Category Archives: Chess

King Of The Hill

Magnus Carlsen wrapped up his World Championship title defense against Sergey Karjakin today in a series of four rapid-play tiebreakers. It was a fantastic finish that featured some brilliant, beautiful chess. Each player had 25 minutes for the whole game, with a 10-second increment added for every move. The first game (you can play through […]

It’s On

Chess fans: there’s a world-championship match underway, here in New York, between the current king of the hill, Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, and the Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin. It’s a 12-game match, and it was all draws until yesterday’s Game 8, in which Mr. Karjakin achieved a dramatic win. Game 9 is now underway — a […]

King Of The Hill

Well, Carlsen did it. He defeated Anand 6.5-3.5, with three wins and not a single loss, and is now the world champion. You can go over all the games here. Related content from Sphere

Turn Out The Li-i-ights, The Party’s O-o-over…

Magnus Carlsen has done it again, defeating Anand in Game 9 to take a near-insuperable 6:3 lead. If he can manage a single draw in the remaining three games, he’s the new champ. You can look at the game (a Nimzo-Indian, with Carlsen playing Black) here. Related content from Sphere


In case you haven’t heard, there’s a world chess championship match underway in Chennai, India (that’s ‘Madras’, to those of you of a certain age). The reigning champ, 43-year-old Viswanathan Anand, is attempting to defend his crown against the Norwegian enfant terrible Magnus Carlsen, 22. It isn’t going very well. After four draws, Carlsen, the […]

How Can This Be?

For you chessplayers: a pretty puzzle, from Susan Polgar. Here.

Larry Evans, 1932-2010

Yesterday’s paper brought more sad news: the death of American chess grandmaster Larry Evans. Mr. Evans, though never quite in the uppermost echelon of world-championship candidates, was nevertheless among the strongest players in the world for decades, and was a frequent U.S. champion. He was also a prolific and beloved author, columnist, and analyst; I […]

Dutch Treat

For you chess enthusiasts, here is a video analysis, by GM Nick de Firmian, of an outstanding game between World Champion Vishy Anand and the rising young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, from the elite Wijk an Zee tournament. Related content from Sphere

Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008

Here is Bobby Fischer’s obituary, from today’s New York Times. The renowned chess teacher Bruce Pandolfini† had this to say: “After 1972, we lost so many great pieces of art,” said Mr. Pandolfini, the chess teacher, “hundreds of masterpieces he would have created if he had stayed a sane being. We feel the great loss. […]


This just in (thanks to my friend Jess K. for alerting me): Bobby Fischer is dead.

Democracy’s Bulldog

With a “hat tip” to the Maverick Philosopher, Bill Vallicella, here is Garry Kasparov’s account of his recent arrest and imprisonment (as noted in these pages last week). Related content from Sphere

Slav Defense

We note that former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has been arrested in Russia for leading a protest rally. According to reports he has been sentenced to five days in jail. Related content from Sphere

No-Win Situation

Once again, the chess World Champion has played a match against a computer, and lost. This time the victor was Deep Fritz 10, and the victim was the 31-year-old Russian Vladimir Kramnik.

Lapsus Manus

I have quite a few old chess books on my shelves – I have a hard time passing them up whenever I see a street vendor selling them, and they tend to accumulate. The other day, in the wee hours of the morning, weary but not yet ready to retire, I pulled a couple of volumes at random and settled in with a board and an adult beverage, looking forward to browsing a bit and perhaps playing over a master game or two. The two books I had happened to choose were The Book of the Nottingham International Chess Tournament, 10th to 28th August, 1936, With Annotations and Analysis by A. Alekhine (probably the best tournament book ever, given the quality of the annotation, and that the field included Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker, Fine, Tartakower, Vidmar, Bogoljuboff, Flohr, Reshevsky, Euwe, and Botvinnik, among others), and a wonderful collection called The Treasury of Chess Lore, by that most beloved of all chess writers, Fred Reinfeld.

Mens Sana in Corpore Kayoed

From my old friend P.M. “Nick” Nicholes, who lives with his family in magnificent isolation in Lennep, Montana (pop. about 8) along the Musselshell River, near the Crazy Mountains, comes word of a brand-new way to test oneself in both brain and brawn: chessboxing.

Walter Browne Throws One Down

I was poking around online the other day and came across this outstandingly brilliant game by the great American grandmaster Walter Browne. When I was a teenager I used to come into New York with my friends to play in tournaments at the old McAlpin Hotel at Herald Square; Browne was always the one to watch. You could always tell where his board was by the crowd gathered round.

This is a game from one of those tournaments, way back in 1973. Enjoy.


I love chess. I’ve been playing since I was just a little boy. I’m no master, but I can play a decent game, and every now and then I have played an excellent one.