Magnus Carlsen is making a late surge at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, the vintage event which he has won four times in the past five years. The world champion seemed out of contention when he drew his first seven games in the 13-round event, then he struck form and kept in the running for the decisive final rounds this weekend.

Games are free and live to watch on the internet, with grandmaster and computer commentaries starting at 12.30pm GMT on Friday and Saturday, 11am on Sunday.

Alireza Firouzja, 16, who last month left his native Iran because of its policy of requiring players to forfeit games rather than play Israelis, is widely forecast as a future world title challenger. The teenager led the field at Wijk before his round nine game with Carlsen, who gave him a masterclass lesson with his subtle strategy as Black in a Ruy Lopez opening.

When Firouzja set up a light square pawn centre, Carslen undermined it before controlling dark squares with bishops and knights and reducing his opponent to passive waiting moves. Carlsen likes the games of the old champion Alexander Alekhine because he operated on both sides of the board, and this was a good example.


White mates in two moves, against any defence. This easy-looking diagram, where White has an assortment of promising checks and promotions, contains hidden traps that have caught out numerous solvers over six decades. Can you succeed where many have failed?

Click here for solution

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