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Chess

Before getting embroiled in the games of the Karpov-Kamsky match (their past games have averaged around 70 moves each, incidentally), here's a nice short problem. Composed by Hans Rehm, it's White to play and mate in 11.

week in week out

Today Dorothy Parker of the New Yorker, who at the death of slow- moving President Coolidge had asked, "How could they tell?" herself definitely died in 1967.

Keep taking the tablets

Since Emergency Ward 10 threw open its doors 40 years ago, hospital dramas have continued to set the nation's pulse racing. James Rampton examines the extent of our addiction

on the box

Barely has the nation had time to catch its breath after Andrew Graham-Dixon's excellent and exhaustive A History of British Art before the BBC launches another blockbusting art history series. Rather than a cool-dude broadsheet critic in a suit, however, Sister Wendy's Story of Painting offers us a bespectacled nun in a habit. The making of the 10-part series, a comprehensive "de-mystification" of art due to be broadcast on BBC1 from Sunday 30 June, must have taken it out of the 66-year-old. It took more than 100 days, travelling 30,000 miles, and visiting more than 40 art galleries, churches and studios in 12 countries. Sister Wendy Beckett has obviously not taken a vow of inactivity.

Day planner

Today

literacy

Which is the odd one out:

Bridge

Declarer fell for an old trap on this deal. It was one of those hands where there was a direct route to success, irrespective of whether West was having a little game or not.

Site unseen / The Royal Albert Bridge, Cornwall

Life is full of firsts. The first step, the first drink, the first cigarette, the first boy/girlfriend, the first driving test, the first ...

Iain Gale on exhibitions

The opening this week of the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy, calls to mind one of the few highlights of last year's show - a pair of vivid semi-abstract paintings by Barbara Rae. The fact that these works continue to haunt the mind is sufficient proof of the considerable power and presence of this important, though still relatively unknown British painter.

John Lyttle on film

Sometimes a movie is all incidentals. Sometimes it has to be. From Dusk to Dawn (below right), for instance, bills itself as a vampire flick, but has absolutely nothing to add to cinema's vampire lore, while its plot - or plots - are shamelessly borrowed from Cape Fear and The Evil Dead, the latter stitched to the former in a manner Baron Frankenstein might consider crude.

David Benedict on theatre

The whole of Broadway knew that Zoe Caldwell's powerhouse performance as Maria Callas in Masterclass was a dead cert for best actress at this year's Tony Awards. British producers have been winging their way across the Atlantic to put their bids in for the London production. British names suggested for the role include Frances de la Tour, Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg.

Film of the week: Fargo

The setting is Minnesota's snowy plains where you can't see the division between land and sky. But the Coen brothers' icy style looks like thawing; there may be as much cruelty, barbed humour and as many sneering asides as usual in their tale of a kidnapping gone wrong. But in the figure of Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), the pregnant police chief investigating three murders linked to the kidnapping, they've located an odd model of humanity and morality previously absent from their work. Low-key, but likeable.

Angela Lewis on pop music

Placebo were a sure thing, huge potential stars in Indie when they emerged last year, but nothing prepares you for their debut album, a quality sparkler beyond all hopes. Songs are full of lightning energy, focus and charisma - just like frontman Brian Molko. He's the American with the male superwaif sexiness and sharpest pop lyrics since Kurt Cobain. The words to "Teen Angst", for instance, lacerate the heart with their intense imagery. "I don't really write about anything I haven't experienced, or is at least second hand from what friends have told me," explains Brian. "It's semi autobiographical, sort of saying check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Double exposure

Jeremy Hardy and Jack Dee, both successful solo comics, have decided that two heads are better than one and joined forces. James Rampton reports

John Lyttle on film

She was the last blonde. Sure, there have been blondes since: Hawn, Stone, Pfeiffer are bleach babies deluxe. But they aren't Marilyn Monroe.
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‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
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Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

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Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

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Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering