Luke McShane

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…

no. 583

7 December 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. This is a variation from McShane–Van Foreest, Bundesliga, November 2019. I avoided this position, and the game…

A good year for Carlsen

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Magnus Carlsen is the star attraction at this year’s London Chess Classic. The festival, now in its 11th edition, runs…

no. 582

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. Zelcic–Melkumyan, Tournament of Peace, November 2019. Melkumyan enjoys a big endgame advantage, and he found a cute…

A fresh approach

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Reimagine democracy. Reimagine capitalism. Reimagine education. For all the reimagining thrown at big ideas, they don’t seem much perturbed. You…

no. 581

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Bagi–Zvjaginsev, Montenegro 2019. Black to play. 61… Ke6 looks obvious, but Zvjaginsev preferred 61… Rg6! and White resigned instead of…

Dubov’s dynamite

16 November 2019 9:00 am

When Daniil Dubov advanced his queen’s pawn in Batumi last month, he might as well have chewed the head off…

no. 580

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Dubov-Svane, White to play. Later in the event, Dubov played another masterpiece, sacrificing a rook to reach this extraordinary position.…

Bronze in Batumi

9 November 2019 9:00 am

The hammering downpour before the last round in Batumi was, in retrospect, a precious omen. After all, England’s medal drought…

no. 579

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. Erwin l’Ami–Luke McShane, Batumi, 2019. The pawn on e6 looks powerful, but White’s king is more vulnerable…

Seizing the moment

2 November 2019 9:00 am

‘If the ball came loose from the back of the scrum, which it won’t of course…,’ said Boris, about his…

no. 578

2 November 2019 9:00 am

White to play. Dahl-Kolbus; Isle of Man, 2019. In this game between two Manx players, White had promoted a pawn…

Great sacrifices

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Impelled by his engineer’s mindset, the former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik wrote a short essay to answer a simple question:…

no. 577

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. From Stepanov–Romanovsky, Lenin-grad 1926. Stepanov resigned two moves earlier, seeing that he would soon lose his queen.…

Atmospheric pressures

19 October 2019 9:00 am

‘Poor indoor air quality hampers cognitive performance significantly’, concluded a recent study in the IZA (Institute of Labour Economics). Of…

No. 576

19 October 2019 9:00 am

White to play, Black to win. Shirov-Caruana from the Isle of Man. Caruana threatens 53… d1=Q 54.Qxd1 Qxb2 mate. Shirov…

Plates in the sink

12 October 2019 9:00 am

‘Chess is a constant struggle between my desire not to lose and my desire not to think.’ I’m fond of…

no. 575

12 October 2019 9:00 am

White to play. The final game of the match between Radjabov and Ding. White’s safer king confers a huge advantage,…

Visky business

5 October 2019 9:00 am

‘Visky,’ said the man driving the taxi.   ‘Risky?’   ‘Visky.’   ‘Ah… whisky! Or vodka.’ I grinned as I…

no. 574

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. Here is my own tragedy, from Yuffa-McShane, Khanty-Mansiysk 2019. Needing a win, I tried 81 … Kg7-f7…