Hell hath no fury

Today is the day of the annual Varsity match, held at the RAC Club, in London’s Pall Mall. It is a fine, immensely traditional, occasion. Alas, although a graduate of Oxford, I never played in it. The closest I got was my freshman year, when I was top board for the second team – a bit like getting a vote of thanks from the Chairman. And, lest any of the termitic persuasion suspect otherwise, I have never even attended one -no, I don’t get an automatic invitation from The Times’ chess correspondent, nor do I expect one.

But I don’t resent it at all. On the contrary, I am delighted that, in a world of crumbling values, where “tradition” has become a term of abuse, some things still endure, and are still respected by the people who actually matter in the chess world. The fixture is not as strong as in the days when virtually the entire England team, plus reserves, were playing, but it remains an excellent event. I hope all present have a fine day, with some exciting chess, and afterwards a fine dinner, win or lose.

Sadly, some take their failure to make the team rather more bitterly.  

“I could have been a contender!”

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