Magnus Carlsen is in search of another title this week and weekend as the world champion takes on the US elite in the online Clutch International. The name derives from its scoring system of double or triple points for the final games of the day.

At 29, Norway’s world No1 is at the height of his powers, but he still had a difficult quarter-final against Jeffery Xiong.

The 19-year-old lost three games at the start, but fought back strongly before collapsing at the finish. Carlsen’s fastest win was an impressive 25-move attack.

The world champion’s semi-final on Wednesday and Friday and, barring accidents, his final against a top American on Saturday and Sunday , will be free and live to watch at (7pm start) with grandmaster commentaries.

At last there are moves towards reviving over-the-board events, starting with July’s traditional tournament in Biel, Switzerland. New Zealand’s chess clubs have reopened. For others, an online game is the click of a mouse away. Lichess is the best site for newcomers.


This mini-endgame by Pal Benko is a helpmate in three moves. Black moves first, then White and Black move helpfully until White checkmates on his third move.

There is only a single line of play, but the puzzle has defeated the legends of chess. Mikhail Botvinnik and Paul Keres took an hour, while Bobby Fischer gave up. Can you do better than Fischer?

Click here for solution

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