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John Saunders


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Event: 78th Varsity Match • Venue: RAC, Pall Mall, London • Date: 19 March 1960
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1959 • Forward to 1961 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 9:47 AM

The 78th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London, on 19 March 1960. Match adjudicators were Leonard Barden and Bob Wade. Only one game score from this match is available - can anyone supply others?

1959«     1960 Varsity Chess Match     »1961
Bd Oxford University 1960 Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1w John Maxwell Bailey (Queen's) ½-½ Kenneth William Lloyd (Selwyn) Ruy Lopez
2b Adrian Swayne Hollis (Christ Church) ½-½ Michael Davis (Trinity) Sicilian
3w Arthur Hall (Queen's) ½-½ Roger Fletcher (Selwyn) Grünfeld
4b John Walter F May (Queen's) 0-1 Philip James Meade (Queens') Benoni
5w Geoffrey Michael Boyce (Christ Church) 1-0 David Bruce Pennycuick (Clare) QP Chigorin
6b William Turner (Lincoln) 0-1 David Graham Wells (Trinity Hall) King's Indian Def
7w John Kenneth Footner (Queen's) 1-0 Michael Robert Brierley Clarke (Caius) King's Indian Def

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 21 March 1960; The Guardian, 21 March 1960; BCM, April 1960, p105; Philip Meade (game score and photo).


1962 Cambridge University chess team
Cambridge University 1959/60. Back row, left to right: DG Wells, DB Pennycuick, MRB Clarke, PJ Meade.
Front row, left to right: M Davis, KW Lloyd, R Fletcher.
Photo kindly lent by Philip Meade.

[BCM, April 1960, pps 105-6 - Report by Bruce Hayden] "Oxford and Cambridge Universities again drew their annual match over seven boards this year when it was played at the Royal Automobile Club, London. A feature of this year's event was the number of new players: Oxford had only the three top board men remaining from last year's drawn match and Cambridge had two freshmen on Boards 6 and 7. The results were as follows, Oxford having the white pieces on the odd-numbered boards: [see above] For the greater part of the seven hours' play it seemed likely that Oxford would emerge the winners. The first game to finish was a win for their team when Boyce, on Board 5, who had neatly won a pawn in the middle-game, as neatly capitalized this in an ending with Bishops of unlike colour. This was followed by a draw on Board 3, where Hall had mounted a strong King's-side attack but was held in good style by Fletcher, whose resourceful defence gave prospects of wresting the initiative. Then Footner scored another win for Oxford on Board 7, where Clarke, though a Cambridge freshman, has brought experience of playing in the international Bognor premiers, surprisingly and incautiously made an attacking-Rook [sic] move only to discover immediately that he had been trapped into losing a Rook for minor piece.

"Meanwhile, the game on Board 2, which had been a sharply contested struggle between the two talented players, Hollis and Davis, now ended in a draw. Davis had seized the initiative against Hollis's Sicilian Defence by an imaginative sacrifice of the King's Bishop's pawn for acute King's-side pressure. Hollis met the assault with a steady defence to bring the score to 3-1 in Oxford's favour. The reversal of the Oxford fortunes started with a loss on Board 4. Here the Canadian player, May, who has resumed match play only this year, had achieved the superior position when he blundered to lose a pawn. Nevertheless he still held distinct winning chances but followed with another and this time fatal blunder by which he lost Queen for Rook and Bishop and thereafter was never able to recover. This loss reduced the Oxford score to 3-2, but their hopes were still high. Of the two remaining games the position on Board 6 was level and on the top board the Oxford man, Bailey, had a winning position with a pawn extra. In this game the redoubtable Lloyd had adopted a variation of the Möller Defence at the expense of a loose pawn structure. Bailey went on to win a second pawn but in so doing made an unfortunate transposition which led to his losing Rook for minor piece. With two extra pawns in hand he still held a safe draw in hand but now on Board 6 there was a further setback for Oxford. Turner was in acute time-trouble and his position rapidly worsening. Exchanges brought the position to an end-game of equal pawns, each player having a Knight but any drawing chances were soon destroyed by Wells, who wound up the game to win in incisive style. Bailey thereupon strove for the winning full point by relinquishing his extra pawn to establish a dangerous pawn on the seventh rank - but without avail. This was the only game unfinished at the call of time and it was adjudicated drawn by Barden and Wade and with it the match ended after an eventful contest."

[The Times, 21 March 1960, p7]"OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE DRAW - FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT - The annual chess match between Oxford and Cambridge universities, which was played at the Royal Automobile Club, London, on Saturday, was drawn 3½—3½ after seven hours’ play in which for most of the time it seemed likely that Oxford would emerge the winners. Of the Oxford team in last year’s drawn match only the three top-board players remained, and Cambridge had two freshmen on boards 6 and 7."

[The Guardian, 21 March 1960 - probably Leonard Barden] "Oxford had the better of the play, and would have won with a little more steadiness. Bailey had a clear advantage and was a pawn ahead against Lloyd when he made an inadvertent transposition of moves which lost a rook for a knight, and May, in an even position, blundered away first a pawn and then his queen. There was an interesting game on board 2, where Davis built up an advantage but could not realise it against an excellent defence, while Wells on the sixth board steadily outplayed Turner and scored the best win of the match."

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