When lockdown struck, high-standard online bridge tournaments sprang up and with them a multitude of cheats, world champions among them, crawled out of the woodwork.
The World Bridge Tour came about when Norwegian stars Boye Brogeland and Thomas Charlsen, who had done so much to uncover the 2015 cheating scandal, analysed hands played by suspect players, and effectively barred them from entering. A couple of weeks ago, they moved offline to hold their first F2F event in Lillehammer, Norway.
Returning to the board, Mamedyarov looks at Anand’s outstretched hand with bemusement. It can’t be a draw offer – that would be a rude way to do it, and besides, the tournament rules prohibit an early peace treaty. No, Anand is resigning! He looks crestfallen, like a child whose ice cream has fallen to the ground. Mamedyarov pauses before taking his hand, and now Anand looks puzzled by his opponent’s hesitation. Here is the position:
Vishy Anand-Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Norway Chess, June 2022
(See left diagram)
Anand had just played 22 Qd3-b5, which pressures e8 and b7.
White to play. Trent-Carlstedt, Hamburg 2022. Lawrence Trent spotted a way to deliver a quick mate. Which move did he play? Answers should be emailed to email@example.com by Monday 20 June. 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 Rc1! with the idea
1…Kb8 2 Kxb6 Ka8 3 Rc8# After 1…b5 or
Clockwise round the grid from 7 run the names (8,5,3,3,8,3,8,7,7) of six members of a winning set, the other three members forming the unclued lights (including two of two words). Solvers must shade the two clued lights giving further relevant names.
8 Seaweed aged sheep gobbled (5)
9 One’s advanced banking system backing Eastern art (7)
10 Love of French poetry (3)
11 Spiritual father a pub ruined (4)
13 Plant right in marshland (4)
15 Porcelain lid in the White House? (5)
16 One thousand and eight lumps of sugar? (5)
17 Beastly battle royal boa lost of late (8)
20 Girlfriend caught in flagrante finally colouring (3-3)
23 Show cleric centre of Suez (5)
26 Cross letter from Greece (3)
29 Fine wine’s different (3)
31 Crow’s home perhaps in regularly pruned tree by water (5)
34 Russian maestro and Georgia having to go arm in arm (6)
36 Part of plant deceases if maggoty (8)
38 River during fading twilight (5)
39 Composer is a bad conductor (5)
41 Drink’s sound measure (4)
42 Bloke has function (4)
43 Old master from my French art (3)
44 Valence restructured in Lesotho? (7)
45 Fabulist a model rebuffed (5)
1 Docked Airedale’s broken bone (7)
2 Asian ounce roaming late (4)
3 Hollow men scrap (5)
5 Smart bastards in trouble (5)
6 Portion of noggin? Sprinkle it in cups (8)
7 No one Scottish spun old coin oddly (oddly) (7)
12 Class of synthetic sap (6)
14 Study unknown rhino (5)
18 Prop on stage (3)
19 Crazy northern preying bird (5)
21 Roughly half a pint I would love (5)
24 Make client sales easy with van (8)
25 Valley visited by English fellow (6)
27 Rope secures a climber (5)
28 Style of vibrant red coat (3,4)
30 Mature fruit beginning to go off (3)
32 Riverbound part of London (4,3)
35 Chap’s spear I avoided (6)
36 Death of old PM is upsetting (5)
37 One CO keeps close to safe dugout (5)
40 Warriors some blimp irritated (4)
A first prize of £30 for the first correct solution opened on 4 July.
The perimetric knights are MO FARAH, JASON KENNY, STEVE REDGRAVE and CHRIS HOY, all OLYMPIC WINNERS. Together they have amassed TWENTY-TWO (44) GOLDS (35). The DATE (17) linking them all is 23 March, indicated by 23 (DAY)
and 3 (MONTH), which is the birthday of all four.
First prize George Walker, Stockport
Runners-up James Dowson, Throwley, Kent; Sarah Drury, Devizes, Wiltshire
In Competition No. 3253, you were invited to write a poem entitled ‘Song of Myself’ in the style of the poet of your choice. High
fives all round for a terrific entry, and an honourable mention to Martin Parker/Ogden Nash:
From spermery to wormery
via germery and infirmery.
life has been mostly alas and alack.
The winners pocket £30 each.
live and let unlive my
country – ’tis of me i sing:
a poet no cap fits as i
make love my everflowing spring
i am, ergo (i think) i feel
no need of why, no deadmen’s rules;
a calculated life will fail –
the truly wise are wholly fools
but always, firstandlast, know this:
to see through me is what i plead –
don’t speak my words but leave your lips to kiss
and use your eyes to see the flowers unread