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Tournament: 118th Varsity Match • Venue: RAC Club, Pall Mall, London • Date: 4 March 2000
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John Saunders reports: The 118th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 4 March 2000. The match sponsors were Tony Buzan and Henry Mutkin.

Bd Oxford University Rating Nat 2000 Cambridge University Rating Nat
1b Ruth Sheldon (Keble) 2280wg ENG ½-½ Harriet Hunt (St John's) 2448m ENG
2w Aleksandar Trifunovic (St Anne's) 2260 ENG 0-1 Karl Mah (Pembroke) 2412m ENG
3b Ben Savage (Lady Margaret Hall) 2160 ENG ½-½ Brian Kelly (Trinity) 2421m IRL
4w Zhidas Daskalovski (St Anthony's) 2200e MKD ½-½ James Vigus (Clare) 2273f ENG
5b Joel Eklund (University) 2200e SWE 1-0 David Moskovic (Queens') 2247 ENG
6w Tim Chesters (Balliol) (2090) ENG ½-½ Joe Conlon (Christ's) (2215) ENG
7b Shashi Jayakumar (Balliol) (2065) SIN 0-1 Nathan Alfred (King's) 2200 ENG
8w Kieran Smallbone (New) 2115 ENG ½-½ Rohan Churm (King's) 2168 ENG
  Av. Rating 2171.2 approx.     3½-4½ Av. Rating 2298.0 approx    

One very notable milestone: two women contested the top board for the first time. The team lists as originally submitted showed each of them on board two - it has been speculated that they both did so in order to avoid meeting the other - but, when it was found that they were facing each other anyway, they were both switched to the higher board, as was appropriate as the highest rated players of their teams.

For the first time in the match's history a live audio webcast commentary was provided, by GM Julian Hodgson for Mind Sports Worldwide, in an adjoining room. There were no further live commentaries on the match until 2017.

© 2000 John Saunders, all photos and text - not to be used without permission