Chess

A multitude of queens

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Here’s a challenge which appeared in a German chess magazine in 1848: place eight white queens on an empty chessboard…

When travel unravels

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Recently, with some regret, I declined an invitation to play chess in the Netherlands. I fancied the trip, but alas…

Fresh start

8 January 2022 9:00 am

Chess offers one ultimate consolation in defeat: the opportunity to set the pieces up and start again. At least in…

Twelve questions for Christmas

18 December 2021 9:00 am

1. ‘I like the game, the money, and the fame.’ Which Twitter-loving top grandmaster said that, in response to an…

Carlsen’s breakthrough

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Game 6 of the Carlsen–Nepomniachtchi world championship match was one for the ages. After draws in the first five games,…

Mar del Plata

4 December 2021 9:00 am

Alireza Firouzja produced a momentous performance for France at the European Team Championships, held in Slovenia last month. The 18-year-old,…

The world championship

27 November 2021 9:00 am

‘Time to say Dubai,’ tweeted Magnus Carlsen, like some wry Bond villain, when he learned that the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi…

Sacrificing the queen

20 November 2021 9:00 am

One of the most eye-catching games from the recently concluded Fide Grand Swiss in Riga saw an early sacrifice of…

Fide Grand Swiss

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Alireza Firouzja, just 18 years old, was the clear winner of the Fide Grand Swiss, which concluded in Latvia last…

Short fights

6 November 2021 9:00 am

If you play chess like a wet rag, sooner or later you will be made to regret it. In Nigel…

The Varsity match

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Anyone who has attended the Varsity chess match knows that an online version just wouldn’t be the same. The annual…

Eaten by a bear

23 October 2021 9:00 am

I don’t like losing at chess. It feels bad in the moment, whether my position subsides like a failed pudding,…

The sudden mate

16 October 2021 9:00 am

The hero pauses, plays the move, and announces ‘Checkmate!’ The villain crumples in shock. It’s a scene played out countless…

Chess sets

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Since tennis matches are decided in sets, they are sometimes won by the player who has won fewer games. For…

The Manx Liberty Masters

2 October 2021 9:00 am

I sat on the plane to the Isle of Man, leafing through a copy of Nigel Short’s new book, Winning.…

Nona vs Netflix

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Last year’s Netflix mini-series The Queen’s Gambit hit all the right notes. For the neophytes, it was quirky and intriguing.…

Detecting vulnerabilities

18 September 2021 9:00 am

I suspect many players perceive the chess board in rich contrast, like a heat map. Glowing bright red are those…

Titles bonanza

11 September 2021 9:00 am

At the beginning of August, seeing his outstanding performance at the Fide World Cup in Sochi, I wrote that Ravi…

Best-laid plans

4 September 2021 9:00 am

A popular conceit among chess authors, particularly dead ones, is to describe a fine game as the execution of a…

Remembering Evgeny Sveshnikov

28 August 2021 9:00 am

There be dragons! What we now call the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian defence was, in the 1970s, largely uncharted…

Containment

21 August 2021 9:00 am

‘Exchange chess’ (also known as bughouse) is the chess equivalent of a three-legged race. It is played in teams of…

Calculated risks

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Two years ago, the brilliant young Polish player Jan-Krzysztof Duda made a baffling decision. In the second game of his…

The Fide World Cup

7 August 2021 9:00 am

As I write this, the Fide World Cup is underway in Sochi, the Black Sea resort in Russia which hosted…

The king of no castling

31 July 2021 9:00 am

In the body of chess rules, castling is a clumsy protuberance. Once per game, you get to move king and…

Kasparov’s tailspin

24 July 2021 9:00 am

In a game between top players, the opening moves signify not only the battleground they have embraced, but also the…