Luke McShane

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…

No. 664

31 July 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Greco–NN, 1620. The centre is a dangerous place for the king. Which move does White play to…

No. 663

24 July 2021 9:00 am

White to play. A variation from Grandelius – Xiong, Fide World Cup, Sochi 2021. With an accurate queen check,White can…

Kasparov’s tailspin

24 July 2021 9:00 am

In a game between top players, the opening moves signify not only the battleground they have embraced, but also the…

Lock-picking

17 July 2021 9:00 am

In his autobiographical book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! the late American physicist Richard Feynman described how he amused himself…

No. 662

17 July 2021 9:00 am

White to play and mate in two. Composed by Sam Loyd, Sunny South, 1885. Nearly all Black’s legal moves can…

The world has a new youngest grandmaster

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Abhimanyu Mishra became the world’s youngest grandmaster last month, at 12 years and 4 months old. The boy from New…

No. 661

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Black to play. Daggupati–Mishra, Charlotte 2020. 1…Rf1+ 2 Kg2 is a dead end, as White’s queen covers the f2 square.…

Firestarter

3 July 2021 9:00 am

It’s a joy to watch a player like Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who can light a fire with his bare hands. Where…

No. 660

3 July 2021 9:00 am

White to play. So–Vachier-Lagrave, Paris, June 2021. The queen on e7 can be taken, but Black’s last move was …Rd8,…

How to lose

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Millions of people would see losing to Anand as a privilege rather than a disgrace. So it is simply astonishing…

No. 659

26 June 2021 9:00 am

White to play. Gukesh–Yip, Gelfand Challenge, June 2021. White has strong pressure on the f-file, but which move forces a…

No. 658

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Mammadzada — M. Muzychuk, May 2021. In this messy position, Black’s next move prompted instant resignation. What did she play?…

Macaques and defence

19 June 2021 9:00 am

January normally brings cheerful photos from the Gibraltar Chess Festival, where visiting chess-players get an impromptu snap with the Barbary…