Puzzles & games


Bridge | 15 April 2023

Working out ‘safety-plays’ is pretty tedious, but can be vital when playing rubber bridge or teams. Unlike matchpoint pairs, guarding against bad breaks to secure your contract is far more important than trying for overtricks. That said, it can be difficult to work out safety-plays quickly at the table, especially as they’re often counter-intuitive. Far


Question of sport

Is chess a sport? Naively, I once considered that to be a philosophical question. Physical strength or dexterity – nope. Feeling of exertion and elevated heart rate – yes, at least if you’re doing it with soul. Global competition and recognition – yes, emphatically. It was no accident that Louis Vuitton’s ad campaign last year pictured

Chess puzzle

No. 747

White to play. Volokitin-Kallai, Hungarian Team Ch 2018. Volokitin’s next move was a crushing blow. What did he play? Be careful – there are a couple of false trails here. Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 17 April. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include


Spectator competition winners: odes to unglamorous vegetables

In Competition No. 3294, you were invited to provide the first 16 lines of an ode to a turnip or another similarly unglamorous vegetable. This assignment was prompted, of course, by Thérèse Coffey’s suggestion that we respond to shortages in salad vegetables by embracing the turnip. But I also had in mind the wonderful odes


2600: Pulling power

The unclued entries share a definition. Elsewhere, ignore an accent. Across 1    Chap primarily revered among classic characters (5)12    Barrow dropping us with United in gallery to cause a commotion (10)13    Put a stop to women leaving a vessel I cast off (9)14    Fine for Cantona? (4)15    Deli stir fluid to make liquid again (8)17    Said

Crossword solution

2597: A Couple – solution

The couple were VICTORIA (23, 36, 37, 45) and ALBERT (2, 9, 17, 20, 46). 7 was the link. First prize Kenneth Allen, Riddlesden, W. YorksRunners-up P. and A. Hoverstadt, Lymm, Cheshire; Christopher Bellew, London W6