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Chess is booming as an easy to play online sport, where you can find an opponent within seconds or watch the world’s top experts in action for free.
Popular sites like lichess.org, where Magnus Carlsen plays, and chess.com attract thousands of amateurs.
Almost all web games are at speed chess time limits, the most popular being blitz, five minutes for all your moves or three minutes plus a two-second increment for each move. It takes a little getting used to, but any club level or experienced social player should soon be able to manage it and enjoy the experience. You can finish 10 games in an hour, with little waiting time between opponents. Try it!
Online spectator numbers also continue to grow. Virtually every top international event now has its games available to watch live and free. A swingometer plus numerical move-by-move computer assessments mean that even novices can follow who is winning. Grandmasters explain what is happening, and viewers can comment freely.
Ken Norman v Kamran Shirazi, world over-65 championship, Bled 2018. British veterans did well at the recent world 50+ and 65+ seniors in Slovenia. The winner of today’s puzzle scored a fine result at age 71, holding his own with five international masters.
White (to play) is winning easily and chose 1 Re5+ Kf6 2 Rxa5+, but there were two still better moves. Can you find them?
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