Luke McShane

Robot Wars

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Twenty years ago, I was an avid fan of the cult TV programme Robot Wars. Teams of contestants would design…

No. 607

6 June 2020 9:00 am

White to play, Stockfish–AllieStein, TCEC Season 16. Stockfish found a beautiful knockout blow in this game against a different neural…

Swindlers’ art

30 May 2020 9:00 am

A lost cause at the chessboard is hard to define, but, like obscenity, I know it when I see it.…

No. 606

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Tamas Fodor — Michael Adams, Hull 2018. White to play. One from the puzzles section of Smerdon’s book, which I…

No. 605

23 May 2020 9:00 am

White mates in two moves against any defence (composed by Walter Pulitzer). Steinitz admitted he could not crack this within…

Steinitz Memorial

23 May 2020 9:00 am

I like a memorial tournament. It’s true that the champions they celebrate may be less skilled than their modern counterparts.…

No. 604

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Aronian–Vidit, Online Nations Cup, May 2020. Vidit has just captured axb3 en passant. Aronian’s next move revealed a powerful concept.…

Online Nations Cup

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Fifty years ago, the USSR faced a ‘Rest of the World’ team in a match in Belgrade, with the likes…

No. 603

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Ding–Nakamura, Magnus -Carlsen Invitational, April 2020. The position appears sterile, but Nakamura spotted a clever winning move.…

Magnus wins Magnus Carlsen Invitational

9 May 2020 9:00 am

‘I haven’t felt this kind of tension in a long while. This was real!’ Those were Magnus Carlsen’s words, after…

No. 602

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Nepomniachtchi (lachesisQ)–Andriasian (Zaven_ChessMood), Abu Dhabi Super Blitz, April 2020. White is in danger here. Which move did he play to…

Hovering amid the din

2 May 2020 9:00 am

‘I am extraordinarily patient — provided I get my own way in the end’. That’s a disposition fit for a…

No. 601

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Sjugirov–Carlsen, Chess24 Banter Blitz Semi Final. In this wild position, Carlsen’s next move put the result beyond…

FantasticStar beats MagzyBogues

25 April 2020 9:00 am

‘I’m just completely collapsing in these games… unbelievable.’ World Champion Magnus Carlsen didn’t hide his anguish after losing a game…

No. 600

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Andrew Stone–Martin Jogstad, 4NCL Online, April 2020. The queen is trapped on f4, so 1…Rxg5 looks worth…

Old wine, new bottles

18 April 2020 9:00 am

‘Old wine in new bottles’ must be the most protean idiom in the English language. I encountered it a few…

No. 599

11 April 2020 9:00 am

A position adapted from Vojtech Plat–Ravi Haria, Hull GM tournament, 2019. The d6-pawn is crucial here, but White needs a…

At your own risk

11 April 2020 9:00 am

If there were regulatory oversight of chess openings, some would come with a litany of disclaimers. ‘You may lose more…

No. 598

4 April 2020 9:00 am

A variation from the game above. Although White is a pawn down, he can rustle up decisive counterplay with one…

Half measures

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Would you slice a book in two? I learned of this peculiar practice in January, and I can’t fault its…

No. 597

28 March 2020 9:00 am

A puzzle used in the solving championship, composed by Vittorio de Barbieri in 1918. White must give mate in two…

The slow puzzle movement

28 March 2020 9:00 am

I could list all manner of things I don’t try, because I know I won’t like them, like skydiving and…

No. 596

21 March 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Shirov–Yuffa, Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, Moscow 2020. The rook on f7 is pinned, and 1 Rxf8+…

Candidates goes ahead

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Coronavirus is causing chess events to fall like dominoes, with cancellations all over the world. But the Candidates tournament in…

No. 595

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Tomashevsky–Lomasov, Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, Moscow 2020. A position with a surprising twist. Tomashevsky has just…