Chess

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…

Lock-picking

17 July 2021 9:00 am

In his autobiographical book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! the late American physicist Richard Feynman described how he amused himself…

The world has a new youngest grandmaster

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Abhimanyu Mishra became the world’s youngest grandmaster last month, at 12 years and 4 months old. The boy from New…

Firestarter

3 July 2021 9:00 am

It’s a joy to watch a player like Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who can light a fire with his bare hands. Where…

How to lose

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Millions of people would see losing to Anand as a privilege rather than a disgrace. So it is simply astonishing…

Macaques and defence

19 June 2021 9:00 am

January normally brings cheerful photos from the Gibraltar Chess Festival, where visiting chess-players get an impromptu snap with the Barbary…

The back-rank mate

12 June 2021 9:00 am

Compared with Anastasia’s mate, or an epaulette mate, the humble back-rank mate is named without imagination or whimsy. It is…

Hybrid chess

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Chess was played by cable in the 19th century because… well, why not? And because everything old is new again,…

Daredevil kings

29 May 2021 9:00 am

The fifth match game between Potter and Zukertort, played in London in 1875, saw a dogged struggle. The final position…

Indian variant

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Modern chess includes a panoply of ‘Indian’ openings, which share a common root in the starting moves 1 d4 Nf6…

What’s it worth?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

The rule of thumb for weighing up piece exchanges says that pawns are worth one, knights and bishops three, rooks…

Dead brain cells

8 May 2021 9:00 am

As round 14 of the Candidates tournament unfolded, I had the feeling of watching an anti-climactic post-exam bender. Ian Nepomniachtchi…

Immovable object meets irresistible force

1 May 2021 9:00 am

The Candidates tournament resumed on 19 April in Yekaterinburg. Eight players competed for a €500,000 prize fund, but only one…

The Polgar Challenge

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, at 15 years old one of India’s most exceptional young players, emerged as the winner of the Polgar…

European Online Club Cup

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Since the start of the pandemic, opportunities for serious competition between players ranked outside the world’s top 20 have been…

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…