Friday, July 11

Universities' Week: Oxford and Cambridge combined team faces London clubs

As mentioned in a recent entry, a combined team comprised of members of the Oxford and Cambridge University Chess Clubs faced several of the leading London clubs in match play during the annual spring visit of the collegiate chess players to the British capital. The university representatives repeated their 1913 victories over the Metropolitan Club and the Insurance team, and gained a full measure of revenge for last year's defeat at the hands of London University. The Oxford and Cambridge stalwarts also routed a team representing the House of Commons by the score of  9 1/2 - 1/2. On the other side of the ledger the City of London Club proved too strong for the visiting university men, as did the Lud-Eagle and Hampstead clubs. The combined team thus won four matches and lost three, while recording a net positive score in terms of all games played, a most creditable achievement indeed.

We have one game from the above matches to share with our readers today, a rip-roaring battle featuring as sudden and unexpected a sacrifice as we can recall ever having seen. Dr. Jacob Schumer of the Metropolitan Club, as Black in a Danish Gambit, comes at Oxford's P.A.M. MacMahon with a vengeance, sacrificing the exchange at the 12th move, leaving a Bishop en prise at the 14th, offering a Knight at the 17th, and preferring a further sacrifice to the recapture of a White piece at the 18th - and does all this, moreover, while bringing his remaining and still substantial forces into dangerous proximity to the exposed White King. The complications are myriad, but Mr. MacMahon keeps his head, and at the 20th move unleashes a veritable thunderbolt that brings the enemy offensive to a complete and sudden halt. From that point forward White is in command, giving check with every move until at last deciding matters with a Queen sacrifice at the close. We present the game with great pleasure, confident that our readers will derive the same from its examination.

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