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

MISCELLANY: Backgammon

THIS SORT of problem occurs quite frequently. Black has hit a late shot, contained white's blot and borne off some men. White has now re-entered and is heading for home as quickly as possible. Should black redouble? Should white take?

Independent Pursuits: Chess

TODAY I am reviewing John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book (Gambit, pounds 13.99). Nunn is one of the best tacticians on the planet and this, his "first venture into the field of chess puzzle books", is one that he himself and I would enjoy.

Independent Pursuits; Chess

ONE OF the problems of assembling a truly world class tournament, as compared to one of mixed strength, is that all of the competitors are extremely hard to beat. So it was that after three rounds of the super grandmaster tournament at Linares and Wednesday's rest day there had been just two decisive games: Michael Adams's excellent first-round victory against Peter Leko, and Gary Kasparov's win against Vassily Ivanchuk in round two.

Watch out - Homo ludens is about

You wouldn't dream of it any other day of the year. Now, crazed by excessive food, drink and family, what do you do? You play a game

A year-long trivial pursuit for the over-educated

John Walsh finds a small, but most determined, cabal of puzzle fanatics

Independent Pursuits: Chess

THE NEW season of the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) began last weekend with some splendidly blood-curdling chess. The favourites, Slough, put out a massive team headed by Hebden, Miles, Bogdan Lalic and Mikhail Gurevich to defeat North West Eagles 8-0 and Bigwood (a reincarnation of the current champions Midland Monarchs) 51/2 -21/2, and lead the 12- team league with 4 match points and 131/2 game points ahead of Barbican I 4 (10), Richmond 4 (91/2), Bristol I 3 (10) and Wood Green I 3 (91/2)...

Chess: Independent Pursuits

OF ALL the talented people who have composed chess problems, one of the very greatest was Sam Loyd. Born in Philadelphia in 1841, Loyd was from early childhood fascinated by conjuring, ventriloquism and puzzles of all kinds. Indeed, at the age of 27 he became a professional puzzle inventor, and for the eight years until 1876 he gave up chess problem composition while he established his business. But even with this hiatus, Loyd had completed well over 500 chess problems by his death in 1911.


WOMEN CHESSPLAYERS have come on a good deal since I was a young man. In those days, all one had to do was move towards them with one's knights and they would retreat to their back two ranks, there to perish ignominiously. There was something about the knight's devious gait that could be guaranteed to induce terror in a young girl. Now all that has changed. In today's game, we see Britain's top woman player not only unintimidated by her opponent's horsemanship, but even ordering her own cavalry to trample all over him.

Games: Backgammon

Over the years that I have written this column I am conscious of the fact that I have neither published, nor analysed, a complete game. In giving instruction it is easier to make a point about a position than about a whole game.

Games people play

Louis Theroux, 28, television presenter and journalist

Bluebird going to Mattell

BLUEBIRD Toys looks poised to fall into US hands after a new 116.5p per share offer from Mattel which values the UK company at pounds 48.5m and trumps a rival bid from Guiness Peat Group.


Here's a position that caused an argument in the weekly chouette. The team, playing Black, consisted of three players. The captain had already doubled but the other two team members hadn't (all three cubes are shown in the diagram). Black now rolled 21. Should they play (a) 13/11, 6/5 or (b) 13/11, 4/3*?

Indoors: Backgammon

Back to where we left off last week. It is double match point and Black has a 53 to play. How would you play it: (a) 6/1, 6/3 or (b) 5/off, 5/2?

Letter: Chess education

KIRSAN ILYUMZHINOV may be labelled eccentric ("Russia's black knight makes a global move", 25 February), but he is right about chess helping the child's intellectual development. As a coach I teach chess to groups and one-to-one, and I am convinced that it deserves equal status in education with maths and music.

Pass Go and collect the money

Michael Harrison On the collapse of the channel rail link project and BA's NEW LOW-COST AIRLINE
Latest stories from i100
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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...