Tuesday, 22 December 2020

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!



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


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


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!)


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)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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!!


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


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

  • Fair_Chess_on_youTube
  • Sibelephant
  • Duhless
  • IachesisQ
  • Bigfish1995


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


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


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


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


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


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)


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


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!


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!)


Who is the world’s youngest ever Grand Master?


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


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


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)


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)


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


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!


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


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!


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


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


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?


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)


Which English GM is married to the actress Tara MacGowran?


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


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


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)


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)


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


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


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?

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