Chess

The Streisand effect

11 July 2020 9:00 am

There is no sight so compelling as one that would be hidden. I am fascinated by the Streisand effect, named…

Twitch pageant

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Chess has much in common with video games — not least, the eager disdain of uninformed critics. An 1859 article…

Clutch fun

27 June 2020 9:00 am

‘May the best scoring system win!’ is hardly a sentiment to stoke the passions. In the 2011 referendum, the alternative…

Chequered histories

20 June 2020 9:00 am

As statues are scrutinised, the tensions that existed within historical figures are thrown into relief. You can admire Churchill’s leadership…

Lindores Abbey online

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife, Scotland was an idyllic setting for an exciting rapid event last year, won by…

Robot Wars

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Twenty years ago, I was an avid fan of the cult TV programme Robot Wars. Teams of contestants would design…

Swindlers’ art

30 May 2020 9:00 am

A lost cause at the chessboard is hard to define, but, like obscenity, I know it when I see it.…

Steinitz Memorial

23 May 2020 9:00 am

I like a memorial tournament. It’s true that the champions they celebrate may be less skilled than their modern counterparts.…

Online Nations Cup

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Fifty years ago, the USSR faced a ‘Rest of the World’ team in a match in Belgrade, with the likes…

Magnus wins Magnus Carlsen Invitational

9 May 2020 9:00 am

‘I haven’t felt this kind of tension in a long while. This was real!’ Those were Magnus Carlsen’s words, after…

Hovering amid the din

2 May 2020 9:00 am

‘I am extraordinarily patient — provided I get my own way in the end’. That’s a disposition fit for a…

FantasticStar beats MagzyBogues

25 April 2020 9:00 am

‘I’m just completely collapsing in these games… unbelievable.’ World Champion Magnus Carlsen didn’t hide his anguish after losing a game…

Old wine, new bottles

18 April 2020 9:00 am

‘Old wine in new bottles’ must be the most protean idiom in the English language. I encountered it a few…

At your own risk

11 April 2020 9:00 am

If there were regulatory oversight of chess openings, some would come with a litany of disclaimers. ‘You may lose more…

Half measures

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Would you slice a book in two? I learned of this peculiar practice in January, and I can’t fault its…

The slow puzzle movement

28 March 2020 9:00 am

I could list all manner of things I don’t try, because I know I won’t like them, like skydiving and…

Candidates goes ahead

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Coronavirus is causing chess events to fall like dominoes, with cancellations all over the world. But the Candidates tournament in…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…