© 1997-2024
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 86th Varsity Match • Venue: University of London Union, Malet Street • Date: 23 March 1968
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1967 • Forward to 1969 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 9:32 AM

The 86th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the University of London Union, Malet Street, London, on 23 March 1968. All the game scores from this match are available.

1967«     1968 Varsity Chess Match     »1969
Bd Oxford University 1968 Cambridge University
1w Andrew Jonathan Whiteley (Pembroke) ½-½ William Roland Hartston (Jesus)
2b Christopher Francis Woodcock (Balliol) 0-1 Raymond Dennis Keene (Trinity)
3w George Steven Botterill (Pembroke) ½-½ Nicholas James Patterson (Trinity Hall)
4b Roger de Lacy Holmes (Balliol) ½-½ Nigel John Kalton (Trinity)
5w Jeremiah Harouni (St Catherine's) 0-1 John Neil Sugden (St John's)
6b Ronald Hanno Watson (Corpus Christi) 0-1 David Jonathan Strauss (St Catharine's)
7w Jerome Valentine Ripp (Merton) ½-½ Alan Richard Bracher (Pembroke)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 25 March 1968; BCM, May 1968, p130.

[BCM, May 1968, p130 - Golombek] "This took place on Saturday, March 23rd, at the University of London Union in Malet Street, It was known beforehand that the odds were very much in Cambridge's favour; for, in addition to the well-tried strength of last year there was the added power of such players as Keene and Sugden. Valiantly though Oxford fought, the issue was never in doubt. Oxford had White on the odd-numbered boards, having won the toss for colour; but this was about all they did win and in the end they lost the match by 2-5, without winning a single game. The first game to finish was that on Board 5, where Harouni over-reached himself against Sugden and shortly afterwards Keene won in good style on Board 2 against Woodcock. This game was very characteristic of Keene's method of play with a strong attack maturing after the most careful preparation."

"On the top board there was a repeat performance of last year with Hartston having the better of the opening and early middle-game. He seemed, however, to lose the thread of the game at the vital stage and this allowed Whiteley to emerge with rather the better ending, the draw being agreed on the 37th move. Three more draws, but no wins, came Oxford's way; though how Patterson managed to survive from what seemed a hopeless position on Board 3 still puzzles me. The last game of all to finish was that on the sixth board, where the Cambridge player exerted lasting pressure out of the opening to force a win on the 47th move. Sad to relate, it was against a Caro Kann Defence that this was achieved and it seems somehow a betrayal of faith to learn, as I did for the first time during the match, that the Cambridge sixth board was a distant relative of mine. Play was, I thought, well up to, possibly better than, the average of the past and, so that the reader can judge for himself, I give all seven games after the detailed results."

[University Chess 1968/69 (British Universities Chess Association bulletin), Ed. Hartston/Keene]

THE VARSITY MATCH by Julian Kirk O'Grady

"The 1968 Varsity Match was held at the London University Union on Saturday March 23rd and was perhaps a slight anticlimax in that its course was very much as predicted both in the margin of the expected Oxford defeat and the results of the individual encounters. Your correspondent's main enjoyment was speculating on the reasons for the presence of an extremely antique clergyman and a hearing-aided gentleman who did not look at the games, nor apparently moved throughout."

File Updated

Date Notes
2018 First uploaded.


All material © 2018 John Saunders