Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

Pastimes: Chess

Gata Kamsky was thrown completely off balance in the fourth game of his Fide world title match against Anatoly Karpov.

Chess / Objectivity salvaged from Oedipus wrecks

Fifty years ago this week, Alexander Alekhine died. A venomously competitive individual and part-time drunkard, he was one of the more unpleasant characters to hold the world championship, but also undoubtedly one of the most brilliant. His feud with his predecessor, Jose Raul Capablanca, was the most vicious in chess history - after their title match in 1927 it was another nine years before they could be tempted to compete in the same event, and even then they would not sit together at the board - and his world title match with Dr Euwe in 1935 produced the only recorded instance of a reigning champion urinating on stage during a contest.

backgammon

Continuing our series on game types, we come now to the most volatile of all: the blitz. A blitz is characterised by one player desperately trying to get an anchor in his opponent's home board while his opponent does all he can to prevent it. The position shown is typical of the early stages of a blitz:

ETCETERA : CHESS

Of all the great champions I ever met, Emanuel Lasker - whose death in 1941 affected me deeply - struck me as the best example of a brilliant all-rounder. Mathematician, philosopher and a dab hand at bridge, he was the world champion one would most desire as a dining companion. Here is one of his best games, played exactly a century ago.

Chess: Pawn cocktails

Problems with only pawns on the board are quite a rarity. The first diagram is probably the earliest example. Composed by Ponziani in 1769, it is White to play and mate in five. (The Q-side pawns bump the number up from four.)

Letter: Chess master

DEEP Blue, the chess computer that recently beat Kasparov, analyses around 3 million moves per second. Kasparov would consider no more than a handful of moves worth making in this time. Therefore, whatever Deep Blue is doing, it is not "thinking" in the same way as its human counterpart, and many would argue it is not thinking at all ("From Socrates to Silicon Chip", Review, 25 February). It is like giving an infinite number of monkeys a typewriter each for an infinite amount of time, and hailing the one that produces Hamlet as a literary genius.

chess excellent end-game

We haven't had a decent end-game study in this space for some time, but this one should make up for the omission. Composed by Kasparyan in 1972, it is White to play and draw, and the solution begins with some almost unbelievable moves.

chess: Deep Blue all at sea

Where do Deep Blue's programmers go after the defeat of their monster by Kasparov? The post-mortem on the games reveals clear causes for its demise, but there are great problems to be solved if a later version is to be inoculated against the fatal illness. Here is a three-point plan for computer domination of chess:

backgammon: raising the anchor

A high anchor game is one where you have moved your back checkers at least as far as

Chess / Deep Blue seizure

Deep Blue, the grandmaster-crusher from IBM, gave a most impressive account of itself last week, but predictions of the downfall of humanity may be premature. For Deep Blue has its Achilles chip, too.

Chess moves

Moves of the final (sixth) game between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue

Kasparov beats Blues

CAN a machine sulk? When Deep Blue, the IBM super computer, lost the fifth game of its chess match against Garry Kasparov early yesterday morning, it looked almost as though artificial apathy was the cause. The problem began when Kasparov offered the machine a draw in a roughly level position after 23 moves. On the advice of Deep Blue's consultant, American grandmaster Joel Benjamin, it's operators declined the offer.

LETTER : Chess patterns

From Dr Edmund Furse

chess; William Hartston

Michael Adams continued his recovery in the Hoogovens tournament with a splendid 12th-round win over Robert Hubner. Black's opening play with 7...Bxf3 was very provocative, but Adams exploited his development lead in a most impressive way.

Winning moves of a 12-year-old chess king

Child prodigy: Luke McShane becomes the youngest British player to defeat a grandmaster
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot