Luke McShane

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…

Chess borders

14 March 2020 9:00 am

In the 1800s, several chess matches were conducted by telegraph. Modern technology ought to make long-distance matches easier than ever,…

Peasants’ revolt

7 March 2020 9:00 am

The German word for pawn, ‘bauer’, can also be translated as peasant, or farmer. There are many spectacular games in…

No. 594

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Puranik–Sjugirov, another spectacular game played at the Aeroflot Open. Puranik was perhaps counting on 1…Rc1 2 Qa3…

Increment and excrement

29 February 2020 9:00 am

The science-fiction writer Douglas Adams ridiculed our primitive species for considering digital watches to be ‘a pretty neat idea’. Digital…

no. 593

29 February 2020 9:00 am

White to play, a variation from McShane–-Kamsky. In the game above, I was hoping to see 31…Qa5, as I had…

Confidence tricks

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Three consecutive losses in a tournament is dryly termed ‘castling queenside’, in reference to the chess notation for that move…

No. 592

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Black to play, Kateryna Lagno–Ju Wenjun, February 2020. Material is approximately balanced, but White’s king is in serious danger. What…

Beasts of the board

15 February 2020 9:00 am

The Dutch artist Theo Jansen has a unique speciality. His ‘Strandbeest’ (beach animals) are kinetic sculptures, which he likes to…

no. 591

15 February 2020 9:00 am

White to play, Dubov–Artemiev, Wijk aan Zee 2020. White is pressing here, but Black seems to have everything covered. Which…

Meeting an idol

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

We had never met, but David Paravyan, from Russia, has been something of a personal idol since August 2018. My…

no. 590

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Black to move, Paravyan vs McShane, Isle of Man 2019. Here I intended 49…Bxd1. What had Paravyan planned after that…

Women’s World Championship

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Looking at the first 12 games of the 2018 Carlsen-Caruana World Championship, which all ended in draws, I saw a statistical…

no. 589

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Black to move. Javakhishvili–Adams, Gibraltar 2020. Adams has a few plausible moves here, including Rf1, Rf3+ and Rxf7, but only…

More than a game

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Cars, computers and cadavers: taking them apart is normally reserved for experts and the pathologically curious. In his new book,…

no. 588

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Rowson-Yermolinsky, World Open 2002. This position arose after a tactical skirmish. White has only one good way to meet the…

12 rules for chess

18 January 2020 9:00 am

As backhanded Christmas gifts go, a copy of 12 Rules for Life, must be up there with wrinkle cream or a…

no. 587

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Sanguineti–Najdorf, Mar del Plata 1956. White to move. White played 1 Kd8?, to threaten 2 Qe7#. Black resigned, overlooking 1…Rxg4…

A question of motivation

11 January 2020 9:00 am

‘Every day is different’, people like to say about their jobs. For the world’s best chess players, that’s only partly…

No. 586

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Carlsen–Nakamura, December 2019. In the decisive playoff game, Carlsen played 1 Nxf7+ and won quickly. But there was a mate…

A multitude of contests

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Besides the Grand Chess Tour final, an abundance of chess was played at this year’s London Chess Classic. More than…

No. 585

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. Ilfeld & Vachier-Lagrave–Picot & McShane. Pro-Biz Cup, London 2019. My move. White threatens checkmate with Qc4-g8, so…

Ding’s wings

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Ding Liren, from China, was a convincing winner of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, which reached its climax in London…

no. 584

14 December 2019 9:00 am

White to play. Aronian–Carlsen, December 2019. Carlsen won the third-place playoff, but Aronian found a nice finish in this game.…

The Saric Supremacy

7 December 2019 9:00 am

There is a gritty fight scene in The Bourne Supremacy, in which Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) faces down…