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John Saunders


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Tournament: 96th Varsity Match • Venue: RAC Club, Pall Mall, London • Date: 18 March 1978
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1977 • Forward to 1979 • last edited: Thursday May 30, 2019 0:39 AM

The 96th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 18 March 1978. The sponsors were Lloyds Bank. Match arbiter Harry Golombek. Five full game scores available (boards 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8) - can anyone supply other scores?

Bd Oxford University
Cambridge University
Opening, No. of Moves
1w David Simon Charles Goodman (Keble)
IM Andrew Jonathan Mestel (Trinity)
Old Indian, 49
2b Hugh Dugald Macpherson (Merton)
IM Shaun Mark Taulbut (Downing)
French Def, 28
3w Michael Cyril Truran (Oriel)
Emmanuel Rayner (Trinity)
King's Indian D, 19
4b Peter John Sowray (Exeter)
Colin Stamford Crouch (Christ's)
French Def, 32
5w Jonathan Christopher Benjamin (Hertford)
Graham Duncan Hillyard (Caius)
Caro-Kann, 39
6b Peter Ashley Clifford Varley (St Peter's)
Simon John Bradley Knott (Trinity)
English, 34
7w Geoffrey Moore (Wadham)
Paul Russell Davies (Trinity)
Sicilian, 29
*b Annette Elfriede Rosalie Imma Rogers (Somerville)
Jane Anson (Trinity Hall)
Two Knights' Def, 31

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, May 1978; CHESS, May 1978; Mike Truran


* For the first time, a 'ladies board' was played. This only counted as a tie-breaker until 1982, when it became an integral part of the match.

BCM, May 1978, p214, gives the match results in full and lists the Cambridge board six as 'Simon Knight (Trinity)' but Golombek in his BCM report had already mentioned the far more plausible Simon Knott. Also, The Guardian, 20 March 1978, gives the Cambridge board six as 'S.J.B. Knott (Trinity)'. Gaige has followed the BCM match result and given 'Simon Francis Knight (Trinity)' but I (JS) have decided that Knott is the more likely candidate.

Time control: 50/2h30m, 20/15m, all/10m.

Captains: Truran (Oxford) and Davies (Cambridge)

CHESS, April 1978, p197: "The addition of a ladies' board is an interesting innovation which will probably become a permanency. The match was played under the hospitality of Mr. H.G. Mutkin at the R.A.C. Club, sponsored by Lloyd's Bank and the Slater Foundation. There is a query whether the solid gold cup donated by the late Miss Margaret Pugh for annual tenure by the winners of this match and probably worth £3,000 today has disappeared."...

CHESS, May 1978, p256: "EUREKA! With reference to the article in the April issue of CHESS on the Oxford v Cambridge match, I am happy to inform you that I have succeeded in finding the supposedly lost Margaret Pugh trophy. It has subsequently been presented (temporarily) to Paul Davies, this year's winning Cambridge captain, and it is now in a safe place where it will remain until next year's match. Michael Egan, Vice-President, Cambridge University CC, Cambridge, 9 May 1978."

File Updated

Date Notes
2018 First uploaded
30 May 2019 Added the game Truran-Rayner. Many thanks to Mike Truran.


All material © 2018 John Saunders