Tuesday, 12 January 2021

2 BOCCs for KCC

Fear not, the Club Organiser has not started speaking total gibberish - well, no more that usual, at any rate -  but has merely used an abbreviation or two for (mildly!) comic effect. Hopefully everyone who is reading this knows what KCC stands for, but you may be less familiar with BOCC. This is the British Online Chess Championships, which were held in late December/early January on the chess.com platform. And which produced two new British Champions for Kenilworth!

So many congratulations to Jude Shearsby, the new British Under-12 Rapid Champion and - pause for incredulity - Joshua Pink, the new British Under-2000 Rapid Champion.

Despite a first round loss, and giving away up to 2 years against older opponents, Jude made a mockery of his 7th seed status to emerge victorious on 5.5/7. Not only did this secure a British title, it also got him a place in the actual British Online Championship, where he got to compete with the likes of Mickey Adams, Mark Hebden and Matthew Turner over 9 rounds of 60 minutes + 15 secs. A fantastic achievement for one so young. 

Meanwhile Joshua went half a point better than Jude, by scoring 6/7 (no draws, of course!) to annex first place in the U-2000 tournament. (Which was rather bizarrely played at the rate of only 1 game of 10 mins + 5 secs per day, with a break for several days over Xmas. Whoever thought that was a good idea?) A last round win for number one seed Josh was coupled with a last round loss for the previous leader (Josh's conqueror in Round 5), and this catapulted him from half a point down, to half a point clear. Ben was also in action in this event, and scored a respectable 4/7 to finish in 8th place.

No intra-KCC encounter occurred in the U-2000 Rapid, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the two such games which were played in the various Blitz Championship Qualifiers between myself and Joshua. Purely for the record books, I have to report that I won both. Well, Blitz is a young man's game isn't it?!

I briefly caught up with Jude while he was playing in the British Online Bullet Championship, and in the space of a couple of minutes I watched him absolutely destroy IM Matthew Wadsworth and then win a whole rook off GM Nick Pert! But a couple of moves later he tragically blundered his own queen and missed out on a very famous scalp. Despite that unfortunate reverse, Jude scored an incredible 10/15 in this event, taking out a lot of very highly rated opponents, and not losing to anyone rated under 2370. He added around 30 points to his chess.com bullet rating, so he was clearly playing very well. Ben rashly tried to keep up with the kids by playing in this painfully fast event, and came out with a 50% score, while Josh managed half a point more (8/15). Really, they are both old enough to know better than to torture themselves like this! 

It would have been nice to report on a third BOCC for KCC, but regretfully I failed to deliver when it mattered in the 65+ Rapid Final and finished 4th, although in my eyes I was actually 2nd=. Those tie breaks can be very annoying. I made the mistake of peaking too soon and winning the qualifier the previous day, but against an almost identical field I played one terrible game in the final which booted me off the podium. Ed was also in action in this event, and qualified comfortably for the final, only to discover that Sunday play didn't agree with him! More successful had been his participation in the 65+ Classical Championship, where he made an excellent 4/7 to finish in a tie for 5th.

If things had turned out slightly differently for me in the 65+ Rapid, this would of course have been the lead story in this report. Instead, let's just reflect again on the amazing fact that we have two more British Champions in the club. That is pretty good going!

Other than the 5 names mentioned above, I don't think anybody else from the club participated, but if these championships come around again, I would urge more people to give it a go. You can get as much or as little ECF online rated chess as you want for a very modest outlay, and can select whatever time limit and strength of opposition you want. And admit it - you haven't got that much else to do have you?!

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Strength in Depth!

The latest in our irregular series of "exotic" friendly matches took place on Tuesday, when KCC emerged victorious against Wotton Hall, the reigning North Gloucestershire League champions. In a 9 board, double round, rapid (15 mins + 10 secs) encounter played on Lichess, we edged the first round 5-4, and the second 5.5-3.5, for an overall winning score of 10.5-7.5.

Many thanks to my ex-Coventry/Whoberley team-mate - and former Warwickshire captain - Joey Stewart, for making the initial approach and for helping to make the match happen. We were rather out-gunned on the highest boards by a very powerful Wotton Hall top three, but thankfully we batted a long way down the order. So while we lost over the first 4 boards, and only drew over the top 6, we carried the day thereafter.



Our heroes on the night were Joshua and Bernard C, who each scored 2-0 wins, though Bernard's was the rather more assured performance - hardly surprising as he found himself well below his normal position on Board 8! Joshua had to perform an amazing unravelling manoeuvre with his queen to make his extra material count in Game 1, when it looked for all the world as though he would have to take a draw. True grit!

Lionel had a tough night against Ian Robson - who I last played in a London League match in1986, but the score hardly tells the full story. Ian won a convincing Game 1, but made an unsound sac in Game 2 and Lionel was totally winning for a long period until, I suspect, time trouble played a decisive role. Jude also went down heavily in the first round, as Joey finished with a nice queen sac to force mate in possibly the best game of the evening, but Game 2 could easily have gone the other way, as Jude was pressing and on top in the middle game. But the advantage slipped away, and Jude was then forced to dig in to secure the draw, as Joey tried in vain for many moves to find a way to break the White set-up. More true grit and a splendid effort against a very strong opponent! I exchanged wins with Mike Ashworth on top board - but we each won the wrong game, as we took it in turns to blunder away winning advantages.

Mike was his normal solid self in scoring an excellent 75% on Board 5, while Bernard R was his normal totally unsound self on Board 6, where he exchanged wins with Sid Venkatanaranyan. There were rather too many pieces left en prise in these two encounters to satisfy the chess purist! Not that we have any of those in Kenilworth, of course. Ben also scored a splendid 75%, but - manager speak alert - Solomon will have been rather disappointed to only score 50%, as he was a piece up for nothing - and probably mating - in his Round 2 game, and after blundering it all away and more, before re-establishing a probably drawn position, he then blundered that away as well. Surely he can't have been indulging in  another of his notorious brandy sessions during play??

As with all these friendly matches, it was good fun and really nice to play against some different clubs and different opponents. The only problem with the Lichess platform, of course, is that you can't easily see what the score is during a team match, but maybe ignorance really is bliss in this respect. At least for the perpetually nervous match captain. And on Lichess, no-one seems to suffer the disconnection problems that seem to be a constant issue on chess.com.

For many of us its now time to start thinking about the next online league event (now jointly branded as CDCL/LDCL) which begins at the end of the month, but with the pandemic continuing to make OTB chess a very distant prospect, I don't doubt that we will be in online friendly action again in the coming months.

Monday, 4 January 2021

2020 Christmas Quiz - the Answers

It wouldn't be fair to keep you all in suspense any longer, so here are the answers to the latest KCC Christmas Quiz. How did you get on? Better than  Joshua, I hope.

1

Name Bobby Fischer’s wife. (Mrs Fischer is not an acceptable answer!) And just for interest (no points!), what is her current FIDE rating?

Miyoko Watai (2032)

2

Which Grandmaster lost 28 consecutive games, over 2 tournaments, in 1969, all of them on time?

Friedrich Saemisch

3

Who is the highest rated player in the world who consistently wears an earring? (Clue – its not a woman!)

Peter Svidler (2723) Unless there’s a rival claimant I don’t know about!)

4

In 1971 Bobby Fischer won 3 Candidates Matches to qualify for the 1972 World Championship match against Spassky. Where were these 3 matches played? (1 pt each)

Vancouver (QF v Taimanov)

Denver (SF v Larsen)

Buenos Aires (F v Petrosian)

5

Who is the youngest ever world chess champion (a) Male and (b) Female (1 pt each)

a) Garry Kasparov (22)

b) Hou Yifan (16)

6

Who won 7 classical World Championships in tournaments and 2 more in matches, running up a combined game score of +90 = 9 -4

Vera Menchik

7

Magnus Carlsen first became World number 1 by rating in 2010, since which time only one other player has held that position. Who?

Vishy Anand

8

Which KCC member fell asleep during a tournament game and still won?

Bruce Holland (at the Shropshire Congress, Telford)

9

Which famous chess player once lived at 117 Landsdowne Rd, Notting Hill, London W11? It is now commemorated by a Blue Plaque.

Howard Staunton

10

What have Garry Kasparov, Teimour Radjabov and Emil Sutovsky got in common? (Besides all being GMs!)

All born in Baku

11

In Rd 14 of the 1955 Gothenburg Interzonal, 3 Argentinians lost against 3 Soviets after each playing the same opening novelty. Name the 3 Soviet players (1 point each) and the 3 Argentinians (2 pts each). And take a bonus point if you can guess, within 5 either way, the total number of moves played in the 3 games. And a further point if you get the exact number! Clue: None of them lasted very long!!

Boris Spassky; Paul Keres; Efim Geller (1 pt each)

Hermann Pilnik; Miguel Najdorf; Oscar Panno (2 pts each)

79 moves (2 pts)

(74-78 and 80-84 moves = 1 pt)

12

Which group of people did Bobby Fischer describe as ”petty; mean minded; small minded and stupid”?

Chess Players (yes, us!)

13

Identify these 5 Russian Super GMs from their chess.com usernames (1 pt each):

Fair_Chess_on_youTube

Sibelephant

Duhless

IachesisQ

Bigfish1995

 

 

Dmitry Andreikin

Vladislav Artemiev

Daniil Dubov

Ian Nepomniatchi

Vladimir Fedoseev

14

How many times have the following been British Champion? Including any shared titles. (1 pt for each correct answer)

Michael Adams

Nigel Short

David Howell

John Nunn

 

 

Adams = 7

Short = 3

Howell = 3

Nunn = 1

15

As of December 20th 2020, 2 players had bullet ratings of over 3400 (!!) on chess.com. Name them for 1 pt each.

Hikaru Nakamura

Daniel Naroditsky

16

Name the husband and wife who make up the world’s highest rated married couple (classical chess, December 2020 FIDE list). (1 pt each)

Alexander Grischuk 2777 (7th in world)

Kateryna Lagno 2546 (5th in world)

17

When Phil Wood made his immortal illegal knight move in a Leamington League match, who was his opponent?

Ben Graff (playing for Leamington)

18

The Chess Olympiad has been held twice in England. Name the two host cities/towns. (1 pt each)

London (1927)

Folkestone (1933)

19

Who is the only man to have been both World Champion and World Senior Champion? And who is the only woman to have done the same? (1 pt each)

Man – Vassily Smyslov

Woman – Nona Gaprindashvili

20

!n 2011 the 79 year old Viktor Korchnoi defeated a player rated 2721 who was 61 years his junior. Who was it?

Fabiano Caruana (at Gibraltar)

21

In the BBC Master Game programmes, which GM – whose English was otherwise impeccable – always referred to the long “dionagal”? Clue – he was once believed to have the largest private chess library in the world!

Lothar Schmid

22

What is the first name of Magnus Carlsen’s father? (1 pt) And of his mother (2 pts) And of Magnus himself? (3 pts – Clue, its not Magnus!)

Henrik (1 pt)

Sigrun (2 pts)

Sven (3 pts)

23

Who is the world’s youngest ever Grand Master?

Sergey Karjakin (12 yrs 7 mos)

24

Who ended Magnus Carlsen’s record run of 125 classical games unbeaten at the 2020 Norway Chess tournament?

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

25

Who were Adolf Anderssen’s opponents in the Immortal Game (1851) and in the Evergreen Game? (1852)

(1 pt each)

Lionel Kieseritzky

Jean Dufresne

26

Which GM did Andy Baruch once play in a blitz game, without having a clue who his opponent was? (Clue – a major opening variation is named after him)

Evgeny Sveshnikov (at Radebeul 2018 - the birth-place of Lothar Schmid!)

27

In the period 1993-2006, when there was a schism in the chess world, which 6 players held the title of FIDE World Champion? (1 pt each)

Anatoly Karpov

Alexander Khalifman

Vishy Anand

Ruslan Ponomariov

Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Veselin Topalov

28

Which current member of the Shadow Cabinet was a British U-14 chess champion?

Rachel Reeves (Though this may not be 100% correct! I'm told she never actually won the official BCF - U14 Girls title) Minus 1 point to the question master.

29

The 1934 World Championship Match between Alekhine and Bogolyubov was held in Germany in 12 different cities/towns. Name them! (1 pt each)

 

Warning for cheats – the list in Wikipedia is incomplete!!

 

Everyone should be able to get at least 4 of these by pure guesswork!

Baden Baden (3)

Villingen (2)

Freiburg (3)

Pforzheim (2)

Stuttgart (2)

Munich (3)

Bayreuth (1)

Bad Kissingen (2)

Nuremburg* (2)

Karlsruhe* (1)

Mannheim (3)

Berlin (2)

30

Since 2000, 2 KCC members have won the Leamington League Blitz/Lightning Tournament. Name them (1 pt each)

Carl Pickering (2008)

Mark Page (2018)

31

The ten youngest GMs ever have come from only 5 different countries. Name the countries (1 pt each)

 

No points for the players, but feel free to amuse yourselves by guessing!

India – 4 (Gukesh, Praggnanandha, Negi, Sadhwani)

China – 2 (Wei Yi, Bu Xiangzhi)

Uzbekistan – 2 (Sindarov, Abdusattorov)

Ukraine – 1 (Karjakin)

Norway – 1 (Carlsen)

32

Who is the highest rated English player who is not a Grand Master? (December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

Ameet Ghasi (2485)

33

And who is the highest rated English player born in the year 2000 or later? (December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

Matthew Wadsworth (2416)

(Born 2000) – but recently beaten by a certain Jude Shearsby in the British Online Bullet Championship!

34

Since 2000, who is the only KCC member to have won the Stanley Gibbins Trophy, for the highest percentage score in a Leamington League season?

Joshua Pink (2014)

35

Which English Grand Master and one time British Champion was born in Baghdad in 1962? And which World Champion described this person’s play as that of “a drunk machine gunner”? (1 pt each)

William Watson

 

Boris Spassky

36

Which English GM is married to the actress Tara MacGowran?

Mickey Adams

37

When the 2020 Candidates Tournament was suspended, which two players were tied for the lead? (1 pt each)

Ian Nepomniatchi

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

38

How much money did GM Jim Plaskett win on Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2006? (Exact amount required!)

£250,000

39

What nationality are the following 5 GMs (all rated over 2600!):-

Illya Nyzhnyk

Nijat Abasov

Bogdan-Daniel Deac

Eduardo Iturrizaga

David Baramidze

(1 pt each)

 

 

Ukraine (2679)

Azerbaijan (2668)

Romania (2625)

Venezuela (2607)

Germany (2601)

40

Which Grand Master and 4 time Candidate is the highest rated active player aged 70 or more (ie born 1950 or earlier). Clue – he lost one Candidates Match on the spin of a roulette wheel; and forfeited two others when the matches were still undecided!

(December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

Robert Huebner, 2574

(Age 72; born Nov 1948)

41

What unique place in chess rankings (December 2020 FIDE Classical Chess List) is currently held by the Russian, Vassily Malinin?

World’s lowest rated active GM at 2100. (And 1861/1911 in rapid/blitz.)

42

To whom did Gary Kasparov lose in the last round of Linares 2005, his last classical chess game before he retired?

Veselin Topalov

43

Which player has the monstrously improbable score of +4 =3 -0 against the Club Organiser, with all games having been played in Leamington League matches?

Alan Lloyd of Olton. But I will beat him one day!  Won’t I?


Now you could all have got one point at least on question 25, if you had been given the same sweatshirt for your last birthday as I was! (Amazingly, the birthday present came after I had thought of the question for the quiz, not before.)

Who needs a supermodel, when the Club Organiser can do such a splendid job?

But I can't leave you without one more question. What designer brand of sweater has been made famous in the chess world by the one and only Daniil Dubov? 

Saturday, 26 December 2020

That Didn't Take Long!

A few weeks ago (November 20th to be precise, when presenting the Worst Move Ever Played!) I referenced an epic game of mine against Dave Thomas which I won in 10 moves, as Black. This was itself the subject of an article on this website (July 4, 2019), and thinking about it again got me wondering how many other short games of chess I had played in my long and decidedly un-illustrious career. A bit of research told me that I have been involved in just 10 decisive games - out of almost 1,900 competitive over the board games - that have lasted 15 moves or less. Fortunately I have been on the winning side every time! (For the negative minded amongst you, my quickest ever loss was with White against Robin Killick in a Whoberley A v Warwick Uni A match in 2003, when I had to resign after 17 moves.)

Strangely, 7 of these games have been played in the last 14 years, immediately before which there had been 21 years without even a single superfast victory! (OK, I did give up playing for six years, but what about the other 15??) The first three themselves had formed a small cluster in just a seven year period. It transpires that the game against Dave Thomas, at 10 moves, is actually the equal second shortest I have ever played. The two other ultra-quickies are presented below, but here is the full list of my ten quickest ever wins.

10 White v Maurice Staples - 15 moves - Nuneaton A v Coventry A, 17.01.2012
7= White v KE Pullen - 14 moves - Chertsey v Mitcham, 13.05.1983
7= Black v Sean Hewitt - 14 moves - Nuneaton B v Whoberley A, 28.11.2006
7= Black v James Harrison - 14 moves - Kenilworth v Warwick Uni B, 19.11.2019
6  White v Bob Wildig - 12 moves - Rugby A v Whoberley A, 20.11.2007
4= White v Doug Bellis - 11 moves - Mitcham Club Championship, 17.09.1985
4= White v Nalin Kadodwala - 11 moves - Coventry A v Rugby A, 16.10.2012
2= White v P Leary - 10 moves - Kynoch v Bushbury, 04.04.2011
2= Black v Dave Thomas - 10 moves - Leamington v Shirley, 21.01.2009
1   White v Albert Lusty - 9 moves - Self Changing Gears A v Triumph A - 17.10.1978

(Some of these games are still subject to a D-Notice which prevents their publication, as I have not given up all hope of repeating them!)

If I had known back in October 1978 that I would never (probably!) win such a short game again, would I have been so discouraged that I'd have given up chess? Hopefully not - what on earth would I have done with all those thousands of hours I have spent/wasted on the game since then??

This is all by way of a teaser, as I'm sure everyone is on tenterhooks waiting to see these two uber-micro victories of mine. So I won't keep you in suspense any longer! We begin with the second of my two 10 move wins:-



But in pole position, and in splendid isolation, is this 9 move Coventry League masterpiece, played almost certainly on a miserable Tuesday evening at the SCG Social Club on Lythalls Lane, between two great names from Coventry's manufacturing past. (That's the teams, of course, not the players!)



Can anyone do better than 9 moves??

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

2020 Christmas Quiz - The Scores on the Doors

I thought that this would buy me some breathing space till the New Year, but it turns out some mad obsessive individual (not mentioning any names) polished it off on Day 1, and I find myself doing exam marking on Christmas Eve Eve! When I am not, nor ever have been, a teacher. I should have sub-contracted this task to Andy W or Leanne, who have far more experience at this sort of thing.

Joshua's post with his answers should have had Spoiler Alert plastered all over it, but as he did rather less well than I expected, maybe you shouldn't pay that much attention to his answers!

Never mind, though, as he obviously leads the field at the moment - and maybe for all time, as this could well be a walkover. His score is 40.5. He got the 0.5 because I was feeling generous - well, it is Christmas after all! One of his answers was right, but not quite specific enough for my exacting standards.

Anybody else wanting to make a serious bid to be this year's quiz king should perhaps send me their answers by e-mail, to avoid any further spilling of the beans. Especially if they plan to have rather more right answers than Contestant Number 1!!

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

2020 Christmas Quiz Answers (???)

I thought I would have a public go at answering this, to give everyone else a target to aim for (skip over this to Mark's post if you don't have your own answers yet). My main observation is the hardest thing about not being able to look anything up is trying desperately to work out how to spell various people's names. I hope Mark will be generous on this point, but I am not optimistic:

1) I don't know her name, but Bobby Fischer's wife is Japanese I believe, and I think possibly a WFM. I'll go for 2100 as a rating guess for someone with that title.
2) I have absolutely no idea, but it sounds like a good story.
3) I know Peter Svidler does, and I can;t think of anyone higher, so I'll go with him.
4) The only one I know is I think Buenos Aires. To go with that, I guess I'll just pick some generically popular chess places, so Moscow and Paris.
5) The woman must be Hou Yifan. It is presumably between Kasparov and Carlsen for the youngest man, and just because I don't recall people talking about it with Carlsen, I'm going to say Kasparov.
6) This must be one of the women who won it loads of times in the early days, and the only one I can remember the name of is Gaprindashvilli
7) Someone early on I suppose before he was established. Topalov perhaps.
8) Bruce, definitely Bruce, at the Telford congress. Played a fine move when he woke up as well if I remember correctly.
9) No idea at all.
10) Don't know about Sutovsky, but Kasparov and Radjabov were both born in modern day Azerbaijan, so I'll say that. 11) This is that silly g5 Najdorf isn't it. The only Argentinian I'll get is Panov. For the Soviets, let's say Spassky, Keres and Geller. In total, we shall say 64 moves.
12) Chess players, surely.
13) IachesisQ is presumably Nepomniatchi, and I guess Duhless is Dubov. To maximise my chances of getting at least one more correct, I'll guess Grishchuk for all the other three.
14) Adams - 4, Short - 3, Howell - 2, Nunn - 2 (I'm not optimistic at all about those ones).
15) Nakamura must be one. Let's guess Firouzja for the second.
16) The strongest I can think of (here come the difficult names) would be Alina Kashlinskaya and Radoslaw Wojtaschek.
17) Ben Graff, and how we did laugh.
18) I note this says England and not the UK, so let's just say London and Manchester, since we have no actual idea.
19) I had Korchnoi down here for a while, until I remembered he was never actually world champion. A lot of them died quite young - perhaps Botvinnik. For the women I want to say Gaprindashvilli again, which makes we worry even more about using her up earlier.
20) Fabiano Caruana
21) I can't even think of a non English speaking presenter, so I've got nothing here.
22) Father is called Henrick. Don't know about the mother or him, so let's just guess some generic Scandinavian names. My best source for this is the movie Frozen, so she is Anna Elsa, and he is Kristoff Olaf Sven.
23) Since I definitely can't spell any of the more recent possibilities, I'm going to hope it is still Sergey Karjakin. 
24) Wesley So
25) Don't know, so let's just pick some people who were around at the time. Staunton and Paulsen.
26) I don't know so, to make a cheap insult about Andy's age, let's say Zukertort.
27) Adams, Khalifman, Kazimzhanov, Topalov, Anand, Ponomariov.
28) Rachel Reeves - that one actually comes up on standard non-chess pub quizzes.
29) I don't like that this even says towns as well as cities, but let's see if I can even name 12. Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Essen, Leipzig, Bonn, Postdam, Dusseldorf, Frnkfurt, Dresden, Dortmund.
30) Even if I ever knew this, I would immediately have chosen to forget any achievements by my teammates.
31) India, Ukraine, Russia, China, Hungary.
32) I think Ameet Ghazi might still be an IM, so I'll say him.
33) Jonah Willow
34) It must be me surely.
35) No idea
36) No idea - oh dear this is going rapidly downhill.
37) Ian Nepomniatchi and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
38) I know he got close, so let us say 500,000.
39) Illya Nyzhnyk - Ukraine, Nijat Abasov - Azerbaijan, Bogdan-Daniel Deac - Romania, Eduardo Iturrizaga - Ecuador, David Baramidze - Germany.
40) The only person I can think of for the forfeits is Hubner, but I don't think he is old enough.
41) Let's guess the lowest rated active chess player.
42) Topalov, though again I worry since I've already used him as an answer earlier.
43) James Jackson perhaps.

2020 Christmas Quiz

So here we go, with the fourth edition of the Kenilworth Chess Club Christmas Quiz. Inspiration was a bit lacking this year, and all I managed to come up with as an idea was a straightforward chess quiz - but if the idea is good enough for the annual pub quiz at the Reykjavik Open, it should be good enough for KCC.

Now these days, all online activity is plagued by actual or suspected cheating, so I feel it is imperative that there are some stringent fair-play provisions to prevent gratuitous use of Wikipedia to find the answers. (Not that they're all there!)  Consequently, anyone intending to try and solve the Quiz will need to join a Zoom call. Or a Teams call. Or do I mean a Skype call? Oh, what the hell, I can't be bothered with this - feel free to cheat to your hearts content and see if I care! You'll only be deluding yourselves, you know!

There are 43 questions, worth a total of exactly 100 points. Questions worth more than one point are all clearly identified. Happy solving - its now a matter between you and your conscience how much outside assistance you want to call upon. At a rough guess, I reckon anyone who scores over 60 without any third party help is doing pretty well. Let the quizzing begin!


THE 2020 CHRISTMAS QUIZ

1

Name Bobby Fischer’s wife. (Mrs Fischer is not an acceptable answer!) And just for fun (no points!) what is her current FIDE rating?

2

Which Grandmaster lost 28 consecutive games, over 2 tournaments, in 1969, all of them on time?

3

Who is the highest rated player in the world who consistently wears an earring? (Clue – its not a woman! And its possible I could be wrong!)

4

In 1971 Bobby Fischer won 3 Candidates Matches to qualify for the 1972 World Championship match against Spassky. Where were these 3 matches played? (1 pt each)

5

Who is the youngest ever world chess champion (a) Male and (b) Female (1 pt each)

6

Who won 7 classical World Championships in tournaments and 2 more in matches, running up a combined game score of +90 = 9 -4

7

Magnus Carlsen first became World number 1 by rating in 2010, since which time only one other player has held that position. Who?

8

Which KCC member fell asleep during a tournament game and still won?

9

Which famous chess player once lived at 117 Landsdowne Rd, Notting Hill, London W11?  (Now commemorated by a Blue Plaque)

10

What have Garry Kasparov, Teimour Radjabov and Emil Sutovsky got in common? (Besides all being rather strong GMs!)

11

In Rd 14 of the 1955 Gothenburg Interzonal, 3 Argentinians lost against 3 Soviets after each playing the same opening novelty. Name the 3 Soviet players (1 point each) and the 3 Argentinians (2 pts each). And take a bonus point if you can guess, within 5 either way, the total number of moves played in the 3 games. And a further point if you get the exact number! Clue: None of them lasted very long!!

12

Which group of people did Bobby Fischer describe as ”petty; mean minded; small minded and stupid”?

13

Identify these 5 Russian Super GMs from their chess.com usernames (1 pt each):

  • Fair_Chess_on_youTube
  • Sibelephant
  • Duhless
  • IachesisQ
  • Bigfish1995

14

How many times have the following been British Champion? Including any shared titles. (1 pt for each correct answer)

  • Michael Adams
  • Nigel Short
  • David Howell
  • John Nunn

15

As of December 20th 2020, 2 players had bullet ratings of over 3400 (!!) on chess.com. Name them for 1 pt each.

16

Name the husband and wife who make up the world’s highest rated married couple (classical chess, December 2020 FIDE list). (1 pt each)

17

When Phil Wood made his immortal illegal knight move in a Leamington League match, who was his opponent?

18

The Chess Olympiad has been held twice in England. Name the two host cities/towns. (1 pt each)

19

Who is the only man to have been both World Champion and World Senior Champion? And who is the only woman to have done the same? (1 pt each)

20

!n 2011 the 79 year old Viktor Korchnoi defeated a player rated 2721, who was 61 years his junior. Who was it?

21

In the classic BBC Master Game programmes, which GM – whose English was otherwise impeccable – always referred to the long “dionagal”? Clue – he was believed to have the largest private chess library in the world!

22

What is the first name of Magnus Carlsen’s father? (1 pt) And of his mother (2 pts) And of Magnus himself? (3 pts)  (Clue - its not Magnus!)

23

Who is the world’s youngest ever Grand Master?

24

Who ended Magnus Carlsen’s record run of 125 classical games unbeaten at the 2020 Norway Chess tournament?

25

Who were Adolf Anderssen’s opponents in the Immortal Game (1851) and in the Evergreen Game? (1852)  (1 pt each)

26

Which GM did Andy Baruch once play in a blitz game, without having any idea who his opponent was? (Clue - a major opening variation is named after him)

27

In the period 1993-2006, when there was a schism in the chess world, which 6 players held the title of FIDE World Champion? (1 pt each)

28

Which current member of the Shadow Cabinet was a British U-14 chess champion?

29

The 1934 World Championship Match between Alekhine and Bogolyubov was held in Germany in 12 different cities/towns. Name them! (1 pt each)

Warning for cheats – the list in Wikipedia is incomplete!!

Everyone should be able to get at least 4 of these by pure guesswork! But some are rather tricky!

30

Since 2000, 2 KCC members have won the Leamington League Blitz/Lightning Tournament. Name them (1 pt each)

31

The ten youngest GMs ever have come from only 5 different countries. Name the countries (1 pt each)

No points for the players, but feel free to amuse yourselves by guessing!

32

Who is the highest rated English player who is not a Grand Master? (December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

33

And who is the highest rated English player born in the year 2000 or later? (December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

34

Since 2000, who is the only KCC member to have won the Stanley Gibbins Trophy, for the highest percentage score in a Leamington League season?

35

Which English Grand Master and one time British Champion was born in Baghdad in 1962? And which World Champion described this person’s play as that of “a drunk machine gunner”? (1 pt each)

36

Which English GM is married to the actress Tara MacGowran?

37

When the 2020 Candidates Tournament was suspended, which two players were tied for the lead? (1 pt each)

38

How much money did GM Jim Plaskett win on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in 2006? (Exact amount required!)

39

What nationality are the following 5 GMs (all rated over 2600!):-

  • Illya Nyzhnyk
  • Nijat Abasov
  • Bogdan-Daniel Deac
  • Eduardo Iturrizaga
  • David Baramidze

(1 pt each)

40

Which Grand Master and 4 time Candidate is the highest rated active player aged 70 or more (ie born 1950 or earlier)*. Clue – he lost one Candidates Match on the spin of a roulette wheel; and forfeited two others when the matches were still undecided!

(* December 2020, FIDE Classical Chess List)

41

What unique place in chess rankings (December 2020 FIDE Classical Chess List) is currently held by the Russian, Vassily Malinin?

42

To whom did Gary Kasparov lose in the last round of Linares 2005, in his last classical chess game before he retired?

43

Which player has the monstrously improbable score of +4 =3 -0 against the Club Organiser, with all games having been played in Leamington League matches?