Luke McShane

No. 631

21 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by Sam Loyd, 1857. Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by…

Speed freaks

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Writing in January, I described internet bullet chess, where the players have one minute for all their moves, as ‘popular,…

The Brick

14 November 2020 9:00 am

I own a few chess books that could serve as a murder weapon, but none so hefty as Chess: 5334…

No. 630

14 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Mista–Kloza, Poland 1955 (supposedly). Which move does White play to force a quick checkmate? Answers should be…

The Queen’s Gambit – Accepted

7 November 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s chess. We’re all prima donnas.’ You can hear it spoken with a wink in the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s…

No. 629

7 November 2020 9:00 am

White to play and mate in 3. A puzzle featured in The Queen’s Gambit, apparently composed by W. Atkinson in…

Collapsing barricades

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Geometry shmometry. The pirouette of a knight may be pleasing to the eye, but sometimes what I really crave is…

No. 628

31 October 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Wade–Korchnoi, Buenos Aires, 1960. Bob Wade’s next move prepared a surprising and decisive breakthrough. What did he…

Sweet surrender

24 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s over. Magnus Carlsen’s undefeated streak in classical chess has finally come to an end, after 125 games. It is…

No. 627

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Sjugirov–Paravyan, Russian Higher League, October 2020. A piece for a pawn down, Black’s follow up was subtle…

Chess players on ice

17 October 2020 9:00 am

We are what we do. Alas, in its zeal to suppress the virus, this government would have many people doing…

No. 626

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Rapport–Sprenger, Bundesliga, September 2020. The game continued 1 Bxc4 Rxc4 2 Bxe5+ f6 3 Bf4 Rxe4+ 4 Kf3 and was…

No. 625

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Khodashneli — Willow, European Online Youth Championship U18, September 2020. White has just advanced 40 g3-g4, and…

A trout in the milk?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

I can’t tell you why the Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian was found guilty of cheating last month, because I don’t…

Real live chess

3 October 2020 9:00 am

It is nigh on seven months since I sat opposite a flesh and blood opponent, so I expected to feel…

No. 624

3 October 2020 9:00 am

White to play. A variation from L’Ami–Caruana, Bundesliga 2020. Caruana avoided this position, where White can force a quick mate.…

No. 623

26 September 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Areshchenko–Koch, Bundesliga 2020. White has won rook for bishop, but the queen is offside and his Rf2…

When Garry met Fabi

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Send in haste, repent at leisure. It is a cruel certainty that you will sooner or later text your intimate…

Changing the rules

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Nothing courts us so nimbly as technology. Perhaps the chess computers have already won you over — I am dazzled…

No. 622

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Jones–McShane, London Chess Classic 2019. Last year I played two games of no-castling chess with Gawain Jones,…

No. 621

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Rios–Adams, Online Olympiad, August 2020. The White king is running short of squares. Which move did Adams…

Internet trouble

12 September 2020 9:00 am

It was as baffling to me as quantum entanglement. Every time the Algerian player on the Zoom call shared his…

No. 620

5 September 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Zaibi–Napoleao, Online Olympiad, August 2020. White has just sacrificed the rook on a1. He concluded the attack…

Act of God

5 September 2020 9:00 am

Man plans, God laughs. Fide, the international federation, organised an Online Olympiad, with 163 teams taking part. We got a…

No. 619

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Nakamura–Carlsen, August 2020. Carlsen has just advanced 40…g6-g5+, laying a nasty trap. Only one move gives White a fighting chance…