Puzzles & games


Bridge | 25 January 2018

As Janet said last week, the recent European Open trials made for compulsive viewing. Ten pairs took part; first and second place would join Andrew Robson and Tony Forrester (the only pre-selected pair) to represent England in the European championships in June.   At the end of four gruelling days, the winners were Jeffrey Allerton/Chris



A remarkable event took place in London towards the end of last year, when the AlphaZero computer program took on one of the leading commercial programs, Stockfish, in a 100-game match. Astonishingly AlphaZero won by the overwhelming score of 28 wins, no losses, with the remainder of the games being drawn. AlphaZero is the brainchild



In Competition No. 3032 you were invited to provide a poem about passports.   While the news that British passports issued after October of next year would be navy blue rather than burgundy was heartily cheered in some quarters, others — like Nicola Sturgeon, who denounced it as ‘insular nonsense’ — weren’t so delighted. And


2343: Rats!

Round the perimeter clockwise is a 14-word quotation in ODQ, with its first word represented by a number in the grid. Other unclued lights are words of a kind (including four proper nouns and one of two words) which need treating before entry, as suggested by the final three words of the quotation. One of

Crossword solution

to 2340: Booboos

Amongst the many ‘aphorisms’ of Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees baseball manager, were ‘The future ain’t what it used to be’ and ‘It was déjà vu all over again’.   First prize Christopher Hanafin, Adare, Co. Limerick Runners-up John Challoner, Newport, Essex; P.D.H. Riddell, London SE23


no. 490

White to play. This position is from Ivanchuk-Lafuente, Gibraltar 2011. White now terminated proceedings abruptly. What was the key move? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 30 January or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address