Luke McShane

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…

Carlsen vs Nakamura

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Facing Magnus Carlsen, you have two problems. The first is obvious — he’s the best player in the world. The…

No. 618

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. McShane–Anand, World Rapid Championship 2017. While executing my last move, 51 Qf4-f3, attacking the h5-pawn, I got…

Streaks of brilliance

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Last week, snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan won his sixth World Championship at the age of 44, a full 19 years…

No. 617

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Efimov–Bronstein, Kiev 1941. Normally White seeks glory in the King’s Gambit, but here Bronstein scored a lightning…

The King’s Gambit

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Does Bear Grylls play chess? If he does, I’m sure he would favour the King’s Gambit. As chess openings go,…

No. 616

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Studer–Naiditsch, Biel, July 2020. White intends to meet 1…Bxb5 with 2 Bxe7 Qxe7 3 Qxb5, with an…

The view from on high

8 August 2020 9:00 am

‘Cabin crew, ten minutes to landing!’ Are there any more exhilarating words? Soon, for a few precious minutes, one can…

Tech mate

1 August 2020 9:00 am

I am sure I have posed more questions to the chess engine Stockfish than to any living being. I love…

No. 615

1 August 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Stockfish–Leela Chess Zero, TCEC 18, Game 92, July 2020. It looks hard to make progress, despite the…

The maestro

25 July 2020 9:00 am

‘Had I not become a composer, I would have wanted to be a chess player, but a high-level one, someone…

No. 614

25 July 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Stefano Tatai–Spyridon Skembris, Budva Zonal 1981. Morricone’s teacher found a delightful conclusion to this attack. What was…

An ugly duckling problem

18 July 2020 9:00 am

The position shown in this week’s main diagram is the starter problem for the Winton British Chess Solving Championship, an…