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Magnus Carlsen won two more global crowns last weekend when the Norwegian, 29, dominated the world 30-minute rapid and five-minute blitz world championships in Moscow. He lost only one of his 38 games and was impressive in all phases. This was one of his best wins.
Since 2009 the No1 has won four classical global titles, five at blitz and three at rapid. It is reminiscent of the vintage years of Jose Capablanca, Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparov, except that Carlsen puts his reputation on the line far more than any of his legendary predecessors.
Alireza Firouzja, 16, won the rapid silver medal. A few days earlier, the Iranian teenager opted to play under an international flag rather than obey Tehran officials who ordered him to withdraw to avoid meeting any Israeli opponents.
In England the traditional Hastings congress, staged annually since 1920, is under way with its new sponsor Caplin Systems, specialists in desktop and mobile trading technology, plus a record entry for recent years. The three-time British champion David Howell, who lives in Sussex, is the favourite.
Hastings has its final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday (2.15pm start) and is free and live to watch online.
White is six pieces and six pawns ahead here, and it’s just a two-move mate, but it is easy to fall for a false trail.
White’s first move is not a check and at first glance seems an irrelevant piece retreat to the back row. Can you find it?
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