Luke McShane

No. 619

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Nakamura–Carlsen, August 2020. Carlsen has just advanced 40…g6-g5+, laying a nasty trap. Only one move gives White a fighting chance…

Carlsen vs Nakamura

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Facing Magnus Carlsen, you have two problems. The first is obvious — he’s the best player in the world. The…

No. 618

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. McShane–Anand, World Rapid Championship 2017. While executing my last move, 51 Qf4-f3, attacking the h5-pawn, I got…

Streaks of brilliance

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Last week, snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan won his sixth World Championship at the age of 44, a full 19 years…

No. 617

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Efimov–Bronstein, Kiev 1941. Normally White seeks glory in the King’s Gambit, but here Bronstein scored a lightning…

The King’s Gambit

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Does Bear Grylls play chess? If he does, I’m sure he would favour the King’s Gambit. As chess openings go,…

No. 616

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Studer–Naiditsch, Biel, July 2020. White intends to meet 1…Bxb5 with 2 Bxe7 Qxe7 3 Qxb5, with an…

The view from on high

8 August 2020 9:00 am

‘Cabin crew, ten minutes to landing!’ Are there any more exhilarating words? Soon, for a few precious minutes, one can…

Tech mate

1 August 2020 9:00 am

I am sure I have posed more questions to the chess engine Stockfish than to any living being. I love…

No. 615

1 August 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Stockfish–Leela Chess Zero, TCEC 18, Game 92, July 2020. It looks hard to make progress, despite the…

The maestro

25 July 2020 9:00 am

‘Had I not become a composer, I would have wanted to be a chess player, but a high-level one, someone…

No. 614

25 July 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Stefano Tatai–Spyridon Skembris, Budva Zonal 1981. Morricone’s teacher found a delightful conclusion to this attack. What was…

An ugly duckling problem

18 July 2020 9:00 am

The position shown in this week’s main diagram is the starter problem for the Winton British Chess Solving Championship, an…

No. 613

18 July 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in three moves. A problem composed by grandmaster Jonathan Levitt (British Chess Magazine, 1995). One…

The Streisand effect

11 July 2020 9:00 am

There is no sight so compelling as one that would be hidden. I am fascinated by the Streisand effect, named…

No. 612

11 July 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Giri–Nepomniachtchi, Chessable Masters 2020. Giri has sacrificed a knight to lure the black king forward. Which move…

No. 611

4 July 2020 9:00 am

White to play. From the ridiculous to the sublime. According to the ‘Chess Notes’ website, a game won by Edward…

Twitch pageant

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Chess has much in common with video games — not least, the eager disdain of uninformed critics. An 1859 article…

Clutch fun

27 June 2020 9:00 am

‘May the best scoring system win!’ is hardly a sentiment to stoke the passions. In the 2011 referendum, the alternative…

No. 610

27 June 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Grischuk–Aronian, Clutch Chess 2020. Only one rook move draws here. Which one? Answers should be emailed to…

Chequered histories

20 June 2020 9:00 am

As statues are scrutinised, the tensions that existed within historical figures are thrown into relief. You can admire Churchill’s leadership…

No. 609

20 June 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Tolush–Aronson, Moscow 1957. Strangely, this quick win was once wrongly attributed to Alekhine. How did White exploit…

No. 608

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Black to play, Ding Liren–Daniil Dubov, Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge, May 2020. Dubov’s rook is under attack, but his next…

Lindores Abbey online

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife, Scotland was an idyllic setting for an exciting rapid event last year, won by…

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…