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


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


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



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



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


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



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


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


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


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