i In the frame: Eileen Cooper accuses the art world of failing women

Meet Eileen Cooper: she wants to shake up the art world.

Philippa O'Brien: These urban types are intelligent and endearing

Beekeeping is like playing chess against the bees. Trying to get these wild creatures to obey you is a complex challenge. If they were left to their own devices, there would be swarms of them – and, with each swarm made up of hundreds of insects, this can be dangerous. Instead, you must outwit them.

Sport on TV: Just because you're clever, that doesn't mean game is in the bag

As you while away those long afternoons with the family over the festive period with bored, sorry, board games, the chances are you opted for Scrabble rather than a chess tournament. It's almost as intellectually challenging but not quite as daunting, and you can watch 'Star Wars' at the same time. And these days it's just as significant, prominent, momentous. The word game's popularity has exploded, detonated, fulminated, with 150 million sets sold worldwide in 31 languages, and Imagine: Scrabble – A Night on the Tiles (BBC1, Tuesday) showed that it is taken equally as seriously as its rather snobbish relative. After all, no less than the Beeb's doyen of the arts, Alan Yentob, was scrabbling around in his sack, occasionally lost for words.

Korchnoi remains defiant, but a new foe looms

He has glowered across a chessboard at the savants of six different generations. In 1953 he played a grandmaster, Grigory Levenfish, who was born in 1889; more recent opponents include the current world No 1, Magnus Carlsen, born in 1990.

Outside Edge (13/12/2009)

Just remember, African pygmy hedgehogs are for life, not just for Christmas.

Magnus Carlsen: Move fast, play young

At just 19, Magnus Carlsen is the highest-ranking chess player in the world. As he arrives in the UK for a historic tournament, Simon Usborne meets him

Governors face disciplinary action over 'prisoner chess'

'Difficult' inmates who were moved to mislead inspectors attempted suicide

First Night: European Chess Boxing, Boston Dome, North London

Pawns, punches and a sport that mixes brain with brawn

Forget Henry VIII, here is the king of real tennis

A world champion for 15 years, Fahey is chasing his 40th Grand Slam crown

When treasure hunters hit the jackpot

The historic find in Staffordshire is comparable with some of the most significant hauls in Britain.

Koko Taylor: 'The Queen of the Blues'

Known as the "Queen of the Blues", Koko Taylor brought both a raw intensity and a Southern earthiness to the Chicago blues scene. Her gritty vocals and consummate showmanship won her adulation from generations of fans and served to inspire a clutch of female blues artists, Shemekia Copeland and Susan Tedeschi among them, who have often struggled for recognition within a genre long dominated by men.

Peter Bills: Modern rugby is like a chess game

You cannot argue with a try count of 5 to 2, and a score line of 34-10. But nor can you argue with a total nonentity of the modern game that was constantly in evidence at Twickenham on Sunday in the England v France match.

Observations: Pajamas are funny. Fact

Former Perrier Award newcomer nominees and lauded at last year's Edinburgh Festival as "Pina Bausch meets The Mighty Boosh", the American comedy-theatre duo The Pajama Men arrive in London this week. Unlike the Boosh, though, the Pajamas don't play to the gallery and unlike Pina Bausch they haven't used a fake walrus on stage. Yet.

Chess: the film of the music label

The latest musical biopic may be flawed, but the story it tells of a legendary blues and rock'n'roll label is compelling, writes Pierre Perrone
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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