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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 30th Varsity Match • Venue: British Chess Club, 37 King Street, London • Date: Friday 21 March 1902
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1901 • Forward to 1903 • last edited: Monday December 11, 2023 11:39 PM

The 30th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at British Chess Club, 37 King Street, Covent Garden, London, on Friday 21 March 1902.

1901«     1902 Varsity Chess Match     »1903
Bd Oxford University   vs   Cambridge University
1b William Mitchell Grundy (All Souls') 0-1 Herbert Anthony Webb (Trinity)
2w Harold Francis Davidson (Exeter) 1-0 Francis William Clarke (Pembroke)
3b Henry Delacombe Roome (Merton) 1-0 Bertram Goulding Brown (Trinity)
4w James Reginald Wyndham Robinson (New) 0-1 Harry Bateman (Trinity)
5b Adolph Christian von Ernsthausen (Balliol) 0-1 Arthur Illtyd Prichard (Queens')
6w Hugh Taylor (Balliol) 1-0 Herbert Alfred Stead (Emmanuel)
7b Gilbert Walker (University) ½-½ Max Mark Lion Rittenberg (Caius)
  Venue: British Chess Club, 37 King Street, London 3½-3½ Date: 21 March 1902

Main sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), (compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987); Sergeant, Philip W, A Century of Chess (London 1934, referred to in the text as PWS); Ancestry.com; FindMyPast.com; Who Was Who 1897-2007; Wikipedia. All seven games are available in the download.



Saturday 1 February - Cambridge University 5½, Metropolitan 7½ (at Cambridge)
Monday 10 February - Cambridge University 5½, Hastings 4½ (at Cambridge)
Saturday 1 March - Cambridge University 6, City of London 10
Saturday 15 March - Cambridge University 4½, Hastings 2½

Monday 17 March - Combined Universities 6, Metropolitan 14
Tuesday 18 March - Combined Universities 11, British CC 9
Wednesday 19 March - Combined Universities 10½, City of London 12½
Wednesday 26 March - Cambridge University 7½, Ladies CC 2½

1902 Cambridge University v Ladies

1902 Cambridge University v Ladies Match
Bd Cambridge University   vs   Ladies' Chess Club
1 Francis William Clarke (Pembroke) 1-0 Mrs Rhoda Annie Bowles (née Knott)
2 (Creassey Edward) Cecil Tattersall (Trinity) 1-0 Mrs Frances Dunn Herring (née Gwilliam)
3 Harold Goodlake Softlaw (Trinity Hall) ½-½ Mrs Helen Eliza Sidney (née Truelove)
4 "Mr Fotheringham" * 0-1 Miss Read
5 Frederick Kimberley Lowenthal (Trinity Hall) ½-½ Mrs James
6 "Mr Clarke" 1-0 Mrs White
7 Arthur Illtyd Prichard (Queens') 1-0 Mrs Hannah Maria Joughin (née Blogg)
8 Herbert Alfred Stead (Emmanuel) 1-0 Miss Edith Mary Ann Tapsell (later Michell)
9 Major Francis Hooper Rawlins (Peterhouse) ½-½ Mrs Holmes
10 "Mr Smith" 1-0 Miss Renton
  Venue: 18 Somerset St, Portman Square, London  7½-2½  Date: 26 March 1902

* no way of telling which of the two Fotheringham brothers this was - Alexander Fotheringham (Emmanuel; 1876-1932) or David Ross Fotheringham (Queens'; 1872-1939)

BCM, 1902, p198: "On March 26th the Cambridge University Chess Club concluded its annual Metropolitan chess tour with the return match against a team of ladies, captained by Mrs. Rhoda Bowles, chess editor of Womanhood. The first match was played at Cambridge in June last year during Commemoration week, and a very close match resulted.

"This time the venue was 18, Somerset Street, Portman Square,-the residence of Mrs. Ada S. Ballin, and among the numerous chess enthusiasts who witnessed the play were Misses Catlin (Cambridge), Mrs. Rose Johnson (Brighton), Mrs. Glenfield, Mrs Fulham Hughes, Misses Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. H. N. Pillsbury, Mr. and Mrs. Mocatta, Messrs. W. W. White, Grevatt, &c.

"The University team, which was comprised of past and present members, was very strong, including such experienced strong players as Messrs. Tattersall, Softlaw, Fotheringham, Lowenthal, and Major Rawlins; but the ladies made a very stubborn fight, Miss Read winning cleverly against Mr. Fotheringham, while Mrs. Sidney, Mrs. James, and Mrs. Holmes each played steadily and well against their opponents. Mrs. Herring also gave her formidable opponent considerable trouble before surrendering.

"At the call of time the unfinished games were adjudicated by Mr. Pillsbury, who then gave the assembled company several remarkable illustrations of his mental powers. The first illustration was the placing of a Knight upon any of the squares of the chessboard that the company might select, and then, without sight of the board, Mr. Pillsbury rapidly dictated move after move by which the Knight, without covering any one square twice, covered each one of the sixty-four squares in turn. In the next illustration a pack of cards was shuffled and about twenty dealt out, each card being called. Mr. Pillsbury not seeing the cards simply listened, and then rapidly and accurately called off all the remaining cards that had not been dealt. Then a list of thirty words and names, some of them most fantastic, were written down by the company, and after the list had been read over he answered correctly all enquiries as to what name appeared against particular numbers and vice versa, and then in conclusion gave the whole list backwards in proper order. These feats were all accomplished by memorising efforts alone, and bear striking testimony to the remarkable development of his mental powers, which have already become world-famous by his successful achievement of twenty games of chess played sans voir. It was a most successful and pleasant social chess function, reminiscent of the.events which marked the early years of ladies, practical participation in chess matches."

File updated

Date Notes
17 April 2022 Original upload. Biographical details and match reports to be added later.
All material © 2022 John Saunders