Puzzles & games


Bridge | 1 December 2016

It was the best hand I’d had all year — and what’s more, I picked it up while playing rubber bridge for money at TGRs. The pound signs flashed before my eyes: there was no way I was stopping short of game, and the merest squeak from my partner would get me slamming. Well, you



Game eight of the World Championship in New York broke the deadlock of hard-fought draws in the first seven games. Carlsen employed a closed variation of the queen’s pawn opening which had, in the past, been popularised both by Johannes Zukertort and Akiba Rubinstein. The opening merged into a level but still fertile middlegame. At


The long view

In Competition No. 2976 you were invited to submit an extract of a speech in which a well-known figure from history comments on a pressing item on today’s news agenda.   Rob Stuart gave Pythagorus’ view on the new Toblerone (not a fan); Frank Upton offered Thomas Crapper’s perspective on transgender public conveniences; and Michael


2289: I don’t believe it!

The unclued lights, as a singleton and four pairs with one unclued light doing double duty, are of a kind, verifiable in Brewer. Two of the unclued lights are of three words, one including an abbreviation. All but one of the remaining unclued lights are of two words. Ignore two apostrophes.   Across 10   

Crossword solution

to 2286: B

The unclued lights are provinces or areas of BELGIUM.   First prize C.R. Haigh, Hassocks, West Sussex Runners-up Frank McDonald, Carron, Falkirk; I. Lyttle, Armagh


Chess puzzle | 1 December 2016

White to play. This position is from Rubinstein-Johner, Carlsbad 1911. How did Rubinstein gain a winning position with a standard tactical device? We regret that because of the Christmas printing schedule, this is not a prize puzzle.   Last week’s solution 1 Nf6+ Last week’s winner Ray Fisher, Buxton, Derbyshire