Luke McShane

No. 637

23 January 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Howell — Adams, Caplin Hastings Online 2021. Adams’s last move, 35…Ba4-b3, gave Howell the chance for a…

History at Hastings

23 January 2021 9:00 am

The Hastings International Chess Congress hasn’t skipped a year since the second world war, so I was delighted to learn…

No. 636

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Gormally–Turner, Caplin Hastings Online 2021. Black looks safe, but Gormally’s next move forced a win of material. What did he…

Missed opportunities

16 January 2021 9:00 am

In game 1 of his Airthings Masters Final against Radjabov, Aronian’s pawn push 21 e4-e5 (shown in the first diagram)…

No. 635

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Mastrovasilis–Marechal, Cappelle la Grande 2011. Black is a whole rook up, so his last move 34… Nd5-e7, angling for an…

Antiques Roadshow

9 January 2021 9:00 am

It is one of life’s comforts to see a forgotten trinket being dusted off and appreciated afresh. So in chess,…

A puzzling dozen

19 December 2020 9:00 am

This Christmas, government guidance says that board games are out and quizzes are in. Thus, 12 questions for Christmas. Answers…

No. 634

19 December 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in five moves. Composed by Kohtz & Kockelkorn, 1875. Be careful — four moves isn’t…

A puzzling dozen - answers

19 December 2020 9:00 am

1. Alexander Grischuk 2. Stephen King 3. Iepe Rubingh 4. Shohreh Bayat 5. Ding Liren vs Magnus Carlsen 6. White…

Four puzzles in one

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Four puzzles in one, composed by Werner Speckmann, 1963. In each case, White to play and mate in two. (a)…

Birthday surprise

12 December 2020 9:00 am

The Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour is back. This time, the series of online events is rebranded as the Champions Chess…

Chess improvement

5 December 2020 9:00 am

The juicy prospect of improvement constantly dangles above a chess player. Those morsels of knowledge one has acquired whet the…

No. 633

5 December 2020 9:00 am

White to play. A position taken from Chess Improvement (perhaps from Luchowski–Gridnew, Moscow 1992.) Black’s menacing pieces make the situation…

Forbidden pairings

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Put yourself in the shoes of Aryan Gholami, the teenage master from Iran who was paired with an Israeli opponent…

No. 632

28 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play and win. E. Pogosjants, Shakhmaty v SSSR 1976. Promoting the a-pawn allows Black a perpetual check. Which…

No. 631

21 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by Sam Loyd, 1857. Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by…

Speed freaks

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Writing in January, I described internet bullet chess, where the players have one minute for all their moves, as ‘popular,…

The Brick

14 November 2020 9:00 am

I own a few chess books that could serve as a murder weapon, but none so hefty as Chess: 5334…

No. 630

14 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Mista–Kloza, Poland 1955 (supposedly). Which move does White play to force a quick checkmate? Answers should be…

The Queen’s Gambit – Accepted

7 November 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s chess. We’re all prima donnas.’ You can hear it spoken with a wink in the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s…

No. 629

7 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in 3. A puzzle featured in The Queen’s Gambit, apparently composed by W. Atkinson in…

Collapsing barricades

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Geometry shmometry. The pirouette of a knight may be pleasing to the eye, but sometimes what I really crave is…

No. 628

31 October 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Wade–Korchnoi, Buenos Aires, 1960. Bob Wade’s next move prepared a surprising and decisive breakthrough. What did he…

Sweet surrender

24 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s over. Magnus Carlsen’s undefeated streak in classical chess has finally come to an end, after 125 games. It is…

No. 627

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Sjugirov–Paravyan, Russian Higher League, October 2020. A piece for a pawn down, Black’s follow up was subtle…