Luke McShane

Puzzle No. 684

8 January 2022 9:00 am

White to play. Abdusattorov–Rakhmatullaev, Uzbek Championship 2021. How did White deliver a pretty mate in two moves? Answers should be…

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…

No. 683

18 December 2021 9:00 am

White to play and mate in 3. Composed by Albert Barbe, 1861. Only the first move is required, but it’s…

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…

Twelve questions for Christmas - answers

16 December 2021 9:00 am

1. Anish Giri 2. Nona Gaprindashvili 3. Jamie Njoku-Goodwin 4. Alireza Firouzja 5. Magnus Carlsen–Hikaru Nakamura 6. 2 Qf4+! gxf4…

Puzzle | 11 December 2021

11 December 2021 9:00 am

White to play and mate in 2. Composed by W.A. Shinkman, Montreal Spectator, 1880. As things stand, White has no…

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,…

No. 682

4 December 2021 9:00 am

Black to play. Plat-Esipenko, European Team Championship, 2021. The 19-year-old Russian playing Black found a way to force mate in…

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…

No. 681

27 November 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Erigaisi–Liem, Tata Steel Rapid, 2021. Here 1 Rxf6? Qd1+ sees White getting mated on the back rank.…

No. 680

20 November 2021 9:00 am

White to play and win. The conclusion of an endgame study by Henri Rinck. The imminent promotion of the g-pawn…

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…

No. 679

13 November 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Trisha Kanyamarala–Roderick Mckay, EJCOA Forest Hall Invitational, 2021. White found a brilliant strike on the kingside, forcing…

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…

No. 678

6 November 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Short-Ye, Sanjin Hotel Cup 2004. A snappy finish from a game in Winning. Which move allowed Short…

No. 677

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Black to play. Turner–Jackson, Hull 4NCL GM Tournament 2021. Which move did James Jackson play to ensure a decisive advance…

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…

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…