Luke McShane

No. 676

23 October 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Bjerre–Maiwald, Bundesliga 2021. Black has menacing counterplay, so White’s attack needs an accurate conclusion. What did he…

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…

No. 675

16 October 2021 9:00 am

White to play and mate in one. I found this puzzle online, composed by someone with the pseudonym ‘Illion’. I…

No. 674

9 October 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Mamedyarov–Artemiev, MeltwaterChampions Final 2021. Black’s last move, was Ra8-a4, attacking the pawn on g4. But it allowed…

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.…

No. 673

2 October 2021 9:00 am

White to play. This was a variation which could arise in the game R. Pert–M. Parligras, Manx Liberty Masters 2021.…

No. 672

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Black to play. J. Polgar — Gaprindashvili, Novi Sad Olympiad 1990. Gaprindashvili’s next move prompted immediate resignation. What did she…

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.…

No. 671

18 September 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Gaprindashvili–Servaty, Dortmund 1974. The dark squares around Black’s king are critically weak, and White found an accurate…

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…

Puzzle no. 670

11 September 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Harvey–Roberson, Northumbria Masters 2021. Black’s last move, 37…Kf7-e7 looked plausible, but walked into a clever tactic. What…

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…

Puzzle no. 669

4 September 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Swiercz–Xiong, Sinquefield Cup 2021. 1 Kxb2 allows a perpetual check. But forcing an exchange of queens would…

No. 668

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Black to play. Geller–Sveshnikov, USSR Ch 1978. Geller’s last move, 34 Rb1-e1 looked clever, since Black cannot safely capture the…

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…

No. 667

21 August 2021 9:00 am

White to play and draw. The conclusion of an endgame study composed by J. Hašek (1951). Black is preparing a…

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…

No. 666

14 August 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Abdusattorov–Durarbayli, Sochi 2021. The endgame looks tricky, but White found a way to force a quick mate.…

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…

No. 665

7 August 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Adhiban–Delgado Ramirez, Sochi 2021. White has more than one good move, but Adhiban found a spectacular way…

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…