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Gnomic

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

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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

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Tradewise

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Classic

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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