Oxford v Cambridge is the chess world’s longest running fixture, first played in 1873 and now hosted at the elegant RAC headquarters in Pall Mall, London. It is normally a tight contest, but in last Saturday’s 2020 renewal Cambridge had much higher ratings and they duly won 5.5-2.5 without losing a game.

Board three provided the most entertaining win as Ryan-Rhys Griffiths’s army dominated the board before overwhelming Daniel Abbas’s king.

Cambridge now lead overall 60-56. The match used to act as an academy for the England Olympiad team, but it has completely changed character to a global occasion. Eleven nations were represented among the 16 players, while just five were English. Seven of the 16 study mathematics or computer science, five chemistry or physics, two economics or business.

Coronavirus is starting to affect chess at all levels. Five international opens have been cancelled, while China’s Ding Liren, second favourite for next week’s eight-man candidates, which will decide Magnus Carlsen’s 2020 challenger, is in quarantine in Russia.

Puzzle 2358

A game between two novices began :

1 ……..

2 ……..

3 ……..

4 ……….

5 Rxe5 mate.

Can you fill in the blanks with the missing moves? There is only one legally possible solution.

Click here for solution

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