Puzzles & games


Bridge | 10 July 2021

Top bridge players have a spooky ability to recall thousands of hands, often from many years back. With so many cards stored in their hard drive, perhaps it’s not surprising how forgetful they can be in other areas. I once had dinner with the great Bob Hamman, and after discussing some of his recent bridge


The world has a new youngest grandmaster

Abhimanyu Mishra became the world’s youngest grandmaster last month, at 12 years and 4 months old. The boy from New Jersey achieved the milestone by scoring 7/9 at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix event in Budapest last month. In doing so, he has broken the record set almost 20 years ago by Sergey Karjakin, who became

Chess puzzle

No. 661

Black to play. Daggupati–Mishra, Charlotte 2020. 1…Rf1+ 2 Kg2 is a dead end, as White’s queen covers the f2 square. Mishra found the only way to draw; his subtle move combined a threat of perpetual check with a stalemate motif. Which move did he play? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 12 July.


Sonnets on the universe

In Competition No. 3206, you were invited to supply a sonnet on the universe. The late Frank Kermode reckoned that the sonnet form is just too easy — try a double sestina, if you’re after a challenge, he said — and comps such as this one certainly draw the crowds. A bumper crop of deftly


2514: Welcome back

Unclued lights (one of two words, the others paired) are of a kind. Across 7 Lace branches left in fruit tree (6) 11 After study, forgetting the year, doubting what William was famous for (10) 13 Appealing to restrain husband’s slide (5) 14 It strengthens bricks originally placed in tower (5, hyphened) 15 Mounted, moving south towards

Crossword solution

2511: Changing places – solution

The unclued lights form pairs of anagrams, one word in each pair being a place-name: 1A/6A, 1D/21, 6D/13, 11/38, 19/30 and 22/26A. First prize David Danskin, Yaldley Hastings, Northants Runners-up Kenneth Robb, Bo’ness, West Lothian; Dennis Cotterell, Carlisle