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John Saunders


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Tournament: 104th Varsity Match • Venue: RAC Club, Pall Mall, London • Date: 8 March 1986
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1985 • Forward to 1987 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 8:38 AM

The 104th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 8 March 1986. The sponsors were Lloyds Bank. Only three game scores available (boards 1, 4 and 5) - can anyone supply other scores?

1985«     1986 Varsity Chess Match     »1987
Bd Oxford University Rating 1986 Cambridge University Rating
1b Colin Anderson McNab (Queen's) (219) ½-½ Stephen David Bell (Emmanuel) (220)
2w James Clifford Howell (Jesus)   ½-½ Andrew Charles Louis Dyson (Trinity) (214)
3b Peter Kenneth Wells (Jesus) (217) 0-1 David John Walker (Trinity) (212)
4w Kenneth Shovel (Wadham) (213) 1-0 David John Watts (Sidney Sussex) (204)
5b Neil F Dickenson (Hertford) (212) 1-0 David Douglas Alexander Lawson (Trinity) (175)
6w Dr. William Henry Gnam (Balliol)   ½-½ Robert C Cannings (Trinity)  
7b Paul J Hallett (Lady Margaret Hall) (166) 1-0 Richard T Blackwell (Queens') (184)
8w Anita Rakshit (St Hilda's)   1-0 Laura Jane Rachel Cohen (Newnham) (128)

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, May 1986, p216-217; Colin McNab.

Play 1-6pm. Time control: 45 moves in 2½ hours, 15 minutes for 20 moves; 10 minutes for all remaining moves.

The universities also met in the final of the 1986 National Club Championship:

  Oxford University 3-3 Cambridge University
1b William Nicholas Watson 0-1 (Andrew) Jonathan Mestel
2w Jonathan Paul Levitt ½-½ Stephen David Bell
3b Colin Anderson McNab 1-0 David Douglas Alexander Lawson
4w David H Cummings ½-½ David John Walker
5b Kenneth Wingate Regan 1-0 David John Watts
6w Dr William Henry Gnam 0-1 Matthew A Eke
    3-3 Cambridge won on board count

Obituary - Anita Rakshit (BCM, April 1992, p193)

"We are sad to report the recent death of Anita Rakshit, aged 28. Anita, starting at London's Central YMCA in the late 70s, played in the British junior championships and the British Ladies as well as being a regular player at many congresses around the country. A popular member of Centymca, and its reincarnation the Barbican club, she took prizes in a succession of club and London competitions and made a welcome contribution as an organiser. Anita's most notable chess successes were playing for Oxford University, where she studied chemistry at St Hilda's. She scored 2½/3* in successive years in the Varsity match, at least one of her wins being the deciding game in the match. She also became the first woman president of Oxford University chess club. Those who knew Anita, however, will remember her most for her irrepressible cheerfulness. Her selflessness and bravery in her two-year fight against cancer were only too evident in that those who met her during that time seldom realised how ill she was. A threat to enliven a particularly dull afternoon's play in the Watson, Farley and Williams tournament last year by removing her wig went sadly unfulfilled, but her long-running campaign to make GM William Watson chief tea-maker for Barbican chess club will be continued. Jane Seymour" (* in fact her overall score was 2½/4 from 1983-6, and neither of her wins was the deciding game of a match) (Anita Rakshit, b 21 Jan 1962, d Jan 1992, according to death records but born 1st quarter of 1963 according to birth records)

File Updated

Date Notes
2017 Original upload
18 July 2020 Added the game Bell-McNab - thanks to Colin McNab
23 January 2023 Added detail about the National Club Final match.
All material exc. obit. © 2017 John Saunders