Raymond Keene rss

Raymond Keene is The Spectator’s chess columnist.


So there

25 April 2015

Hikaru Nakamura has won the US Championship in convincing style with 8/11, ahead of Ray Robson and Wesley So. Things might have turned out differently had So not been disqualified… Read more


No. 359

25 April 2015

Black to play. This position is a variation from Troff-Nakamura, US Championship 2015. How can Black conclude his kingside attack with a standard tactic? Answers to me at The Spectator… Read more


Hit for six

18 April 2015

The Hamilton Russell trophy for London clubs has been dominated in the past by the RAC. This year, though, they were knocked for six in the final decisive match by the… Read more


No. 358

18 April 2015

White to play. This is from Lee-Zakharov, Vrnjacka Banja 1963. Black has just captured on c3 and now 1 Qxc3 runs into 1 … Qxf1 mate. However, White can do… Read more



11 April 2015

I learn from The Problemist, the organ of the British Chess Problem Society, that the polymath Dr Jacob Bronowski also composed chess problems. According to the article I read, Bronowski… Read more


No. 357

11 April 2015

Black to play. This is from Cochrane-Staunton, London 1842. How did Staunton exploit his menacing build up of pieces on the kingside? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday… Read more


From Russia with love

4 April 2015

In the James Bond film From Russia with Love there is an evil mastermind named Kronsteen. The character is in some ways based on the Russian chess genius David Bronstein,… Read more


No. 356

4 April 2015

White to play. This position is a variation from Bronstein-Zilberstein, Tbilisi 1973. Bronstein has just given up a piece on d5 but has a clever tactical idea in mind. Can… Read more


Caro can

28 March 2015

The Caro-Kann Defence, 1 e4 c6, has always appealed to me. It has the advantage of staking a claim in the centre by means of … d5, without the disadvantages… Read more


No. 355

28 March 2015

Black to play. This position is a variation from Ganguly-Vitiugov, Gibraltar 2014. The game started as a Caro-Kann and is mentioned in Houska’s book. Although Black is a pawn down… Read more


Just So

21 March 2015

Last week in a perceptive piece for the Times, Will Pavia animadverted upon the fact that the USA appears to be actively recruiting top chess grandmasters. Pavia focused on attempts… Read more


No. 354

21 March 2015

White to play. This is from Pillsbury-Tarrasch, Hastings 1895. White has only one move to bring his kingside attack to a successful conclusion before Black lands on the other wing.… Read more


Bright blues

14 March 2015

The boat race for the brain, as it has become known, took place at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London last Saturday. The 133rd Oxford v Cambridge Varsity chess… Read more


No. 353

14 March 2015

Black to play. This is from James-Sugden, -Cambridge 1972, as featured last week. It’s a win by the Cambridge player Dr J. N. -Sugden of St John’s College. In the… Read more



7 March 2015

On Saturday 7 March the annual Varsity Match between the teams of Oxford and Cambridge takes place. The contest is at the Royal Automobile Club starting at noon, and spectators… Read more


No. 352

7 March 2015

Black to play. This is a variation from Chandler-Whiteley, Brighton 1979. Here Black can bring his attack to a successful conclusion thanks to a fine tactical idea. Can you see… Read more



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