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John Saunders


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Tournament: 85th Varsity Match • Venue: University of London Union, Malet Street • Date: 18 March 1967
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1966 • Forward to 1968 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 9:34 AM

The 85th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the University of London Union, Malet Street, London, on 18 March 1967. Match adjudicators were Harry Golombek and Bob Wade. Only two game scores from this match are available - can anyone supply others?

1966«     1967 Varsity Chess Match     »1968
Bd Oxford University 1967 Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1w Andrew Jonathan Whiteley (Pembroke) ½-½ William Roland Hartston (Jesus) King's Indian Def, 31
2b Christopher Francis Woodcock (Balliol) 0-1 Alexander Munro Davie (Pembroke) Sicilian
3w Peter Joyce (St Peter's) ½-½ Barry Hopewell (Trinity) King's Indian Def
4b Roger de Lacy Holmes (Balliol) 0-1 Alexander Neil Brilliant (Selwyn) French Def
5w Graham Edward Clements (Jesus) 0-1 Alan Templeton Ludgate (Selwyn) Nimzo-Indian, 37
6b Paul Stephen Nicholas Kendall (Pembroke) 0-1 Nigel John Kalton (Trinity) QGD, 23
7w Jerome Valentine Ripp (Merton) ½-½ Philip Almond (Downing) Ruy Lopez

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 20 March 1967; BCM, May 1967, p129.

[BCM, May 1967, p129 - Golombek] "This match, which was held at the University of London Union in Malet Street on Saturday, March 18th, furnished no real surprises. Cambridge was expected to win—and it duly did so with some ease and without the wayward upsets that usually attend this meeting.

"In fact, the largeness of the margin by which the victors won was very impressive. After all, in Whiteley and Woodcock, Oxford possesses two of the most promising juniors in the country; but not only were these top two boards more than held, but Oxford was quite outclassed on the lower boards. Hence the defeat by the almost unprecedented amount of 5½-1½, with not a single win going to the losing side.

"First blood came to Cambridge on Board 6 where the Oxford player soon lost a piece and resigned on the 23rd move. It looked as though the first board was going to go the same way as Whiteley was under distinct pressure. But Hartston seemed well content with the draw which was agreed shortly after the end of the game on Board 6.

"Then Cambridge scored another win on Board 5, where Ludgate chased his opponent’s King right up to QKt7 [b7] until mate was delivered. This was certainly the most amusing game of the match.

"The three games on Boards 2-4 were not finished when time was called and were duly adjudicated by Wade and myself. The second board game had looked at one stage as almost theoretically won for the Oxford player but he did not seem to make the most of his advantage and on adjudication the game had to be given to Davie who was material to the good without any longer being in danger from an attack.

"For some time too it had been clear that Brilliant had a won ending on Board 4; but the game on Board 3 was quite another story. Here at one time the Oxford player had been two safe pawns up and looked headed straight for Oxford’s only victory. But the last half hour of play saw him dissipate all his advantage by a series of indifferent moves and the adjudicators were unable to find more than a draw for him.

"All things considered, play was well up to the average for these events. If there were no great games there were no great blunders and with young players abounding in both sides there is the prospect of improvement and development."

[The Times, 20 Mar 1967]: "... on top board Hartston gained some advantage over Whiteley but bishops of opposite colour brought about a draw in 31 moves. This game finished shortly after that on Board Six where Kalton won a piece in the early middlegame and his opponent resigned on the 23rd move. Cambridge had the brightest win on Board Five where Ludgate pursued his adversary's king as far as QKt7 before administering mate. A draw on the bottom board left three games for adjudication. On the second board Woodcock failed to make the most of his attack against Davie and had a lost ending. Holmes too had a hopeless ending against Brilliant; but the Oxford third board, after a clearly won position, weakened towards the end and had to be content with a draw."

Nigel John Kalton (20 June 1946, Bromley, Kent - 31 August 2010, Columbia, Missouri) - Wikipedia

Roger de Lacy Holmes (born 1948) - played in the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Varsity Chess Matches. Active in (mostly) junior chess in the 1960s but not thereafter as far as can be ascertained. Sometimes confused with two other players with exactly the same name - Richard Frank Holmes (1928-2007) and Richard Frank Holmes (born 1962) - who were active in Cambridge chess in the 1950s/1960s and 1980s respectively. All three were/are of similar strength as players. The younger R F Holmes returned to active chess in the 2010s.

File Updated

Date Notes
2018 Original upload
14 April 2022 Added the game N.Kalton 1-0 P.S.N. Kendall, kindly contributed by Gerard Killoran.
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