Puzzles & games


Bridge | 20 November 2021

The Champion’s Cup is an annual competition for the national champions from 12 European countries. As my team won the Premier League in 2019, two years later we found ourselves on the way to Pezinok in Slovakia to take on 11 other strong teams. My regular team mates Thor Erik Hoftaniska and Thomas Charlsen, playing


Sacrificing the queen

One of the most eye-catching games from the recently concluded Fide Grand Swiss in Riga saw an early sacrifice of queen for knight, bishop and pawn. This exotic balance of material usually favours the queen, based on the rule of thumb that pawn = 1, knight = 3, bishop = 3, rook = 5, queen

Chess puzzle

No. 680

White to play and win. The conclusion of an endgame study by Henri Rinck. The imminent promotion of the g-pawn makes White’s situation look desperate, but there is one way to win the game. What is White’s winning move? Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 22 November. There is a prize of £20 for the


Dominic Raab’s ‘Nightmare Song’

In Competition No. 3225, you were invited to provide a version of the Lord Chancellor’s ‘Nightmare Song’ from Iolanthe for any member of the British cabinet. Long Gilbertian lines mean there’s space only for me to applaud stellar contributions all round, but especially from D.A. Prince, Katie Mallett, Rachael Churchill, Janine Beacham, George Simmers and


2533: Monday’s Child

A nine-word phrase (in five unclued lights, two used twice) opens a work for 1A (three words) by 8 (two words). The work inspired the other two unclued lights.   Across 9 A horse’s bridle eventually just as old (7, three words) 11 Outrageous, a chimney turning half black (7) 12 Army team endlessly tense

Crossword solution

2530: Ups and downs – solution

The quotation is ‘LAUGH, AND THE WORLD LAUGHS WITH YOU; WEEP, AND YOU WEEP ALONE’ from Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Her two unclued novels are SWEET DANGER (34/24) and A DOUBLE LIFE (3/29). ELLA (on the perimeter), WHEELER (12) and WILCOX (diagonally from 12) were to be shaded. First prize Roy Sharp, Kelburn, Wellington,