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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

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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

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Attack

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

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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

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Blitzkrieg

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Pantheon

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

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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

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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

Chess-Column

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

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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

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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

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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

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True Blue

22 March 2014

The Oxford v. Cambridge Varsity Match held at the Royal Automobile Club two weeks ago ended in a draw. This is the longest-running chess fixture in the world, dating originally… Read more

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War fever

15 March 2014

It is a little known fact that Emanuel Lasker, the German world chess champion, who reigned from 1894 to 1921, was keen for Germany to enter the first world war.… Read more

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Varsity match

8 March 2014

On Saturday 8 March the 132nd Varsity match between the teams of Oxford and Cambridge will see Oxford seeking to reduce its historic deficit in a match which can claim… Read more

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Ukrainian knights

1 March 2014

This week I pay tribute to the chess grandmasters from Ukraine, led by Vassily Ivanchuk, many times a candidate for the world championship. Ukraine occupies an honourable place in the… Read more

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Triumvirate

22 February 2014

Three important tournaments concluded this month, for two of which (Gibraltar and Bunratty) I attended the awards ceremonies. I have already given the results of Zurich. The most impressive game,… Read more

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Georgics

15 February 2014

George Osborne is a supporter of chess. During the award ceremony at 11 Downing St for last year’s London Candidates’ tournament, he told me that as a teenager he attended… Read more

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Lions’ den

8 February 2014

Daniel Johnson, the distinguished editor of Standpoint magazine, can be bracketed with Tim Congdon and Dominic Lawson, as having had the potential to become a chess master. All three chose… Read more