England No 1 Michael Adams is the favourite for the first online open Caplin British championship, whose qualifying rounds start this weekend. Anyone from beginner to master can take part by joining the national federation and then entering the tournament before its Friday deadline. 

There are national titles to be won for all ages from under-eight children to over-65 seniors, played at a variety of time limits. These range from standard, defined as 45-60 minutes per player per game plus 15 seconds per move increment, to bullet, one minute for the entire game with no increment. 

More than 500 entries were already registered by early this month, and many others were expected as part of a surge in the popularity of chess sparked by the Netflix mini-series The Queen's Gambit and by the eye-catching achievements of world chess champion Magnus Carlsen.

Caplin, provider of e-trading technology, already sponsors the annual Hastings congress, whose 2021 online edition will be staged on the first weekend in January.

Overall, the event is a chance for any keen amateur to test his or her skills in their own home while competing in a national championship. For 2021, the plan is a return to over-the-board play and for the congress to be held in Torquay in July.

Puzzle 2397

White mates in four moves, with every move forced on both sides. Former world No 2 Vasyl Ivanchuk bamboozled grandmasters with this puzzle. As an additional clue to the solution, none of White's first three moves gives check to the black king.

Click here for solution

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