Raymond Keene rss

Raymond Keene is The Spectator’s chess columnist.



28 February 2015

The elite tournament at Zurich, which finished last week, has adopted a system for determining the ultimate trophy winner which seems to me virtually impenetrable. Zurich consisted of three separate… Read more


No. 351

28 February 2015

White to play. This position is from Nakamura-Karjakin, Zurich classic 2015. White’s knight seems trapped but he can rescue it with a fine tactical idea. Can you see how? Answers… Read more


Carlsen’s special brew

21 February 2015

Magnus Carlsen has added another trophy to his cabinet by taking the honours at the Grenke tournament in Baden Baden, Germany. As at Wijk aan Zee, the world champion had… Read more


No. 350

21 February 2015

White to play. This is from Anand v Kramnik, Zurich Rapidplay 2015. White has two ways to win this position, both using the same idea. Either move can be considered… Read more



14 February 2015

The Tradewise Masters in Gibraltar has been won by the American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, with the British co-champion David Howell in clear second place. This is possibly a career best… Read more


No. 349

14 February 2015

White to play. This position is a variation from Bellin-Georgiadis, Gibraltar 2015. White has given up his queen. How does he now force checkmate? Answers to me at The Spectator… Read more


Sixes and sevens

7 February 2015

The veteran world championship contender, Victor Korchnoi, has accused the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of hypnotising his opponents. Plainly unimpressed by the overall quality of Carlsen’s play, the ever-controversial Korchnoi ascribes… Read more


No. 348

7 February 2015

White to play. This position is a variation from Nakamura-Topalov, Gibraltar 2015. Topalov has already resigned this game as he had seen what was coming. What is White’s next move?… Read more


Magnificent Magnus

31 January 2015

Magnus Carlsen has won first prize in the elite Tata Steel tournament at Wijk aan Zee, Holland. Leading scores out of 13 were Carlsen 9, then Giri, So, Ding Liren… Read more


No. 347

31 January 2015

White to play. This is a variation from Carlsen-Aronian, Wijk aan Zee 2015. Black has just played his bishop to a3, uncovering an attack on the white queen while also… Read more


London Blitz

24 January 2015

Britain’s leading grandmaster, Michael Adams, started well in the London Classic, with a beautiful win against the rising star Fabiano Caruana. After that, Adams ran out of steam, finishing in… Read more


No: 346

24 January 2015

White to play. This position is a variation from Kramnik-Nakamura, London Classic Blitz 2014. How can White make a decisive material gain? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday… Read more


London Rapid

17 January 2015

The exciting American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura compensated for his somewhat lacklustre performance in the London Classic section, held at Olympia just before Christmas, with an overwhelming victory in the Rapidplay… Read more


No: 345

17 January 2015

White to play. This position is a variation from Williams-van Wely, London Rapidplay 2014. How can White bring his kingside attack to a successful conclusion? Answers to me at The… Read more


London Classic

10 January 2015

The key feature of the London Classic, which finished shortly before Christmas, was the resurgence of Viswanathan Anand, the former world champion. One might have expected him to be demoralised… Read more


No. 344

10 January 2015

White to play. This is a position from Adams–Caruana, London Classic 2014. How did Adams convert to a winning endgame? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 13 January… Read more


Ave et vale

3 January 2015

2014 was the year in which Magnus Carlsen confirmed his position as world champion, and also the year in which the dynamic new star, Fabiano Caruana, rose to the rank… Read more


No. 343

3 January 2015

White to play. This position is from Caruana–Ponomariov, Dortmund 2014. The structure is symmetrical but White’s pieces are very active. How did Caruana make the most of this with a… Read more


London greats

13 December 2014

The London Chess Classic, graced by two former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, as well as the world number two, Fabiano Caruana, is nearing its close. Full details… Read more


Christmas chess puzzle

13 December 2014

White to play. This position is from Anderssen-Kieseritzky, London 1851. It is a brilliant encounter that became known as the Immortal Game. White has already gambitted both rooks. How does… Read more



6 December 2014

London chess fans are about to enjoy a great treat. The London Chess Classic will run from the 10-14 December with a tremendous line-up: Viswanathan Anand, fresh from his title… Read more


Chess puzzle

6 December 2014

White to play. This position is a variation from Larsen-Portisch, London 1986. How can White exploit a fatal weakness in the black position? Please note that, owing to printing deadlines,… Read more


Extinct tigers

29 November 2014

The Tiger of Madras has gone the way of the sabre-toothed tiger. Viswanathan Anand, world champion from 2007 to 2013, has now suffered his second consecutive match defeat at the… Read more


No. 342

29 November 2014

White to play. This position is a variation from move 37 of today’s game. How does White win? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 2 December or via… Read more


Comedy of errors

22 November 2014

For reasons unknown, the world championship in Sochi between Carlsen and Anand is turning into a catalogue of disastrous blunders by both sides. Last week we witnessed Anand’s instantaneous implosion… Read more