Chess

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,…

12 rules for chess

18 January 2020 9:00 am

As backhanded Christmas gifts go, a copy of 12 Rules for Life, must be up there with wrinkle cream or a…

A question of motivation

11 January 2020 9:00 am

‘Every day is different’, people like to say about their jobs. For the world’s best chess players, that’s only partly…

A multitude of contests

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Besides the Grand Chess Tour final, an abundance of chess was played at this year’s London Chess Classic. More than…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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:…