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Event: 66th Varsity Match • Venue: West London CC • Date: 20 March 1948
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1947 • Forward to 1949 • last edited: Monday March 18, 2024 11:07 AM

The 66th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at West London CC on 20 March 1948. Two game scores from this match are available (boards 1 and 4).

1947«     1948 Varsity Chess Match     »1949
Bd Oxford University 1948 Cambridge University Opening, No. of Moves
1b Dennis Morton Horne (Oriel) 1-0 Henry Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer (Trinity) Ruy Lopez
2w Alan Fraser Truscott (Magdalen) ½-½ Francis Henry Charles Marriott (Emmanuel) Reversed King's Indian
3b Leonard Judah Richenberg (Corpus Christi) 1-0 George Spencer Brown (Trinity) Sicilian
4w Harry Frederick Moxon (Lincoln) 1-0 Ian Lucas Bridges (King's) Sicilian
5b John Donald Niblett (Brasenose) 1-0 Ernst Robert Reifenberg (Trinity) Sicilian
6w Valentine Grieve (St John's) 1-0 Ivan Vladimir Idelson (Clare) French
7b Graham William Lines (University) 0-1 Elias Steelo Awad (Magdalene) Two Knights' Def

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; The Times, 22 March 1948; Manchester Guardian, 22 March 1948; BCM, May 1948, p158.


[The Times, 22 March 1948, p6] "UNIVERSITY CHESS - The Oxford and Cambridge chess match was played on Saturday at the West London Chess Club, and resulted in a win for Oxford by four points. The score was: Oxford, 5½; Cambridge, 1½. Oxford has only to win two more matches to be equal* with Cambridge in these encounters. The teams were:— [as above]" [* by the counting as later agreed this should be one more win rather than two - JS]

[Manchester Guardian, 22 March 1948] "OXFORD DEFEATS CAMBRIDGE - The annual chess mafch between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, which took place at the West London Chess Club on Saturday, ended in a victory for Oxford, by 5½ to 1½. They started off favourites partly because of the strength of their two top boards. Horne did not belie his reputation, for, in a defence to the Ruy Lopez, after exchanging queens, he began a bold attack against his opponent’s castled king's side and compelled resignation on the thirty-sixth move. Play on the fourth board finished after only fifteen moves, the Cambridge player failing in a Sicilian defence. Cambridge’s only win came on the bottom board."

[BCM, May 1948, p157] "Universities Week.—A match was played on March 6th between Oxford and London Universities at Imperial College Union, and won by Oxford by 6 games to 4, after 5 games were adjudicated. D. M. Horne beat K. F. Roth, A. F. Truscott lost to O. Penrose, and H. F. Moxon beat J. H. B. Bennett on the first three boards.

On the 15th the Combined Universities played the Insurance—and the match ended 10 all. The Universities had four graduates to help them. The first three boards resulted in A. F. Truscott beating G. C. Nurse, and N. A. Perkins (O.P.) and H. P. Swinnerton-Dyer (C.) drawing with D. G. Durham and W. Veitch respectively.

On the 16th, with two of the Hampstead side who could also have represented the Universities the match was won by Hampstead by 9-8. A. F. Truscott (O.) drew with A. W. Bowen. N. A. Perkins (O.P.) lost to D. B. Pritchard and H. P. Swinnerton-Dyer (C.) beat D. B. Scott were the result of the top three boards.

On the 16th their opponents were West London and the Combined team won by 12-8. D. M. Horne (O.) drew with E. G. Sergeant, A. F. Truscott (O.) beat F. Fischer and Dr. J. Dean (C.P.) lost to F. J. Carver on the first three boards.

On the 17th the Universities’ team beat Metropolitan by 11-9. The first three boards resulted as follows: D. M. Horne (O.) and J. Gilchrist drew. A. F. Truscott (O.) beat A. Bernfield and H. P. Swinnerton-Dyer (C.) beat J. M. Bee.

On the 19th, however, the Combined team lost to a strong team of the Civil Service by 7-13, though D. M. Horne (O.) beat R. J. Broadbent on board 1. Dr. J. W. Cornforth (O.P.) and H. P. Swinnerton-Dyer (C.) lost to E. G. Sergeant and N. A. Perkins respectively.

The Varsity match was played at the headquarters of the West London Club, and Oxford proved fairly easy winners, bringing their total wins to 27, against Cambridge 29, while 8 matches have been drawn. [n.b. Oxford now deemed to have won 28 matches - JS] [results and game score of Swinnerton-Dyer v Horne given]

CHESS, Vol.13, no.151, April 1948, p189: "Board 6 [Grieve-Idelson] was won on the clock in a position Sir George Thomas deemed drawn."

Oxford Past v Cambridge Past, 20 December 1947, [St Bride's?] London

Bd Oxford University Past 20.12.1947 Cambridge University Past
1b Dr James Macrae Aitken (Balliol) ½-½ William Winter (Clare)
2w Theodore Henry Tylor (Balliol) ½-½ John Matthias Bee (St Catharine's)
3b Richard Hilary Newman (Worcester) 1-0 Eugene Ernest Colman (Trinity)
4w John W Cornforth (St Catherine's) ½-½ David Bernard Scott (Magdalene)
5b Dr. Michael James Steuart Dewar (Balliol) 0-1 Roland Hartnett (Downing)
6w William Ernest Baker Pryer (Pembroke) ½-½ John Dean (St Catharine's)
7b Thomas Ivor Casswell (Pembroke) 0-1 Mervyn Edward Wise (Pembroke)
8w Joseph Francis Palmer Deller (Lincoln) 0-1 Eric Augustus Coad-Pryor (Trinity)
9b Napier Baliol-Scott (Christ Church) 0-1 John David Solomon (Downing)
10w Dermot Michael Macgregor Morrah (New) 1-0 Lionel Sharples Penrose (St John's)
11b Michael James Albery (Exeter) 1-0 John Robert Gilbert (St Catharine's)

[BCM, February 1948, p42] "A match between Oxford Past and Cambridge Past was played in London on 20 December [1947]. Cambridge had White on the odd boards and won by 1 point."

File Updated

Date Notes
2019 First uploaded
20 November 2020 Added some commentary sent by Leonard Barden, for which many thanks.
22 December 2021 Biographical material has been moved to the Varsity chess biographical file.
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