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128th Varsity Chess Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University, 6 March 2010

Last Edited: Sunday March 7, 2010 9:46 AM

Report by John Saunders: The 128th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University took place at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on Saturday 6 March 2010. The match sponsor was Henry Mutkin, as generous and genial a host as any match could hope to have. The match arbiter was David Sedgwick, and the match programme produced by Edward Penn.

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 went to Oxford at 4.15pm when 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. Steffen Schaper was the man left with the task of winning his game to tie the match. After a long rook and pawn endgame, he managed to do so with some excellent technique. Thus the match ended in a 4-4 draw (a clarification - my original assertion that "Oxford thus retain the trophy as 2009 winners" was incorrect - the competition rule is that the two teams share the trophy in the event of a drawn match).

The 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.

View/Download all the games in PGN (Britbase website)

Bd Oxford Rating v Cambridge Rating
1b Gustavo German (Worcester) 2515 ½-½ Gabor Pinter (Queens') 2349m
2w Athanasios Tsanas (St Cross) 2264 1-0 Li Wu (Churchill) 2344
3b Michael Healey (University) 2089 0-1 Peter Roberson (Churchill) 2256
4w Steffen Schaper (Exeter) (2010) 1-0 Sven Quist (Dept. of Genetics) 2141c
5b Szymon Pozimski (St Peters) (2066) ½-½ J Stuart Robertson (Trinity) (2120)
6w Graham Morris (St Anne's) 2034 0-1 Mikhail Tyomkyn (Corpus Christi) 2111
7b Yangshi Yu (Exeter) 1978 1-0 Richard Lee (Christ's) (2058)
8w Agnese Salputra (Keble) (1730) 0-1 Selina Khoo (Murray Edwards) 1981


The 2010 Oxford University team

The 2010 Cambridge University team


The last game in progress... the Oxford player (White) needed to win to tie the match

This is the position White neede to win. He succeeded in doing so.

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