b Edward James Barry Harmer (Wadham) ½-½ John Robert Gilbert (St Catharine's) Sicilian
5w John Ouvry Lindfield Roberts (Wadham) 0-1 John Harwood (Queens') QGD
6b John Edwin Jones (Hertford) 1-0 Francis Henry Charles Marriott (Emmanuel) English
7w Richard Shermer Lankester (Jesus) 1-0 Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer (Trinity) Queen's Indian

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 19 March 1946; BCM, May 1946, p149; CHESS, May 1946, p183.


Venue: Lud-Eagle Chess Club, St Bride's Institute. Adjudications by Sir George Thomas (boards 1 and 3)

[The Times, 19 March 1946, p6] "CHESS VICTORY FOR OXFORD - The chess match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities took place at the Lud-Eagle Chess Club, London, yesterday. Oxford had white on the odd-numbered boards and won by 4½ points to 2½. The results (Oxford names first) were:—..."

[BCM, May 1946, p149] "This has been Oxford University's year. Not only did they win the Boat race, but they also beat Cambridge at chess by 4½-2½. Here is the score. Played at Lud-Eagle Club on March 18th..."

Leonard Judah Richenberg (Corpus Christi) (1922-2000) (Gaige gives spelling as 'Reichenberg' but this is definitely wrong.) Company Director, Pan Polychord Ltd and others. Referred to as an "economics professor (sic) at Oxford and a former adviser to the MacMillan government" in the book "Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America" by Jonathan Gould, and managing director of the Triumph Investment Group which at one time owned 25% of the Beatles' business. Former member of the RAC Club chess circle. Schoolfriend of Kingsley Amis at City of London School: quote from Life of Kingsley Amis by Zachary Leader: "Richenberg and Amis had been friends and desk-mates since the third form and were stars of the Classical side. But both came to question the utility of a Classical education. Richenberg was good at maths and wanted to become a mathematician; Amis wanted to be a writer and was keen on studying English. In the end, only Amis made the switch. At Oxford, Richenberg read PPE at Corpus Christi, was awarded a double First, took a B.Litt. in economics, and became an economics don at Jesus College, though only for a year. He then moved to the Treasury as an economic adviser and eventually went into business, where he made and lost a great deal of money. He and Amis remained friends even after a misunderstanding over Amis’s novel I Want It Now (1968), in the first chapter of which a party is held at the home of a rich, celebrity-seeking couple named Reichenberg. Len Dowsett, Richenberg’s successor as School Captain, remembers him as brilliant, on one occasion playing and winning three simultaneous games of chess while blindfolded. [Denis] Norden describes him as ‘dazzling, the one we thought would leave a mark’." See also Quotes & Queries entries 5819, 5827 and 5833 in the 2007 BCM.

David le Brun Jones (1923-alive 2019). CB 1975; Director, Long Term Office, International Energy Agency, 1982-88. Educ: City of London Sch.; Trinity Coll., Oxford. Work: Asst Principal, Min. of Power, 1947; Principal, MOP, 1952; Asst Sec., Office of the Minister for Science, 1962; Asst Sec., MOP, 1963; Under-Sec., MOP, later Min. of Technology and DTI, 1968-73; Dep. Sec., DTI, later DoI, 1973-76; Cabinet Office, 1976-77; Dept of Energy, 1978-82. Trustee, Nat. Energy Foundn, 1989-99 (Who's Who). Regularly attends Varsity chess matches as a spectator (present in 2018). Made a short speech at the 2007 dinner, mentioning his 1942, 1946 and 1947 appearances. David Jones was a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during the war. Between Autumn 1943 and July 1945 he had been in Block F, working on Japanese Army and Air Force codes.

Robert (Robin) Charles Oliver Matthews (1927-2010). Economist and chess problemist. Wikipedia. Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, Professor of Political Economy at Oxford from 1965 to 1975, Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge from 1980 to 1991, Master of Clare College, Cambridge from 1975 to 1993. Wrote two books on chess problems: Chess Problems: Introduction to an art (with M Lipton and JM Rice), 1963; and Mostly Three-Movers: Collected Chess Problems 1939-1993, Feenschach-Phénix, Aachen, 1995.

Edward James Barry Harmer (Wadham), (born 1922). Admitted to Lincoln's Inn, 1947. There was a correspondence player called JB Harmer, and an Oxford-based poet/writer called James Barry Harmer, but not clear if either of them is the player in question.

John Ouvry Lindfield Roberts (1925-2001). Nothing known of him.

John Edwin Jones (1922-1994) - comprehensive biography at Chess Devon - Known as 'Eddy. Won scholarship from Wolverhampton Grammar School to read Classics at Oxford. War service in Tank Regiment. Completed degree after the war, taught at St Chad's Choir School, Lichfield. Active in Staffordshire chess, late 1940s. Moved to Devon in 1951, teaching at King Edward VI School, Totnes, restarted the Totnes CC. Chess columnist for Western Morning News. Chess administrator for local clubs and Devon county for many years. Moved to Didsbury, Manchester, in 1966, to lecture at the local teacher training college. Cheshire delegate to NCCU. On retirement in 1977, returned to Totnes. Peak BCF/ECF grade was 3b, equivalent to 201-208.

Richard Shermer Lankester (8 Feb 1922—15 July 2018). Former Officer of the House of Commons (Telegraph death notice). 1966 photo of him as a House of Commons official. Attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, where he played chess and cricket and attended concerts with his father, a music publisher. He arrived at Jesus in Trinity 1941 to read a shortened course in Modern History, and obtained a First in his Part I exams in Trinity 1942. He spent the rest of the war with the Royal Artillery, serving in North Africa and Italy, returning to Jesus to graduate in 1947. 1947-87, career in Westminster – served in the Department of the Clerk of the House of Commons, co-edited The Table 1962-67, and worked in Strasbourg for the Council of Europe. In 1967 he was Clerk to the Committee investigating the Torrey Canyon disaster. He was successively Clerk of Standing Committees (1973-75), Clerk of Expenditure Committee (1975-79), and Clerk of Committees (1979-87). He established a system of departmental select committees for scrutinising the expenditure, administration, and policy of government departments, which was agreed by the House of Commons in June 1979. He established the Register of Members’ interests and was Registrar 1974- 87. (Jesus College Oxford, Alumni Magazine 2018)

Kenneth Preston Charlesworth (1918-2011) Beat Znosko-Borovsky in brilliant fashion in the 1947 BCF Premier Tournament, Harrogate, while scoring 3½/11 (game score discoverable here). Finished 3rd= in the 1946 BCF Major Open, Section 2 (crosstable here).

John Edward Richardson (1923-1949). British Boys' (Under 18) Champion, April 1940 (at his fourth attempt, acc. BCM). Attended Stowe School, Bucks, from where he won an open exhibition in history to Jesus College, Cambridge. "It is difficult to realise it is five [sic] years since Stowe schoolboy Jack Richardson won the last British Boys' Championship. In 1941, he confirmed this early promise by defeating Imre Konig, the Hungarian-born Yugoslav expert, in a six-game match. Now, A/B Richardson is serving on a destroyer in foreign waters. Post-war chess should find well to the fore." (CHESS, Sept 1944, p189). "I've just received an email from ... the Old Stoic's (Stowe old boys) office who told me that John Edward Richardson died aged 26 on 22nd October 1949." (Jon D'Souza-Eva, English Chess Forum, 11 Oct 2010) Died on 22 October 1949 in Bromley, according to BMD records, but in Italy according to the Old Stoics' Magazine for December 1949. Funeral held in Redstone Cemetery, Reigate - coincidentally where another British junior chess champion Jessie Gilbert (1987-2006) is buried.

James Malcolm Mitford Veitch (1926-2002). A Malcolm Veitch was a regular correspondent to BCM's Q&Q some years ago, and a player of the same name was based in the north of England, perhaps more recently.

John Robert Gilbert (1921 - 18 March 2011). Played in the 1946 and 1947 matches. "Gilbert (matr. 1940) [died] On 18 March 2011, John Robert Gilbert of Colwyn Bay, North Wales. John won a Scholarship to St Catharine’s from Epsom College, Surrey, and read Modern & Medieval Languages. His daughter Anne writes ‘My father was a keen chess player and, if any records of the chess club remain for the period he was at St Catharine’s, you may find his name there. He was called up during the war and served in the Intelligence Corps as a code breaker at Bletchley Park. He was a tax inspector his entire working life from 1947 to retirement in 1981.’ According to the College Magazine, he won the Naumann Cup at the Metropolitan Chess Club in 1948." (St Catharine's Magazine, 2011, p91)

Dr John (Jack) Harwood (died 2015/2016 - Queens' College publication, 2016). Matr. 1940, Queens'. Referred to as coming from Doncaster in one chess result from the 1940s.

Francis Henry Charles Marriott (Emmanuel) (1926-2012). Educ. Charterhouse, matric. Emmanuel 1944 (maths), Diploma in Agricultural Science (1948), assistant lecturer, later lecturer, at Aberdeen University, and obtained a doctorate there in 1951, research post in the Department of Physiology, Oxford (1955-69), lectureship in the Department of Biomathematics, Oxford, with an associated Fellowship at Wolfson College. Keen chess and bridge player, the latter with his wife, Catherine (née Broadfoot), whom he married in 1946 and who predeceased him in 1990. (Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 2012) Played three times in the Scottish Chess Championship: in 1949 he scored 1/5 (Chess Scotland - including a photo); in 1955, 3/7 (Chess Scotland), and in 1964, scoring 3/9 (Chess Scotland).

Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer, later Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer (1927-2018). Wikipedia. Played in the 1946,1947,1948 and 1949 matches. Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Pure Mathematics, Cambridge University (Trinity and St Catherine's Colleges) (2004). Also an international bridge player. Son (born 2 viii 1927) of Sir Leonard Schroeder Swinnerton-Dyer (30 iii 1898 - 10 vi 1975), 15th bart., president of the British Chess Federation (1956-59)... "An occasional but welcome recruit to the top board for Shropshire was Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer (b.1927), the son of Sir Leonard Dyer. He has the distinction of being the only player to represent Shropshire who is mentioned in Modern Chess Openings (in the section on the rare Ponziani Opening). Sir Peter, 16th baronet and landowner of the Westhope Estate near Craven Arms, was later knighted for his outstanding contribution to Number Theory in his role as Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. Here he extricates himself from a bad opening against his well-known opponent and gains a pawn and then a piece when Black blunders in a bad position. In the early fifties Sir Peter gave up chess in favour of bridge. Swinnerton-Dyer,P - Wormald,R [B45] - Shropshire & Herefordshire v Worcestershire, 1951 Board 1 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.g3 Be7 7.Bg2 a6 8.0?0 0?0 9.Nb3 d6 10.Nd2? (intending to cramp Black for good with Nc4 followed by Ne3 but the manouvre is too slow and Black reacts vigorously) 10...d5! 11.exd5 exd5 12.Nb3 Bg4 13.Qd2 Bb4 14.a3 Bxc3 15.Qxc3 Rc8 16.Be3 Ne4 17.Qe1 Be6 18.c3 Nf6 19.Nc5 b6 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Qe2 b5 22.a4 bxa4 23.Qxa6 Qa5 24.Rxa4 Qxa6 25.Rxa6 e5 26.Bg5 e4 27.Bh3 Rc7 28.Bf4 Nb8? 29.Rxf6 1-0" [History of Shropshire Chess (web)] - English Chess Forum discussion

[BCM, Feb 1947, p57] "A match, Oxford Past v. Cambridge Past, was played in London on 21 December 1946 at St Bride's.

(for full details of this match and player biographies, see the 1947 Varsity match page)

All material © 2019 John Saunders