The Lederer Memorial Trophy was carried off this year by my lovely friend Jonathan Harris, albeit with a little help from his friends. Jonathan played with Steve Root but to sharpen his team, he shipped over Sweden’s new young World Champions Mikael and Ola Rimstedt. The boys are twins and I for one have never known which was which – but all you really need to know is that they are both terrific bridge players.
The auction was identical at both tables, and so was the opening lead: a top Heart.
I do not, as a rule, go looking for a fight on a Sunday morning. Chess, if it must be played at all, should be approached with due caution. My game plan tends to be pretty simple: deploy the pieces onto sensible squares and hope that the coffee kicks in before anything interesting happens. Usually the opponent observes similar norms.
Vincent Keymer, 17, is one of Germany’s brightest talents, and he took me by surprise when we met last weekend in the Bundesliga.
Black to play. Shirov-Kramnik, Groningen 1993. Shirov threatens Rg3-h3+ so Kramnik forced a draw: 1…Rxg7+ 2 Rxg7+ Kh6 3 Rg8 Kh7 etc. Which move would have won Kramnik the game? Email answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
by Monday 14 March. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address.
Last week’s solution 1 Qg8+! Qxg8 2 Rh1# or 1…Kxg8 2 Rxa8+ wins. Other tries lead to stalemate or perpetual check e.
43 (two words) created 1A (four words) and 3 10 14 (seven words). The latter inspired 17 30, whose work introduced the
egregious 18. Elsewhere, ignore one accent.
9 The first three letters of ‘skunk’ (4)
11 Duke ordering wild heroics (9, hyphened)
12 Beat wife and cover up (4)
15 Mark has no time for heart drug (5)
16 Satan, not dead, is this (4)
20 Something greasy my big cat’s brought back (7, two words)
21 One entitled to insist on touring boundaries of estate (7)
24 Engineers extra base for one railing (7)
25 Pity quiet soul (5)
26 One boring gold plate returned (5)
27 Element of stupid-sounding trick (7)
31 Green Knight painting rejected? The opposite (7, two words)
34 A restart of game Neil suggested (7, hyphened)
37 Leap from plane tree to the rear (4)
38 Engine finally cut in dock (5)
39 Darling Dad has the sulks (6)
40 Loss of life as head breaks off island (4)
41 Females sadly putting on two pounds are embarrassed (9, two words)
42 Stars ignoring two unknowns for special performance (4)
1 Commonly warms food and swallows it all (6, two words)
2 Statesman pale under the moon (5)
4 Long for wild party at college (5)
5 Lorry left, dropping paper item (7)
6 Grass in good shape? (6)
7 One making changes replaces diet with alternative (6)
8 Smothers lover – little energy is involved (8)
13 Keep going forward, holding girl close (7)
19 Virginia’s shoe? (7)
22 Deer runs into patrol (7)
23 Alpinist suffering spiralling fall (8)
28 One new period of instruction succeeded explicitly (7, two words)
29 Hoping for good result in half-moon spectacles (6, two words)
32 Fine to leave untidy roomful of gilt ware (6)
33 Excellent old Italian has no love for pilot (6)
35 Fasten components up (5)
36 Titan finally losing footing (5)
A first prize of £30 for the first correct solution opened on 28 March.
Unclued lights are the many parts each man plays, from the ‘Seven ages’ speech by Jaques (29D) in As You Like It (2:7:139).
First prize Andy Binstead, Stroud, Glos
Runners-up Susan Hay, Perton, Wolverhampton; S.J.J. Tiffin, Cockermouth, Cumbria
In Competition No. 3239, you were invited to submit political manifestos inspired by literary heroes.
Sajid Javid loves Ayn Rand: twice a year, he reads the courtroom scene in The Fountainhead. Justin Trudeau is a Stephen King super-fan, Boris Johnson reckons Flashman is ‘the greatest’ and Macron is mad for Molière (he can recite chunks of the French dramatist’s plays from memory).
Honourable mentions, in what was a terrific entry, go to Frank McDonald, Bill Greenwell, Max Ross, Richard Spencer, Frank Upton and Nick MacKinnon (‘John McDonnell reclaiming The Tiger Who Came to Tea for the hard left’).