Puzzles & games


Bridge | 17 April 2021

I sometimes get far too intense when I’m playing bridge online. Holed up in my study at home, wearing noise-cancelling headphones, I forbid my children from interrupting and bark angrily if they do. When things go well, I’m elated, but when I make a blunder or suffer bad luck, I feel genuine angst. The other


European Online Club Cup

Since the start of the pandemic, opportunities for serious competition between players ranked outside the world’s top 20 have been scarce. So there was a pent-up appetite for the European Online Club Cup, which took place at the end of March, with more than 500 players registered (including more than 150 grandmasters) across 91 teams.

Chess puzzle

No. 649

White to play. Van Wely–Shimanov, March 2021. White has several tempting options here, but one move is much stronger than the rest. Which one? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 19 April. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and



2502: Nay-sayers?

The unclued lights (two of two words) are of a kind, verifiable in Brewer.   Across 4 High-handed relation in discussion first (11)11 This amphibian would need Marvel to make vanilla ice cream (9)12 Auxiliary doctor taking pulse (5)14 Ancient Glaswegian notice covering centre of Mull (4)15/38 Office facility managed 25C (6, two components)19 Nothing

Crossword solution

2499: Entitled trio – solution

The theme was C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 38A (of Scotland), 43A and 22D were all called ‘The Lion’ (see Brewer’s entry for lion); 11A, 41A and 9D are all witches; 12A, 34A and 6D are wardrobes. First prize Heather Weeks, Hove, East SussexRunners-up Michael Debenham, Shrewsbury; John Nutkins, London TW8