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John Saunders


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Tournament: 80th Varsity Match • Venue: University of London Union, Malet Street • Date: 24 March 1962
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1961 • Forward to 1963 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 9:43 AM

The 80th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the University of London Union, Malet Street, London, on 24 March 1962. Only two game scores from this match are available - can anyone supply others?

1961«     1962 Varsity Chess Match     »1963
Bd Oxford University 1962 Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1w Adrian Swayne Hollis (Christ Church) ½-½ David Graham Wells (Trinity Hall) Nimzo-Indian
2b John Toothill (Queen's) 0-1 George Michael Sheldrick (Jesus) Ruy Lopez
3w John Kenneth Footner (Queen's) 1-0 Leonard Samuel Sunderland (Clare) Queen's Indian
4b John Walter F May (Queen's) 1-0 Christopher Baruch Wood (Emmanuel) French
5w Graham Coleridge Taylor (Worcester) 1-0 Philip Lawrence Roe (Christ's) Ruy Lopez
6b Roger William Morgan (Merton) ½-½ Philip James Meade (Queens') Catalan
7w Paul Doyle Yerbury (Jesus) ½-½ Steven James Franklyn Walsh (Jesus) Sicilian

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, May 1962, p130, CHESS, 30 March 1962, Vol.27/406, p206; The Times, 26 March 1962, p12; The Guardian, 26 March 1962, p3; Philip Meade (game score and photo); Christopher Wood email, 2005.


1962 Cambridge University chess team
Cambridge University Chess Club 1961/62. Back row, left to right: GM Sheldrick, CB Wood.
Front row, left to right: PL Roe, LS Sunderland, PJ Meade. Absent: SJF Walsh, DG Wells.
Photo kindly lent by Philip Meade.

[CHESS, 30 March 1962, Vol.27/406, p206] "Hollis established a knight on Q6 and appeared to have a considerable advantage but it came to nothing. May and Taylor won finely for Oxford. The more experienced Cambridge team was favoured to win but in fact the Oxford margin might have been still larger had not their two bottom boards agreed draws in favourable positions."

[The Times, 26 March 1962, p12] "OXFORD’S SURPRISE CHESS VICTORY FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT The annual chess match between Cambridge and Oxford universities, played on Saturday at the University of London Union, resulted in a win for Oxford by 4½ to 2½ after a lively contest in which much good chess was played.

"Oxford’s victory came as a surprise, since the Cambridge team was reckoned to be the more experienced, but it was convincing and the match might have gone even more in Oxford’s favour had not some members of the winning team contented themselves with draws once it became apparent that the match was theirs.


"Play on the top board went all in favour of Hollis, who established a knight on Q6 and looked to be winning comfortably; but he did not quite manage to secure a concrete advantage, and, with the prospects of an ending with bishops of opposite colour imminent, agreed a draw. Board 2 proved to be Cambridge’s only victory. Here Sheldrick obtained steady pressure out of the opening and was able to come down to a won rook and pawn ending. An interesting and good game was fought out on the next board, where Sunderland, after declining the offer of a pawn in the opening, got into a cramped position. He tried to break out from this by a desperate exchange sacrifice, but the Oxford third board conducted the attack too surely to allow his opponent any loophole of escape. May outplayed Wood on Board 4 in the early middle game and won much material. The game on board 5 was one of the brightest of the match, and Taylor won in pleasing style by a strong attack in the middle game. Both the games on the last two boards seemed almost certain wins for Oxford, and here the Cambridge players owed their half-points more to the state of the match than to the actual position on the boards. Morgan, in fact offered a draw when he still had excellent winning chances in the ending; while Yerbury, after conducting the earlier part of the game to such effect as to win a pawn, relaxed and allowed his opponent to win it back."

[The Guardian, 26 March 1962, p3] "Level with Cambridge - By our Chess Correspondent - Oxford won by 4½ to 2½ in the annual chess match against Cambridge at London University Union on Saturday. The two universities have now won an equal number of matches, which have been taking place for 78 years... [results] Although the teams were evenly matched on paper the course of play favoured Oxford from the opening moves and their players had the edge in all the drawn games. The exception was on board 2 where Sheldrlck, forewarned that his opponent had a liking for complicatons, began with the Exchange Variation af the Ruy Lopez. The queens disappeared from the board on the seventh move and Toothill was neatly out-played in a simplified ending. The hard-fought top board game was a good defensive showing by Wells against the internationally experienced Hollis. The Oxford captain Footner won the best game of the match transforming a space advantage into the gain of material in excellent style. Taylor also brought off a clever finish culminating in a queen sacrifice."

Paul Doyle Yerbury (born 1942) - played for Bermuda in the Olympiads of 1976 and 1978.

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