Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Day Presents (Part 3): Test your trivia!

Today is Christmas Eve, and as usual all the kids are waiting for Santa's gifts. Now let's check what he sent me... Oh look! It's not the usual puzzles, but 20 questions to test your chess trivia coupled with a bonus puzzle!

So you think your chess knowledge is really good? C'mon then, let's see how well you know all the bits and pieces that have been going on in the history of chess. As a chessplayer, I suppose it'll be embarrassing if someone asked you who the World Champion is and you can't answer, right?

All ready? Let's get started:

Question 1: Which of these chessplayers was never a World Champion?

  • A: Magnus Carlsen
  • B: Viswanathan Anand
  • C: Lau Yan Han
  • D: Garry Kasparov
(P.S. If you can't answer this question, don't bother looking at the rest)

Question 2: Refer to Question 1. Out of the 3 incorrect options, which of these chessplayers is the current World Champion?

(P.S. I'd be mind blown if you don't know the answer to this either)

Question 3: The Hypermodern school of chess emerged shortly after World War II, and introduced many critical ideas into modern chess theory. Which of these was not an idea introduced by the Hypermodern theory?

  • A: The Nimzo-Indian Defence
  • B: Control the centre by occupying it with pawns
  • C: Making a move based on prophylaxis
  • D: Undermining a pawn chain

Question 4: In the recent Sinquefield Cup 2014, GM Fabiano Caruana achieved an incredible feat by winning __ games in a row

  • A: 5
  • B: 6
  • C: 7
  • D: 8

Question 5: In 1993, Kasparov was ejected from FIDE for creating a rival chess organization known as ___

  • A: Professional Chess Association
  • B: Kasparov Chess Federation
  • C: World Chess Association
  • D: League of International Chess

Question 6: This same organization was dissolved in which year?

  • A: 1995
  • B: 1996
  • C: 2000
  • D: 2006

Question 7: In 2006, a reunification match was organized between the Classical and FIDE World Champions. They were (in no particular order): ___ and ___

  • A: Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik
  • B: Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov
  • C: Viswanathan Anand and Nigel Short
  • D: Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik

Question 8: "Pawns are the soul of chess." I wonder who said that?

  • A: Siegbert Tarrasch
  • B: André Philidor
  • C: Aaron Nimzowitsch
  • D: Ruy López De Segura

Question 9: Out of the 4 options in Question 8, which of them would be the oldest if they were all still alive today?

Question 10: Who is the handsome guy in this photo?

  • A: Alexander Alekhine
  • B: Anatoly Karpov
  • C: Emanuel Lasker
  • D: Mikhail Chigorin

Question 11: The longest ever World Championship match in history lasted __ games

  • A: 22
  • B: 36
  • C: 48
  • D: 50

Question 12: During the stated match in Question 11, who was FIDE president at that time?

  • A: Max Euwe
  • B: Friðrik Ólafsson
  • C: Florencio Campomanes
  • D: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Question 13: The shortest ever game in a World Championship Match was played in the year __

  • A: 1924
  • B: 1960
  • B: 1984
  • D: 2012

Question 14: Anyone remembers which famous game did this position originate from (Try solving the puzzle!)?

White to move
  • A: Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851
  • B: Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard, 1857
  • C: R. Byrne vs Fischer, 1963
  • D: Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999

Question 15: In the World Chess Championship 2014, Carlsen defended his title against Anand with a lead of how many points?

  • A: 1
  • B: 2
  • C: 3
  • D: He won on tiebreakers

Question 16: Mikhail Botvinnik, three-time World Champion, was considered one of the strongest players from the Soviet Union. Apart from playing chess, he also achieved a successful career as a __

  • A: Engineer
  • B: Doctor
  • C: Politician
  • D: Lawyer

Question 17: Tigran Petrosian, the ninth World Champion, was best known for his ___

  • A: Superior Opening Preparation
  • B: Aggressive and sacrificial style
  • C: Inpenetrable defensive style
  • D: Defection from the Soviet Union

Question 18: After his US passport was revoked, Fischer sought asylum in __, where he lived until his death

  • A: Russia
  • B: North Korea
  • C: Norway
  • D: Iceland

Question 19: The 2014 FIDE World Chess Olympiad was held in Tromso, Norway from 1st to 14th of August 2014. Which country emerged as the champion in the Open Category?

  • A: China
  • B: Russia
  • C: Armenia
  • D: United States

Question 20: Jose Raul Capablanca, the third World Champion, dominated the chess world with his exceptional endgame skills and positional play. Which country was he born in?

  • A: United States
  • B: Switzerland
  • C: Australia
  • D: Cuba

Question 21 (Bonus): Here's a bonus puzzle for you to try out for fun. Once you see the answer... prepare to be mind-blown.

White to move and mate in... 1


Well so perhaps next time you will be able to impress all your friends with these knowledge. Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Answers:
    1. C’mon! Surely you don’t need an answer sheet for this question!
    2. (A) Carlsen defeated Anand in 2013 to clinch the title
    3. (B) Hypermodernism advocated indirect control of the centre with pieces from a distance, rather than occupying it directly with pawns
    4. (C)
    5. (A)
    6. (B) However, the split between the FIDE and Classical Champions lasted all the way till 2006
    7. (D) Kramnik won the match to become the undisputed World Champion. The match was also made (in)famous for a dispute now known as the Toiletgate Affair
    8. (B) Do you still remember your Philidor Position?
    9. (D) The famous Ruy Lopez opening is named after him
    10. (A) Alekhine was the fourth World Champion, and well-known for his aggressive playing style
    11. (C) The World Chess Championship 1984 between Kasparov and Karpov lasting a whopping 5 months and 48 games. It was subsequently abandoned without result (the official reason being the deteriorating health of both players)
    12. (C)
    13. (D) In Game 8 of the World Chess Championship 2012, Gelfand resigned after his Queen was trapped by Anand on the 17th move
    14. (B)
    15. (B) The decisive game occurred in Game 11, where Anand played a miscalculated rook sacrifice and subsequently lost
    16. (A)
    17. (C) A grandmaster once famously commented that it was easier to win the Soviet Championship than to win a game against ‘Iron Tigran’!
    18. (D)
    19. (A) It was the first time China won the Olympiad
    20. (D)

  2. Answer to bonus puzzle:

    (Are you sure you want to see the answer without solving the puzzle first?)
    1. gxf6 (en passant)#