Chess

Unfair play

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Twenty players were disqualified from the Fide World University Online Championships, out of almost 900. Does that call for moral…

Fortune favours the brave

3 April 2021 9:00 am

If you wish to unsettle your opponents, first attack them and second, play the moves quickly. It’s far from easy…

Everybody must get stoned

27 March 2021 9:00 am

Have you ever played the Frankenstein-Dracula variation? The Monkey’s Bum? The Nescafé Frappé Attack? These are all real chess openings,…

When the universe winks

20 March 2021 9:00 am

I write this with a sunny feeling. That’s partly because spring is upon us, but mostly because I have just…

Armenian champions

13 March 2021 9:00 am

In the 21st century, which country has won more international chess Olympiads than any other? Russia? USA? China? None of…

Play from home

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Is working from home the future of a productive society, or a fleeting aberration? Nobody knows yet, but a significant…

Synthetic diamonds

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Diamonds are forever, they say. Likewise, brilliant games of chess have an everlasting sparkle. I will never tire of replaying…

He who hesitates…

20 February 2021 9:00 am

If there was one ingredient which separated the two finalists of the Opera Euro Rapid, it was confidence. The third…

Knights before bishops

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In 2005 Steve Jobs gave a commencement address at Stanford University. The late Apple CEO kicked off with a story…

Double Dutch

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Are you not entertained? The climax of this year’s elite Tata Steel tournament was as riveting as it was vulgar.…

Remembering Kavalek

30 January 2021 9:00 am

‘I began my escape from the communist Czechoslovakia 42 years ago, on Sunday, September 1, 1968. According to Wikipedia, I…

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…

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)…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Chess players on ice

17 October 2020 9:00 am

We are what we do. Alas, in its zeal to suppress the virus, this government would have many people doing…

A trout in the milk?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

I can’t tell you why the Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian was found guilty of cheating last month, because I don’t…