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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


Force Majeure

15 November 2014

The common feature of the first two games of the World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in Sochi has been that play was decided in a major… Read more


Sochi Challenge

8 November 2014

On Saturday 8 November the first game will be played in the three-week long rematch between defending world champion Magnus Carlsen and the man from whom he took the title… Read more


Winning hand

1 November 2014

Tension has always existed between games of skill, such as chess or draughts, and games seemingly based on chance, like backgammon and poker. The Russian grandmaster and chess historian Yuri Averbakh… Read more


Baku beyond

25 October 2014

The irrepressible Fabiano Caruana has added to his laurels by sharing first prize in the Baku Grand Prix, which finished earlier this month. The surprise was that in the process… Read more


Tigran Tigran

18 October 2014

Tigran Petrosian seized the world championship from Mikhail Botvinnik in 1963, defended the title against Boris Spassky in 1966 and only relinquished it against the same dangerous opponent three years… Read more


Fabian strategy

11 October 2014

Good news. Fabiano Caruana will be coming to London this December to participate in the sixth London Classic. This will be a great privilege for the London audience since Caruana… Read more


Highland fling

4 October 2014

Recently Professor Jackie Eales gave a lecture in Canterbury on ‘Queenship in the Age of the Enraged Chess Queen’. (The title of course refers to the new powers conferred on… Read more


Scotch miss

27 September 2014

This week, a tribute to the one major Scottish contribution to chess, the invention of the Scotch game, later to become a favourite of Garry Kasparov. The following game, one… Read more


Double trouble

20 September 2014

The importance of pawn structure cannot be overestimated when planning chess strategy. Although Philidor (18th century) understood the importance of pawns in chess, in the 19th century the health and… Read more


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