Puzzles & games


Bridge | 17 February 2024

I always put on weight when I play in bridge tournaments: the build-up of stress and concentration makes me ravenous. Sally Brock often reminds me of the time, many years ago, that we played in the women’s trials at the YC, which was then based in Earl’s Court. When it was over, she asked if


Young contenders

Popular wisdom has it that the smartphone has shrivelled teenagers’ attention spans. But they are getting better at chess, and there is no doubt that technology is the main driver. Chess knowledge is more widely accessible than ever before, with any number of sparring partners, courses and coaches (like me!) available online. Chess engines, such

Chess puzzle

No. 788

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by V. Antipov, Kudesnik, 1998. Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 19 February. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six weeks for prize delivery. Last week’s solution 1 Qg5+! Kf7



2641: Mastermind

Two of the unclued entries combine to form a name (three words) responsible for the other unclued entries (one of three words, two of two words, and two of which combine to form a two-word name). Across 11    Custom I outlaw, hiding books for islander (7) 12    They must cool down the crowd (4) 14   

Crossword solution

2638: Capital fellow – solution

The key word is Berliner: 37D/26D said ‘9D Berliner’; 13A, 3D, and 20D are newspaper formats; 26A, 40A and 28D are doughnuts. First prize  Sam Snell, London SE10 Runners-up  Mike Morrison, London N20; Guy Taylor, London EC1