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Event: 58th Varsity Match • Venue: City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC • Date: 17 March 1934
Download PGNList of Varsity Matches • Back to 1933 • Forward to 1935 • last edited: Thursday March 18, 2021 2:09 PM

The 58th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at City of London Chess Club, Wardrobe Court, London EC, on 17 March 1934. All game scores from this match are available.

Bd Oxford University 1934 Cambridge University
1b [Alfred] Rupert [Neale] Cross (Worcester) 1-0 James Marston Craddock (Magdalene)
2w John Montgomerie (Corpus Christi) 1-0 *Ian Murray Ainslie (St Catharine's)
3b James Macrae Aitken (Balliol) 0-1 Louis Bernard Zapoleon (Fitzwilliam House)
4w Nicholas Anthony Perkins (St John's) 0-1 Francis Ernest Appleyard Kitto (King's)
5b Alan Stewart Orr (Balliol) 1-0 Fred Hoyle (Emmanuel)
6w Graham Powell Britton (Jesus) ½-½ John Edge (Pembroke)
7b Stephen Hubert Llewellyn-Smith (New) 0-1 Kenneth Beaumont (St John's)
    3½-3½  

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987; BCM, April 1934, p149.

Match notes

* = club presidents [BCM gives JM Ainslie, but I think it should be IM Ainslie, as in BCM 1933]

BCM, April 1934, p149: "The "week" of the Oxford and Cambridge chess teams in London extended this year from March 10 to 20, with the Inter-University match itself on the same afternoon as the Boat Race. On Saturday, March 10, London University was met by Oxford alone, and won by 5½-2½. On Monday, March 12, Oxford alone again met the Stock Exchange, and, after a match in which there are many adjudications, the score at the close of play was 1½-½ in favour of Oxford. On March 13 the Combined Universities met Hampstead, and were defeated by 7-6. On March 14 the annual encounter with the City of London C.C. took place. Though the Universities side was not at full strength, a close struggle took place. The City only won by the odd game (9½-8½), Rupert Cross scoring a good victory for the Universities on the top board over R. P. Michell, and R. L. Mitchell winning on the second through his opponent, E. G. Sergeant, exceeding the time-limit."

"On March 15 Oxford engaged the Lud-Eagle in a 6-board consultation match and were defeated by 4-2; while Cambridge met the Athenaeum and were beaten by 6-4. On March 16 the Combined Universities took on West London at the rooms of the City of London. Though the West Londoners had visited and made a good fight against each University separately earlier in the season, beating Oxford and losing to Cambridge by 2 points only, the result now was an easy win for the combined team by 13½-6½."

"On the afternoon of March 17 the 58th match between the two Universities was played at the City of London, under the usual conditions. The record previous to this encounter stood at 26-25 in Cambridge's favour, with 6 drawn matches, so that once more Oxford were in sight of a levelling--up of the score-if they could win. As they had six of last year's victorious team, including Rupert Cross, against Cambridge's three old choices only, this did not look impossible. The first part of the match, up to the tea-interval, was unusually steady, and devoid of the accidents so common in this event. On the second board Ainslie, the Cambridge president, lost a Pawn to Montgomerie; and on the fourth the position was very critical, the Cambridge player looking as if he must soon make a substantial gain in material. On the general aspect of affairs at this point, the Light Blues' supporters were rather sanguine about their prospects."

"After the resumption of play, however, things ran in Oxford's favour, though it was not until 6 o'clock that first blood was drawn for them by Orr on Board 5. He reached the end-game with Kt and Ps against Ps only, and had no difficulty in scoring a victory. Montgomerie followed with another Oxford success, for Ainslie, though he secured Bs of opposite colours, could not overcome his inferiority in material. The next result was a draw on Board 6, after a very steady and not very interesting game, making the score Oxford 2½, Cambridge ½."

"Two more results came almost together, Zapoleon scoring for Cambridge on Board 3 and Cross for Oxford on Board 1. Zapoleon, it may be remarked, is a player of chess experience far beyond the ordinary undergraduate's. He played in the American National Tournament, New York, as long ago as early in 1913, in the company of Capablanca, Marshall, Jaffe, Janowski, Chajes, Kupchik, etc., and, though he then came out last, he succeeded in drawing with Marshall and beating Jaffe. He was out of the game for a considerable period afterwards, but has evidently not forgotten how to play it. Cross's win was excellently achieved, though his opponent helped him by transposing two moves."

"Time," which was 7 p.m., arrived with two games still unfinished, and Oxford leading by two points. Against this lead was the fact that Cambridge had a distinct advantage on both boards. The adjudication was performed by W. Winter, with the aid of J. H. Blake, hon. sec. of the City of London. After due consideration they gave a win for Beaumont over the Oxford president, Llewellyn-Smith, on the last board; and, with a little more difficulty, for Kitto against Perkins on Board 4. Thus the match ended in a tie, and Cambridge still leads by one match in the series."

"... on March 19 [1934] the Combined Universities met the Insurance CC in what should have been a 20-board match. The Universities were two mens hort, but the Insurance did not claim defaults. The result was a win for the London club by 9½-8½. The last game to be decided was that on the top between L. Durham and the Oxford player J. Montgomerie. After a long adjudication Montgomerie conceded a win to his opponent.

"On March 20 [1934] Oxford alone met and defeated the House of Commons."


File updated

Date Notes
17 November 2020 Original upload.
All material © 2018 John Saunders