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John Saunders


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Tournament: 103rd Varsity Match • Venue: RAC Club, Pall Mall, London • Date: 9 March 1985
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The 103rd Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 9* March 1985. The sponsors were Lloyds Bank. Only two game scores available (boards 1 and 6) - can anyone supply other scores?

1984«     1985 Varsity Chess Match     »1986
Bd Oxford University Rating 1985 Cambridge University Rating Openings, No of Moves
1b Colin Anderson McNab (Queen's) 2395 (219) 0-1 Nicholas Wilson Ivell (Magdalene) 2350 Pirc def, 59
2w Jonathan Paul Levitt (Magdalen) 2375 (217) 1-0 Andrew Charles Louis Dyson (Trinity) 2215 Dutch def, 79
3b John Crofton Hawksworth (Nuffield) 2365 (216) ½-½ Stephen David Bell (Emmanuel) 2225 (203) Catalan, 43
4w Peter Kenneth Wells (Jesus) 2365 (217) ½-½ David John Walker (Trinity) 2195 King's ID, 55
5b Karl Bowden (Jesus) 2250 (209) ½-½ Matthew A Eke (Trinity) 2200 Nimzo-Indian, 95
6w Neil F Dickenson (Hertford) 2245 (206) ½-½ Gareth Anthony (Trinity Hall) 2055 (182) QP, 24
7b Kenneth Shovel (Wadham) 2305 (208) 1-0 David Douglas Alexander Lawson (Trinity) 2055 Alekhine def, 82
8w Anita Rakshit (St Hilda's) 1735 1-0 Laura Jane Rachel Cohen (Newnham) 1640 Sicilian, 27

Sources: Oxford-Cambridge Chess Matches (1873-1987), compiled by Jeremy Gaige, Philadelphia 1987 (* Gaige gives the date as 10 March 1985 but this was a Sunday - The Times says it was played on 9 March which is more probable); BCM, May 1985, p199; The Times, 11 Mar 1985; Nick Ivell (score of top board game).

Notes: Play 1-6pm. Time control: 45 moves in 2½ hours, 15 minutes for 20 moves; 10 minutes for all remaining moves.
Laura Cohen's college - Newnham acc. Times, BCF Yearbook but Churchill acc. BCM.

Additional player details from Lloyds Bank press release:

Oxford University  Age  School Attended Studying
Colin McNab 24 Menzieshill High, Dundee Mathematics
Jonathan Levitt 21 University College School Mathematics
John Hawksworth 21 Bradford Grammar School Economics
Peter Wells 19 St John's, Southsea PPE
Karl Bowden 20 St Martin's, Brentwood Mathematics
Neil Dickenson 20 Sevenoaks School Modern History
Kenneth Shovel 19 St Paul's School, London Mathematics
Anita Rakshit 22 Parliament Hill School Chemistry
Cambridge University  Age School Attended Studying
Nicholas Ivell 23 Arnold School, Blackpool Modern Languages
Andrew Dyson 20 Leeds Grammar School Mathematics
Stephen Bell 22 King Edward VI, Southampton Mathematics
David Walker 21 Southmoor School, Sunderland Mathematics
Matthew Eke 20 Huddersfield New College Mathematics
Gareth Anthony 22 Sir Thomas Rich's School, Gloucester Mathematics
David Lawson 19 Glenalmond College, Perth Medicine
Laura Cohen 21 North London Collegiate Metallurgy

"After the first time control an upset seemed certain, as Nicholas Ivell was winning against IM Colin McNab on top board, and Cambridge seemed to have prospects of a 5-3 score in their favour, despite an early loss on the ladies' board. However some rank bad play let the advantage slip, so much so that Bill Hartston joked that Campomanes in Moscow would surely have terminated it long before 7.00pm" (BCM).

Lloyds Bank trophies for the best game went to Bowden for Oxford and Ivell for Cambridge (Times)

"An hour before the end Cambridge missed winning chances on boards 4, 6 and 7 and their second board even lost an ending which should have been won for him." (The Times)

1985 Oxford University chess team
Picture of the victorious Oxford team: left to right, Peter Wells (Portsmouth), Karl Bowden (Brentwood), Anita Rakshit (N London), Kenneth Shovel (N London), IM Colin McNab (Dundee), IM Jonathan Levitt (N London), FM Neil Dickenson (Sevenoaks), FM John Hawksworth (Cranleigh), correspondence GM Adrian Hollis (Oxford, club president)
(Photo Lloyds Bank)


1985 Varsity Chess Match
Players, left to right: Laura Cohen (Cambridge) vs Anita Rakshit (Oxford).
Spectators, left to right: Brian Reilly, William Hartston, Adrian Hollis, Leonard Barden, Bob Wade (arbiter).
(Photo Lloyds Bank)

All material exc. photos © 2017 John Saunders