20 Feb

Turing’s Test

Can a machine play chess?  British mathematician Alan Turing – who broke the German Enigma codes during WW2, and immortalised in the 2014 Hollywood movie, The Imitation Game – is widely acknowledged as the father of computer science, and he was the first to ask this relevant question 70 year’s ago today during a famous […]

17 Feb

The Queen’s Gambit

American author Walter Tevis is famous for three novels that will always be known chiefly for their film adaptation — The Hustler, The Color of Money, and The Man Who Fell to Earth – that created some of the most memorable characters in cinema.  He followed those best-sellers up with an unlikely 1983 novel, The […]

15 Feb


While The Simpsons may well have earned the right to have their very own novelty chess set, in this Sunday’s season 28 episode, ‘The Cad and the Hat’, Springfield gets set for an even bigger 64-square twist with the reveal being that (unlikely as this might seem for some) Homer could well be something of […]

13 Feb

The Race Begins

The 2017 Fide Grand Prix gets underway at the weekend in Sharjah, UAE, and this is the first stage of the year-long process which will officially begin the race to determine World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s next title-challenger, with the two leading players from the four-leg cycle going forward as qualifiers for the 2018 Candidates tournament. […]

10 Feb

Gnomes & ChessBrahs

In Europe, the great chess staple where the game thrives is in its many leagues; and apart from the club player, there’s also a large professional element in many with the likes of the Bundesliga in Germany, the Russian league, French league, Spanish league, and the Italian league etc.  These are mostly episodic in nature, […]

08 Feb

Blast from the Past

Which player on the elite circuit got on more of his colleagues’ nerves than any other?  No, not Bobby Fischer but rather Henrique Mecking, a player seen as potentially one of the American’s up-and-coming rivals for the world crown.  Nine out of ten grandmasters would instantly have nominated Mecking, the one-time Brazilian enfant terrible, who […]

06 Feb

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet, the reputation of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival was marred recently with a baffling protest that came from the more normally amenable Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan, regarded as China’s golden girl, who bitterly complained that “her pairings were being manipulated” throughout because she had faced more female opponents than […]

03 Feb

Mr. Gibraltar

Players have been known to dominate certain major events; therefore claiming in the process to “own” the tournament just by their sheer phenomenal number of conquests there. Garry Kasparov picked up the nickname of “Mr. Linares”, having won the Spanish super-tournament nine-times.  And Kasparov’s nemesis, Vladimir Kramnik, is known as “Mr. Dortmund”, as he went […]

01 Feb

Not Just for the Masters

The annual Tata Steel Tournament in the quaint Dutch hamlet of Wijk aan Zee is not only one of the world’s very strongest events but also one of the best loved.  On a technical level, the tournament is always impeccably run by Jeroen van den Berg and his highly experienced organising team, with excellent playing […]