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 Chess Trivia

By Bill Hyde
Chess Lore! Trivia Challenge #2 (with answers)
How much do you know about the chess world?

(1) The story that Paul Morphy used to lie in a circle of woman’s shoes is evidence of:

(a) paranoia

(b) schizophrenia

(c) depression

(d) bipolar syndrome

(e) excessive credulity on the part of psychiatrists

Answer (e)

(2) What player resigned a final candidates match
when there was still a mathematical chance to win?

(a) Portisch

(b) Hubner

(c) Smyslov

(d) Sokolov

(e) none of the above

Answer (b)

(3) What player resigned a world championship match
when there was still a mathematical chance to win?

(a) Timman

(b) Zukertort

(c) Tchigorin

(d) Lasker

(e) Janowski

Answer (d)

(4) The world champion in late 1946 was

(a) Botvinnik

(b) Keres

(c) Alekhine

(d) Euwe

(e) none of the above

Answer (e)

(5) One of the following had a role in a movie drama
(i.e., not a documentary).

(a) Jose Capablanca

(b) Marmaduke Wyvill

(c) Samuel Reshevsky

(d) Bobby Fischer

(e) Anatoly Karpov

Answer (e)

(6) The most world championship games have been
played between

(a) Euwe and Alekhine

(b) Alekhine and Bogolyubov

(c) Karpov and Kasparov

(d) Steintiz and Tchigorin

(e) Lasker and Janowski

Answer (c)

(7) Which of these players scored the most victories
in the match that won him the title?

(a) Tal

(b) Spassky

(c) Capablanca

(d) Kasparov

(e) Euwe

Answer (e) Euwe won nine games in the 1935 match.

(8) Which of these players scored the most victories in a match that
lost him the title?

(a) Lasker

(b) Fischer

(c) Alekhine

(d) Smyslov

(e) Botvinnik

Answer (c) Alekhine scored eight victories in the same match.

(9) Who played board one for the world in the "USSR vs
Rest of the World" match in 1970?

(a) Gligorich

(b) Reshevsky

(c) Fischer

(d) Hort

(e) Larsen

Answer (e)

(10) Many chess writers have written books with titles like
"Understanding the Queen’s Gambit". Which player wrote
a book whose title was, in approximate translation, "Understanding the

(a) Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch

(b) Henry Buckle

(c) Pierre Charles Fournier de St Amant

(d) Dr. Arpad Elo

(e) Dr. Emanuel Lasker

Answer (e) In the original German, it was "Das Begreifen der Welt".

(11) Raymond Keene once boasted that he wrote a chess
book in:

(a) A year

(b) A month

(c) A week

(d) A weekend

(e) A phone booth

Answer (d), though (e) should be given comic points.

(12) Which of the following countries has never hosted
an official world championship match?

(a) Iceland

(b) The Philippines

(c) Canada

(d) Italy

(e) France

Answer (d). Few recall that Lasker-Steinitz was partially played in Montreal.

(13) After his 1972 match, Fischer was offered money to
endorse a product. He declined, saying that

(a) "The stuff’s no good"

(b) "Not enough money"

(c) "I’m waiting for Jim Slater to kick in $125,000"

(d) "I’ll only do the commercial if there are no cameras"

(e) "I can’t -- I never use the stuff."

Answer (e). Source: Chess Life.

(14) Howard Staunton once referred to the Sicilian
Defense as

(a) "Inferior on principle to 1...e5"

(b) "Lost"

(c) "This fine opening"

(d) "A refuge for cads and bounders"

(e) "Just silly"

Answer (c)

(15) Siegbert Tarrasch once referred to the Sicilian
Defense as

(a) "Inferior on principle to 1...e5"

(b) "Lost"

(c) "This fine opening"

(d) "A refuge for cads and bounders"

(e) "Just silly"
Answer (a).

(16) At the turn of the nineteenth century, British player Amos Burn is one
of several strong players said to have made the following
comment. "In my many years of play, I have never won a game

(a) Emanuel Lasker

(b) Petroff’s Defense

(c) Siegbert Tarrasch

(d) A healthy man

(e) The exchange French

Answer (d)

(17) Sir George Thomas was defeated by Edward Lasker in
a brilliant gamelet which, as he must have known, would
be anthologized for essentially the rest of time. After
losing the game to Lasker, he said

(a) "That was very nice"

(b) "Why must I lose to this idiot!"

(c) "Had I played 13 .. gf, you would have been lost!"

(d) "I’m not feeling well"

(e) none of the above.

Answer (a)

(18) French artist (and chess master) Marcel Duchamp at
one point was paying far more attention to chess than
to his wife. In revenge, she

(a) Gave away his chess library

(b) Challenged him to a game at one move per day, and got
her moves from Alekhine

(c) Glued his chess pieces to the chessboard

(d) Took up bridge obsessively

(e) Served him his dinner on a chessboard.

Answer (c). She would have been more imaginative with
(b) or e. Gain one Divorced Wife point for either.

(19) Fischer won every game he played in the 1963-64 US
championship. At the closing ceremony the TD

(a) Congratulated Fischer on winning the event

(b) Congratulated Evans on winning the event

(c) Congratulated Reshevsky on winning the event

(d) Said Fischer was clearly the greatest player of all time

(e) Was speechless, and just handed out the trophies.

Answer: (b), quoted in "My 60 Memorable Games".

(20) Though few strong masters have had prolonged
military careers, many have been in the military for
shorter periods. Which of the following were never
in the military?

(a) Alexander Alekhine

(b) Jackson Whipps Showalter

(c) Saviely Tartakower

(d) Bent Larsen

(e) Alexandre Louis Honore Lebreton Deschapelles

Answer (b) Showalter was too young for the Civil War, too
old for World War I, and seems to have been playing chess
during the Spanish-American War.

(21) In fact, two of the above-mentioned chess players actually
served in the armies of two different countries.
They were

(a) Alekhine and Showalter

(b) Showalter and DesChapelles

(c) Larsen and Tartakower

(d) Deschapelles and Showalter

(e) Alekhine and Tartakower

Answer (e) Alekhine didn’t see a lot of service, but
was in the Russian army briefly in WWI, and even more
briefly for France in WWII. Tartakower fought for
Austria and France in those wars.

(22) When did Garry Kasparov play his first game of chess?

(a) age five

(b) age nine

(c) age ten

(d) age thirteen

(e) age fourteen

Answer (d) That was when his name was changed from Garry Weinstein to Garry Kasparov, based on his mother’s name Kasparova.

(23) About whom was it said that to enter an even endgame against him was an almost certain way to lose?

(a) Jose Raul Capablanca

(b) Anatoly Karpov

(c) Ulf Andersson

(d) Akiba Rubinstein

(e) Ruben Fine

Answer (d) The Polish-born star’s technique was legendary even amongst his peers.

(24) Who won the final Championship of the USSR?

(a) Garry Kasparov

(b) Artashes Minasian

(c) Valery Salov

(d) Viswanathan Anand

(e) Alexander Khalifman

Answer (d) !! Well, not really, but Anand won the 91-92 Reggio Emilia supertournament right before the fall of the USSR and was the only non-Soviet participant. The line-up also included Kasparov, Karpov, Salov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Khalifman, M.Gurevich, Beliavsky, and Polugaevsky! The real winner of the final championship of the USSR (number 58) was the Armenian player Artashes Minasian, who tied with Maggeramov.

(25) Before winning the twenty thousand dollar first prize in the Grand Prix this month, in which tournament did Piket win his largest purse and how much was it?

(a) twenty-five thousand guilders in Tilburg, 1996

(b) two million lira in Rome, 1989

(c) ten thousands Swiss francs in Biel, 1999

(d) fifteen thousand dollars in Las Vegas, 1999

(e) five thousand deutschmarks in Munich, 1992

Answer (d) Piket tied for first with Boris Gelfand, ahead of a very strong field including Karpov, Shirov, Adams, and Leko.

See related articles:

  • Chess Trivia #1 - The Answers (2/25/2000)
  • Genius or Joker? Chess Trivia #1 (1/21/2000)
  • Chess Lore! Trivia Challenge #2 (3/13/2000)
  • Meet the Masters! Trivia Challenge #3 (with answers) (5/3/2000)
  • Meet the Masters! Trivia Challenge #3 (4/29/2000)
  • Meet the Masters! Trivia Challenge #4 (8/4/2000)
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