This week’s puzzle is the first round of a nationwide competition where The Guardian’s readership has traditionally been strong and outnumbered.
You need to figure out how White, playing the board as usual, can force checkmate in two moves, but Black is defending.
The puzzle is the first stage of the annual Winton British Solving Championship, organized by the British Chess Problem Society. The competition is only open to UK residents and entry is free. His prize fund is expected to be at least £1,200, plus prize money for juniors.
To enter, simply send White’s first move to Nigel Dennis, Boundary House, 230 Grays Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 1QY. The email channel is [email protected] Please include your name, home address and zip code, and mark your entry as “Guardian”. If you were under 18 on August 31, 2021, please provide your date of birth.
The deadline is July 31. After that, all solvers will receive the answer. Those who succeed will also receive a postal series of eight problems, with plenty of time to solve them. The top 20-25 postal round entries, as well as the top juniors, will be invited to the final in February 2023 (subject to any Covid‑19 restrictions).
The champion will qualify for Team Great Britain at the 2023 Resolve World Championship, an event where GB is often a medal contender.
The starter problem is tricky, although less so than two years ago, when a hidden variant that involved queenside castling even defeated some computers. Obvious moves rarely work. It’s easy to make a mistake, so proofread your answer before submitting it. Good luck to all Guardian entrants.
Chinese world number 2 Ding Liren is the big favorite for the most anticipated elite tournament of 2022, the Candidates World Championship, which will have its opening round in Madrid on Friday afternoon.
Play at the Palacio de Santona in the center of the city begins at 2pm BST, when the first-round pairings are Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) v Richard Rapport (Hungary), Ding v Ian Nepomniachtchi (Fide), Fabiano Caruana (States States) against Hikaru Nakamura (United States) and Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) against Alireza Firouzja (France). Russia’s Nepomniachtchi plays under the neutral flag of Fide, while Rapport is still in the process of moving from Hungary to Romania.
Ding is the only contender ranked above 2,800, but the 29-year-old Hangzhou player has played little in the past two years due to Covid concerns in China, and has never made it to the Candidates 2020-21. There are also question marks over Caruana, who in his best form can go very close but has been lackluster recently, and over Firouzja due to his inexperience and recent failure in Bucharest. This pair are still potential winners and could produce a worthy climax when they meet in the final round on July 4.
Almost all of the other five players are capable of upsetting, although it is almost impossible to make the case for Radjabov, who at 35 is the oldest and was a poor last in a candidate nine years ago. Garry Kasparov predicted that Ding would win, with Caruana and Duda as dangers. Carlsen versus Nakamura, Sauron versus Frodo, would be the perfect World Championship match to spark public interest, but the streamer with 1.4 million followers is 34 and has played little classic chess in recent years.
As usual, the games will be free and live to watch online, with blow-by-blow grandmaster commentary and a handy sidebar that lets non-gamers see who’s winning at a glance. Your favorite major chess site is likely to broadcast the games live. Chess24 will have the number 1 woman of all time, Judit Polgar, with occasional appearances from England’s David Howell and Carlsen himself.
There are no English contenders to watch in Madrid, but on Monday England’s teams will be seeded at the Senior Over-50 and Over-65 World Championships in Acqui Terme, Italy.
England’s Over-50s Managing Directors Michael Adams, Nigel Short, John Emms, Mark Hebden and Keith Arkell. This is the first time Adams, now 51, has been eligible. It all depends on whether he and Short can regain some of their golden form from 1993 and 2004 when they were World Championship runners-up, and whether the team can avoid any mishaps that could give a rival a points advantage. match.
Team USA is the second seed with a squad made up mostly of former Russians who learned their skills in the former Soviet Union. No. 3 seed Georgia will include legendary former women’s world champion Nona Gaprindashvili, now 81. General manager John Nunn leads England over-65, supported by Paul Littlewood, Nigel Povah, Tony Stebbings and Ian Snape.