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John Saunders


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Event: 71st Varsity Match • Venue: National Chess Centre • Date: 28 March 1953
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1952 • Forward to 1954 • last edited: Sunday December 26, 2021 6:05 PM

The 71st Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the National Chess Centre, London, on 28 March 1953. All game scores from this match are available.

Bd Oxford University 1953 Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1w Daniel Abraham Yanofsky (University) 1-0 Neil McKelvie (Queens') Sicilian Dragon, 32
2b Leonard William Barden (Balliol) ½-½ Stefan Kruger (Trinity) KID Fianchetto, 47
3w Derek Geoffrey Horseman (Hertford) ½-½ Jeremy John Arthur Handley (Selwyn) Sicilian Wing Gambit, 39
4b David Malet Armstrong (Exeter) 1-0 Alan John Willson (St John's) QGD Semi-Tarrasch, 61
5w Henry Morton (Christ Church) 1-0 Anthony George Conrad Paish (Caius) KID Fianchetto, 33
6b David Leslie Barrett (Corpus Christi) 1-0 Peter Darrell Sanderson (Sidney Sussex) KID Fianchetto, 31
7w John Alexander (New) 0-1 David Malcolm (Caius) French/English, 49

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 30 Mar 1953, BCM, May 1953, p121 & CHESS, May 1953, p156.


Time Control (by analogy with 1954): 27 moves in 1½ hours, then 20 in an hour

[The Times, 30 March 1953, page 9] "5—2 WIN FOR OXFORD FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT When Oxford and Cambridge Universities began their annual chess match at the National Chess Centre in London on Saturday, the Oxford side were generally regarded as stronger. They soon established an advantage on most boards and their eventual win by 5—2 was a fair reflection of play. On the top board Yanofsky, perhaps the strongest first board Oxford has ever possessed, won a powerfully played game against McKelvie. His exploitation of centre control was well-nigh perfect. For a long time it looked as though Barden, on the second board, was going to follow Yanofsky’s example, for as early as move 14 he had won two minor pieces for a rook and pawn; but he could not evolve a winning plan and had to be content with a draw against Kruger’s resourceful play. On board 3 Horseman played with great dash against Handley but could not quite hammer his attack home. At the end Handley was trying to win, though the presence of bishops of opposite colour prevented him from utilizing his pawn majority. Willson on board 4 had quite a good game against Armstrong but weakened sadly in the ending, which he conducted much too passively. - PLANNED SACRIFICE - The fifth game was in many ways the best of the match, the final winning combination by which Morton gave up his queen for a rook and minor piece being very well considered. On board 6 the luck was with Oxford, as the Cambridge player was in a winning position until the last two moves, only to miss a clear winning line and then overlook that his opponent could capture a pawn and give check with disastrous consequences. There was a level struggle for some time on the last board until the Cambridge player out-manoeuvred his opponent to obtain a won rook and pawn ending."

"By winning this match Oxford not only draw level with Cambridge for the first time in the 50 years' series but they become the first holders of the Margaret Pugh Trophy - the gold cup recently presented by Miss Margaret Pugh, of Birmingham." (BCM)

Derek Geoffrey Horseman (born 6 May 1931, died 18 March 2010) - English Chess Forum.

Jeremy John Arthur Handley (born November 1930, Birmingham, died 8 April 2016, Bristol) - Director of Proctor and Gamble and Chairman of their Pension Fund Trustees. 1984-91, head of purchasing for Europe, Middle East and North Africa (based in Belgium).

"Dr. Neil McKelvie was born in Welwyn Garden City, England. He played 1st board while attending Cambridge. After coming to the United States to study at Columbia, he won the Connecticut State Championship in 1962 and the Manhattan Chess Club Championship in 1975 and 1979. He is User: ChemMac on the Chessgames website." (Chessgames.com)

Stefan Kruger - originally from Austria, settled in Australia. Twice New South Wales chess champion (1949 and 1951). Medic and music benefactor. See article here.

Anthony George Conrad Paish, better known as Tony Paish, received the English Chess Federation's President's Award in 2012.

Also played at the National Centre Centre, but on 18 April 1953... (sources: BCM, May 1953, p121 & June 1953, p158)

  Oxford University Past 1953 Cambridge University Past Opening
1b Theodore H Tylor (Balliol) 0-1 C Hugh O'D Alexander (King's) Pirc
2w Dr James M Aitken (Balliol) 0-1 P Stuart Milner-Barry (Trinity) Ruy Lopez
3b Dennis M Horne (Oriel) 0-1 Oliver Penrose (King's) Ruy Lopez
4w Richard H Newman (Worcester) ½-½ Denis V Mardle (Christ's) Sicilian
5b John W Cornforth (St Catherine's) ½-½ Irving John Good (Jesus) French
6w Alfred W Bowen (Oriel) 1-0 John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's) QGD
7b E Leslie Stuart (Merton) 1-0 John Dean (St Catharine's) QGA
8w William E B Pryer (Pembroke) 1-0 W D Lowe (Christ's) Sicilian
9b Nicholas Anthony Perkins (St John's) 1-0 John Robert Gilbert (St Catharine's) Sicilian
10w William E C Richards (Hertford) ½-½ William Rawson Greenhalgh (Pembroke) QGD
11b John Montgomerie (Corpus Christi) ½-½ Eric A Coad-Pryor (Trinity) Colle
12w David LeBrun Jones (Trinity) 0-1 Richard William Barnes Clarke (Clare) Dutch Defence

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