The British Chess Magazine, produced continuously since 1881, is the world's oldest chess periodical still published. There can be no better history of tournament chess than a complete run of the BCM, and the latest issues strike a happy balance between entertainment and information.
The June 1993 issue (56 pages, including covers) contains over 30 complete games, mostly annotated, and besides covering home and international tournaments has sections for correspondence play, problems and endgame studies. The soap opera element is provided by two pages on the latest moves in the Short-Kasparov-Fide eternal triangle.
At pounds 2.20 for a single issue (pounds 23.50 for a year's subscription) it may seem expensive, but the density of excellent material ensures good value. More information may be obtained from the BCM's own Chess Shop at 69 Masbro Rd., Kensington, London W14 0LS (071-603-2877). Enter clutching the Independent and they will even give you a specimen copy.
The problem below was a first-prize winner published in the June 1898 BCM. Composed by O Nemo, it is White to play and mate in three.
With Black's king threatening to run to d8 and e7, it is tempting to bring the king closer with 1. Ke5, when 1 . . . Kd8 2. Ke6 Kc8 (otherwise Qh8 is mate) 3. Ke7 is mate. But where is the mate after 1 . . . Kb6 when Qd7 or Qc8 is stalemate? The answer is neat: 2. Kd5] Kb7 3. Kxc5, a three-move mate with all White's moves made with his king.
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