Sinking the field

13 September 2014

Fabiano Caruana has dominated the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis in a way that almost defies belief. The Italo-American grandmaster, just 22 years old, reeled off seven straight wins against… Read more


Gifted and talented

6 September 2014

Despite occasional evidence to the contrary, I have persisted in the belief that the ability to play chess well indicates a powerful intelligence. Goethe wrote that chess was a touchstone… Read more


Olympiad highlights

30 August 2014

To round off my coverage of the chess Olympiad in Tromsø, which saw a total of 313 teams in the open and women’s sections, thus making it the greatest chess… Read more


Great wall

23 August 2014

China have won the Olympiad in Tromsø. I believe that we can now look forward to a sustained Chinese dominance in international team events, reminiscent of the Soviets. The Chinese… Read more



16 August 2014

The Tromsø Olympiad finishes on Thursday 14 August, too late for any definitive conclusions to be drawn here as to the likely medallists. The parallel great contest in Tromsø, Norway,… Read more


Two’s a crowd

9 August 2014

The British Championship, which finished in Aberystwyth last week, has been shared by international master Jonathan Hawkins and the defending champion David Howell. Curiously, this is the first occasion on… Read more


Treasure Island

2 August 2014

As I write, young Jonathan Hawkins has stormed into the lead in the British Championship in Aberystwyth with the tremendous score of 6/6. This is not quite a record since… Read more


Witsch craft

26 July 2014

The ever reliable Steve Giddins has just published a new book on that great strategist Aron Nimzowitsch. This is the third tome on Nimzo in the last few years, and… Read more


Final flame

19 July 2014

I am very sorry to report the death of International Master Andrew Whiteley, a friend of mine for half a century and a well-loved character in British chess. Andrew represented… Read more



12 July 2014

This was the watchword of Grandmaster Dragoljub Velimirovic, one of the leading players of the former Yugoslavia. I first encountered Velimirovic when he represented Yugoslavia on top board in the… Read more


Tiger tiger

5 July 2014

Petrosian Move by Move is a new book published by Everyman Chess written by the Swedish international master Thomas Engqvist. The book consists of 60 closely annotated games, all wins,… Read more



28 June 2014

Chess, unlike football, appears to confer little or no home advantage. In a recent article for Kensington & Chelsea Today, my esteemed colleague Barry Martin, who enjoys more space than… Read more


Hat trick

21 June 2014

For the second year running, 24-year-old Sergei Karjakin has won the Norway International, on both occasions ahead of Magnus Carlsen. The final scores, out of 9, were as follows: Karjakin 6; Carlsen… Read more


Vlad the Impaler

14 June 2014

As I write, the former world champion Vladimir Kramnik is leading in the Norway tournament in Stavanger. The line-up is impressive, including Magnus Carlsen, Lev Aronian, Fabiano Caruana and Sergei Karjakin,… Read more


On the brink

7 June 2014

The last great tournament to have been completed before the outbreak of war in 1914 was St Petersburg, which saw a sensational triumph by the world champion Emanuel Lasker, ahead… Read more


Close run

31 May 2014

Although world champion Magnus Carlsen clearly secured first place in the Gashimov Memorial tournament, he did not have things all his own way. Indeed, just before the halfway point he… Read more


Iron nerves

24 May 2014

The game that clinched Magnus Carlsen’s victory in the Gashimov Memorial came, fittingly, in a last-round cliffhanger against his closest rival, Fabiano Caruana. Both players were on 5½ points out… Read more


In training

17 May 2014

In my column of 26 April I suggested that the new world champion Magnus Carlsen was in need of some stiff opposition in preparation for his title defence, scheduled for… Read more



10 May 2014

From 1950 to 1962, the challenger for the world title was determined by a Candidates tournament of the world’s leading grandmasters, apart of course from the world champion. This was… Read more


Vengeance is mine

3 May 2014

The history of the world chess championship includes five title matches where the challenger was the former champion, seeking his revenge. These are Steinitz v Lasker, 1896; Alekhine v Euwe 1937;… Read more


Watch and wait

26 April 2014

While Viswanathan Anand, the former world champion, has been qualifying for a revenge match for the world title, Magnus Carlsen, the new champion, has been awaiting the identity of his… Read more


Express train

19 April 2014

The erratic Ukrainian grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk has scored an overwhelming victory in a rapidplay tournament sponsored by the Latvian railway. Leading scores were as follows: Ivanchuk 13 (out of 14);… Read more


Vishy regime

12 April 2014

The Candidates tournament has been won by Vishy Anand who adopted the safety-first policy of winning two of his first three games and then drawing most of the rest. By… Read more


Candidates compendium

5 April 2014

This week I focus on a number of key positions from the World Championship qualifier, the Candidates tournament, which concluded at the beginning of this week in Khanty-Mansisk in Siberia.… Read more


Magnus force

29 March 2014

As the World Championship qualifier (aka Candidates tournament) approaches its final rounds in Khanty-Mansisk, it is worth emphasising the Everest which the eventual challenger will have to climb when facing the… Read more