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John Saunders


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Tournament: 128th Varsity Match • Venue: RAC Club, Pall Mall, London • Date: 6 March 2010
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John Saunders reports: The 128th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 6 March 2010. The match sponsor was Henry Mutkin and match arbiter was David Sedgwick.

2009«     2010 Varsity Chess Match     »2011
Bd Oxford University Rating Nat 2010 Cambridge University Rating Nat
1b Gustavo German (Worcester) 2515 ARG ½-½ Gabor Pinter (Queens') 2349m HUN
2w Athanasios Tsanas (St Cross) 2264 GRE 1-0 Li Wu (Churchill) 2344 ENG
3b Michael Healey (University) 2089 ENG 0-1 Peter Roberson (Churchill) 2256 ENG
4w Steffen Schaper (Exeter) 2010e GER 1-0 Sven Quist (Homerton) 2141c GER
5b Szymon Pozimski (St Peters) 2066e POL ½-½ J Stuart Robertson (Trinity) 2120e ENG
6w Graham Morris (St Anne's) 2034 ENG 0-1 Mikhail Tyomkyn (Corpus) 2111 GER
7b Yangshi Yu (Exeter) 1978 ENG 1-0 Richard Lee (Christ's) 2058e ENG
8w Agnese Salputra (Keble) 1730e LAT 0-1 Selina Khoo (Murray Edwards) 1981 ENG
  Av. Rating 2086     4-4 Av. Rating 2170    

Captains were Yi-Ming Lai (Oxford) and Tariq Hassen Oozeerally (Cambridge).

The match commenced at 12.30pm, with the time control set at 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by one hour for all remaining moves.

First blood to Oxford at 4.15pm... Athanasios Tsanas beat Li Wu. Then Cambridge levelled on board eight. Cambridge did much better in the middle part of the match and proceeded to a one-point lead with one game to go, on board four.

Steffen Schaper was the man who needed to win to tie the match. After a long rook and pawn endgame, he managed to do so - thus the match was a 4-4 draw.

The Bob Wade brilliancy prize went to Yangshi Yu for his finish against Richard Lee (who was also commended for his tactical play by GM Jon Speelman). Steffen Schaper received the best game prize for his win in the final game to finish. The overall scores in the series (which started in 1873) are Cambridge 56 wins, Oxford 52 wins and now 20 drawn matches.

© 2010 John Saunders, all photos and text - not to be used without permission