Luke McShane

No. 600

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Andrew Stone–Martin Jogstad, 4NCL Online, April 2020. The queen is trapped on f4, so 1…Rxg5 looks worth…

Old wine, new bottles

18 April 2020 9:00 am

‘Old wine in new bottles’ must be the most protean idiom in the English language. I encountered it a few…

No. 599

11 April 2020 9:00 am

A position adapted from Vojtech Plat–Ravi Haria, Hull GM tournament, 2019. The d6-pawn is crucial here, but White needs a…

At your own risk

11 April 2020 9:00 am

If there were regulatory oversight of chess openings, some would come with a litany of disclaimers. ‘You may lose more…

No. 598

4 April 2020 9:00 am

A variation from the game above. Although White is a pawn down, he can rustle up decisive counterplay with one…

Half measures

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Would you slice a book in two? I learned of this peculiar practice in January, and I can’t fault its…

No. 597

28 March 2020 9:00 am

A puzzle used in the solving championship, composed by Vittorio de Barbieri in 1918. White must give mate in two…

The slow puzzle movement

28 March 2020 9:00 am

I could list all manner of things I don’t try, because I know I won’t like them, like skydiving and…

No. 596

21 March 2020 9:00 am

White to play. Shirov–Yuffa, Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, Moscow 2020. The rook on f7 is pinned, and 1 Rxf8+…

Candidates goes ahead

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Coronavirus is causing chess events to fall like dominoes, with cancellations all over the world. But the Candidates tournament in…

No. 595

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Tomashevsky–Lomasov, Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, Moscow 2020. A position with a surprising twist. Tomashevsky has just…

Chess borders

14 March 2020 9:00 am

In the 1800s, several chess matches were conducted by telegraph. Modern technology ought to make long-distance matches easier than ever,…

Peasants’ revolt

7 March 2020 9:00 am

The German word for pawn, ‘bauer’, can also be translated as peasant, or farmer. There are many spectacular games in…

No. 594

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Black to play. Puranik–Sjugirov, another spectacular game played at the Aeroflot Open. Puranik was perhaps counting on 1…Rc1 2 Qa3…

Increment and excrement

29 February 2020 9:00 am

The science-fiction writer Douglas Adams ridiculed our primitive species for considering digital watches to be ‘a pretty neat idea’. Digital…

no. 593

29 February 2020 9:00 am

White to play, a variation from McShane–-Kamsky. In the game above, I was hoping to see 31…Qa5, as I had…

Confidence tricks

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Three consecutive losses in a tournament is dryly termed ‘castling queenside’, in reference to the chess notation for that move…

No. 592

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Black to play, Kateryna Lagno–Ju Wenjun, February 2020. Material is approximately balanced, but White’s king is in serious danger. What…

Beasts of the board

15 February 2020 9:00 am

The Dutch artist Theo Jansen has a unique speciality. His ‘Strandbeest’ (beach animals) are kinetic sculptures, which he likes to…

no. 591

15 February 2020 9:00 am

White to play, Dubov–Artemiev, Wijk aan Zee 2020. White is pressing here, but Black seems to have everything covered. Which…

Meeting an idol

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

We had never met, but David Paravyan, from Russia, has been something of a personal idol since August 2018. My…

no. 590

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Black to move, Paravyan vs McShane, Isle of Man 2019. Here I intended 49…Bxd1. What had Paravyan planned after that…

Women’s World Championship

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Looking at the first 12 games of the 2018 Carlsen-Caruana World Championship, which all ended in draws, I saw a statistical…

no. 589

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Black to move. Javakhishvili–Adams, Gibraltar 2020. Adams has a few plausible moves here, including Rf1, Rf3+ and Rxf7, but only…

More than a game

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Cars, computers and cadavers: taking them apart is normally reserved for experts and the pathologically curious. In his new book,…