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Original articles written by numerous Grandmasters and International Masters

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Philidor´s Footsteps In London

Philidor’s Footsteps in London is the second installment of Gordon Cadden’s fresh look at François-André Philidor and his long association with England in the fields of both chess and music. The 18th century Frenchman was described by the late Bent Larsen as “The greatest chess player of all times. With his conception of chess he was 70 years ahead of his time. Since then, no one has been ahead by more than 15 years.”

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Double Queen’s Gambit

With Part Two of his coverage of The Double Queen’s Gambit: 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c5, IM Andrew Martin analyses and evaluates a number of games played in 2016 to show that this surprise weapon is by no means just an attempt to seek early exchanges and simplification, in order to head for a draw, but an opening that can lead to long term winning advantages for Black, particularly with regard to the possibilities it offers of exploiting weak squares in White’s camp.

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Still Searching for Bobby Fischer...

From the other side of the pond, Theo Slade writes on how America is Still Searching for Bobby Fischer as, despite the many successes of Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, it will be a Norwegian and a Russian-Ukrainian who will be disputing the world title in New York during November!

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Schliemann Defence

In his Openings for Amateurs column Pete Tamburro deals with the Schliemann Defence to the Ruy Lopez,1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 f5, which he has found to be an effective weapon for Black as “Most White side amateurs know the first few moves... then quickly go astray”.


Philidor’s Footsteps in London is the second installment of Gordon Cadden’s fresh look at François-André Philidor and his long association with England in the fields of both chess and music. The 18th century Frenchman was described by the late Bent Larsen as “The greatest chess player of all times. With his conception of chess he was 70 years ahead of his time. Since then, no one has been ahead by more than 15 years.” In this richly illustrated feature, readers will learn of Philidor’s friendships with distinguished members of British high society, the chess haunts he frequented in St Martin’s Lane and Charing Cross, his position as house professional at the Chess Club in St James’s, and the circumstances surrounding the writing of his ground-breaking manual Analysis of Chess, first published in London. Our August issue will cover Philidor’s tragic final days in the capital.
With Part Two of his coverage of The Double Queen’s Gambit: 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c5, IM Andrew Martin analyses and evaluates a number of games played in 2016 to show that this surprise weapon is by no means just an attempt to seek early exchanges and simplification, in order to head for a draw, but an opening that can lead to long term winning advantages for Black, particularly with regard to the possibilities it offers of exploiting weak squares in White’s camp.

This month, IM Gary Lane’s regular contribution is devoted to Secret Notes – an exposé of unusual opening play designed to throw Dutch Defence adherents off course within the first half-dozen moves. Commentary on games by two highly creative grandmasters, Alexei Shirov and Nigel Short, shows how early activity on the h-file by h2-h4 and Nh3 can lead to wins in 25 moves or less.

In his Openings for Amateurs column Pete Tamburro deals with the Schliemann Defence to the Ruy Lopez,1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 f5, which he has found to be an effective weapon for Black as “Most White side amateurs know the first few moves ... then quickly go astray”. Though this opening represents an immediate challenge to take over the initiative and rarely fails to offer lively play, it does entail a willingness to take risks – but readers are forewarned of these, particularly those with regard to the vulnerability of the black king when the game is opened at such an early stage. A counterattacking opening that is not for the faint-hearted!
From the other side of the pond, Theo Slade writes on how America is Still Searching for Bobby Fischer as, despite the many successes of Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, it will be a Norwegian and a Russian-Ukrainian who will be disputing the world title in New York during November! Theo also discusses the wide-ranging ethnicity of the contestants in the recent US Championship and analyses an instructive win by the new title holder.

FM Steve Berry takes a detailed look at GM Andrew Soltis’ biography of Mikhail Botvinnik which won the English Chess Federation Book of the Year award, giving praise where praise is due but also criticism of its occasional shortcomings. Steve’s review is effectively a lively account of the life and achievements of Mikhail Botvinnik who, apart from a couple of year-long interruptions was world chess champion from 1948-1963. Illustrative examples of Botvinnik’s play and portraits of his rivals complete a thought-provoking article.

Our Endgame Studies specialist Ian Watson provides an enthusiastic appreciation of the late Sir Jeremy Morse, the man, and his legacy to the chess world – a veritable ‘Guinness Book of Records’ of chess compositions: Chess Problems: Tasks and Records. 477 pages packed with nearly 1,000 examples of chess magic for the gift price of only five pounds! Indeed, in this wondrous Aladdin’s Cave, ‘Inspector’ Morse lives up to his brilliant reputation by taking the reader to the outer limits of chess intelligence with such challenges as a mate in 226 moves, a puzzle with 24 different defences and another with 29 ‘tries’ (moves which only fail to a single Black reply). Moreover, with every justification, Ian names Sir Jeremy as the most important person in British chess in the last half century because, as Chairman of Lloyds Bank, he was instrumental in gaining ongoing sponsorship for all sorts of chess initiatives which laid the foundations for the so-called English Chess Explosion in the 70s and 80s.

Moving on from sponsor to organiser, Pam Thomas provides an obituary of Con Power who was Director of the world’s oldest chess congress, Hastings, for over 30 years. Con always made time for every level of player, from grandmaster to amateur, and his ability to keep the Hastings tradition alive, no matter how great the difficulties, was rewarded with the English Chess Federation’s Award for Services to Chess – twice!
John Cochrane is not a name that is well known today, but he may be rightly named The Father of Romantic Chess, a title with which he is honoured by Tony Cullen, who has a particular interest in 19th century chess. Cochrane was like Mikhail Tal – no expense was spared when it came to sacrificing pieces in the name of the attack. And the Cochrane Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nxf7!? shows full well that he was never one to hang about! It was Cochrane who also first brought to the attention of the British chess public, the King’s Indian Defence, which he had encountered whilst working in Calcutta and playing hundreds of games with the local star Moheshunder. Incidentally, Cochrane’s response to that opening was predictable – the Four Pawns Attack! And this was in the 1850s!
Alan Smith unearths more forgotten names and games from old newspapers in his Quotes and Queries column. Do you know anything about the Barbour Gambit, or Reginald Broadbent? Or the earliest examples of exchange sacrifices in the Sicilian and French defences – and no, we are not talking about the 20th century either! Prepare to be informed and surprised by Alan’s discoveries.
Our British News section includes a pictorial acknowledgement to Leonard Barden for his magnificent 60 years continuous service as Evening Standard chess columnist. And we should add that whereas Sir Jeremy Morse was the sponsor, Leonard was the mastermind behind the English Chess Explosion!
Foreign News is also covered, together with games by Magnus Carlsen and Matthew Sadler.
Ian Watson makes a second contribution to this BCM by providing a warm-up practice session for those who intend to compete in the British Chess Problem Solving Championship. Readers are invited to test their skills on four problems from the second rounds of previous Championships – and there is no time limit!
Finally, in his Problem World column, Christopher Jones challenges readers to solve four original problems, which include mates in two and three moves, and a couple of helpmates.

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Overview

Connect today with some of the best British writers around and the very latest developments in the British chess scene!

What are you waiting for? The chess world deserves a magazine like today’s BCM with its great content, great design, great photography, and simply great value. In paper and digital formats BCM will truly engage you and also provide real help to players eager to improve their play.

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Games

Great value with hours of reading enjoyment, it provides instruction for enthusiastic players eager to improve their standard of play.

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Analysis

Forget about skimming the surface. Throughout we have deep authoritative analysis by leading GM and IM chess professionals.

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Insights

BCM's goal is to entertain, inform and offer the best in high-class chess insight, stories and research. And a touch of glamour as well!

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Capturing the Moment

The essence of chess through the camera's eye. With photo-artists such as David Llada and Harald Fietz, BCM captures those unforgettable moments.

Readers Corner

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Outstanding!

I just wanted to write a short note having downloaded the January issue on the iPad app today. The new magazine is OUTSTANDING. I have not subscribed to BCM for at least 10 years now, but judging from the quality of this issue I will be a regular going forward. The mixture of (mostly) British writers, top class writing and analysis and outstanding design is wonderful — comparable in quality to New in Chess. Many thanks for bringing BCM back to life.

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Modern look

The more modern look is certainly very appealing, and the writing remains of exquisite quality. You should certainly be very proud, as should everybody in the BCM and Chess Informant team! It truly feels that the BCM has moved to the 21st century with this update.

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About Us

British Chess Magazine — published continuously since 1881

British Chess Magazine - year 1923

Reinvigorated, refreshed, redesigned, relaunched. BCM is back!

Founded in 1881 by John Watkinson, from humble origins in Yorkshire, British Chess Magazine has long been regarded as British chess royalty.

Don’t just take our word for it — Queen Elizabeth II was pleased to have a chess problem dedicated to her in BCM on the occasion of her wedding in 1948, and we understand that BCM june even have been read by Queen Victoria (known to be a keen chess player). With our two longest serving monarchs, BCM readers are in great company!

Published continuously during the reigns of six British sovereigns, twenty world chess champions, twenty-five British prime ministers, and two world wars, BCM has featured the play of every world champion since 1881, from Wilhelm Steinitz through to current world champion Magnus Carlsen.

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