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 Chess Trivia
Trivia 4 Answers

(78) Dr Saviely Tartakover once said that a game of chess
has three stages. The first is "when one hopes one
has an advantage" and the second occurs "when one
believes one has an advantage". What is the third stage?

(a) "one converts the favorable middlegame to a won ending"

(b) "one knows for sure one has an advantage"

(c) "one increases the advantage to decisive proportions"

(d) "one uses the advantage for an attack on the king"

(e) "one knows one is going to lose"



(79) The first international chess tournament took place in 1851 in

(a) New York

(b) London

(c) Berlin

(d) Moscow

(e) Paris


(b) Organized by Howard Staunton, this event resulted in
his losing the "unofficial world championship" to
Adolph Anderssen.

(80) The second international chess tournament took place 1851 in

(a) London

(b) Berlin

(c) Paris

(d) Moscow

(e) New York


(a) Not all London players backed the first 1851
event. The dissidents organized their own tournament
in London in the same year. In chess some things
never change.

(81) The first international tournament to use the
"round robin" format and to use time limits was played

(a) London

(b) Berlin

(c) Paris

(d) Moscow

(e) New York



(82) Perennial World Championship Candidate Yefim Geller had
a superb record in his individual encounters with the
world champions of his day. His advice on how to beat
a world champion was to

(a) Forget that the opponent is a world champion.

(b) Always remember that the opponent is a world champion.

(c) Play highly aggressive opening systems.

(d) Avoid the endgame at all costs

(e) Both (a) and (b)


(e) Makes sense in a strange way.

(83) World champions Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov played
tournament chess against one another at

(a) Caracas, 1970

(b) Never

(c) Palma de Majorca interzonal, 1970

(d) Buenos Aires, 1970

(e) Moscow, 1967


(b) Sadly.

(84) Ossip Bernstein was one of the strongest players of
his day, was born to a well off family, and was a lawyer of great
skill. Despite this he lost his entire fortune

(a) Sponsoring the commercialization of chess

(b) Investing in Canadian diamond mines

(c) Three times

(d) Because he lent it to Alekhine

(e) In the Russian revolution of 1905.


(c) He lost one fortune in the Russian revolution of
1917, made another and lost it in the 1929 crash, made
a third and lost it in WWII. If he made a fourth he
seems to have kept it.

(85) Those chess masters who do not devote all their
time to the game often have remarkable careers in other
fields, ranging from papyrologist (GM Robert Hubner) to
soldier (long-time US champion Captain George Henry
Mackenzie). Trained as a lawyer, IM Norman Whitaker
chose the career of

(a) International Arbiter

(b) Advisory counsel to the Geneva Convention

(c) Antarctic explorer

(d) Confidence man

(e) Politician


(d) Though he was not involved in the Lindburgh kidnapping,
he nevertheless extorted $100,000 in ransom money which was
never found.

(86) Soviet player and international master Rashid Gibyatovich
Nezhmetdinov had the distinction of

(a) Being one of the most feared attacking players of his day

(b) Being the first IM from Kazan

(c) Being Champion of the RSFSR (i.e. the Russian federation).

(d) Being the first to be a national master at both chess and
checkers (draughts) in the USSR.

(e) All of the above.


(e) Somewhat neglected in western chess writings, Nezhmetdinov’s
play has been praised by world championship Candidate Lev
Polugayevsky, among others.

(87) The great English player of the last century,
Joseph Henry Blackburne, once said that before a game

(a) Made sure to sleep at least 12 hours

(b) Ran two miles to wake up

(c) Drank a pot of coffee

(d) Had a couple of alcoholic drinks

(e) None of the above


(d) He also claimed that most other strong players did
the same. A FIDE master of my acquaintance strongly recommends
(b), but the fitness craze hadn’t hit in J. H.’s day.

(88) Frank Marshall was US champion from 1909 to 1936.
In that period he defended his title

(a) Every year

(b) Every three years

(c) In four matches

(d) In one match

(e) Never.


(d) Marshall narrowly defeated Edward Lasker in a match
in 1923. Other players could not raise the stake money.
Marshall was eventually convinced to resign his title.

(89) On losing his first game to Bobby Fischer, World
Champion Mikhail Tal said:

(a) "I was winning until I blundered on move 38"

(b) "Just wait until next time"

(c) "The kid is improving rapidly"

(d) "I’m really not feeling well"

(e) "It is difficult to play against Einstein’s theory".


(e) Did he mean the General or Special theory?

(90) American Grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky’s best chance
at winning the right to a match with world champion
Mikhail Botvinnik was possibly the 1953 candidates tournament.
To enhance his chances in this critical event Reshevsky:

(a) Took a month off work to study

(b) Brought GM Larry Evans along as a second

(c) Played a training match with GM Arthur Bisguier

(d) Quit his job

(e) Did none of the above.


(e) Reshevsky could not afford (a), (b), or (d). It is
amazing that he did so well in the event, considering
the excellent training, both physical and mental, received
by his Soviet opponents, and the GM-level seconds who
aided them. Fischer was not handicapped by a family
or non-chess career.

(91) Almost all world champions attained their title
by defeating the previous champion in a match. Thus
one would think that by definition they are good
match players. How many world champions have defeated
at least one challenger in a match?

(a) 10

(b) 6

(c) 12

(d) 5

(e) all of them.


(b) - Steinitz, Dr Lasker, Alekhine,
Petrosian, Karpov, Kasparov

(92) Which of the following comments did Dr
Tartakower not make:

(a) "The mistakes are all there, waiting to be made"

(b) "Sacrifices only prove that someone has blundered"

(c) "After 1 e4 white’s game is in its last throes"

(d) "Tactics is what you do when there’s something to
do, Strategy is what you do when there’d nothing to do".

(e) "Erro ergo Sum"


(c) That is attributed to the ultra-hypermodern
Julius Breyer.

(93) Siegbert Tarrasch, one of the top two or three players
at the turn of the century, and famous for his severely logical
style of play, was also a medical doctor. He claimed that his
tendency to make obvious blunders (despite his great chess
strength) as due to:

(a) Alzheimer’s disease

(b) Parkinson’s disease

(c) Tarrasch’s disease

(d) Amaurosis Schacchistica

(e) Hangovers.


(d) "Chess Blindness", in Latin.

(94) Paul Keres finished second, or tied for second,
in how many candidates tournaments?

(a) 0

(b) 1

(c) 2

(d) 3

(e) 4


(e) Unfortunately, only the first place player gets
a chance at the title. Keres tied for first in the
candidates-like tournament of AVRO 1938, but the
champion was not in this case compelled to play
the winner.

(95) Mastery of chess and wealth do not tend to go
hand in hand, the inherited money of Paul Morphy being
an exception. Which of the following world-class
players became a successful banker?

(a) Gideon Stahlberg

(b) Emanuel Lasker

(c) Wilhelm Steinitz

(d) Ignac Kolisch

(e) T. S. Eliot


(d) He became a millionaire, though this was not quite a
rags-to-riches story as he was born to a family that was
comfortably off.

(96) Italian players circa 1850 were dedicated to the
concept of

(a) a free lunch

(b) free castling

(c) free Italy

(d) free love

(e) all of the above


(b or e) Free castling, under which the rook moves to e1/e8
or d1/d8, while not as popular perhaps as some of the other
choices given, remained common in Italy well after other
countries adopted the now-standard form of the move.

(97) Opening variations are sometimes named after
the inventor or popularizer of the variation (e.g.
the Benko Gambit, Alekhine’s defense) or after the
tournament where the variation was unveiled (e.g. the
Meran or Cambridge Springs). Damiano’s defense was named

(a) Damiano, an Italian player who invented this defense

(b) The small Italian town of Damiano where this was first played.

(c) Ian O. Dam, a shy inventor who insisted on an anagrammatic
version of his name.

(d) Damiano, an Italian player who condemned this defense

(e) There is no such thing as Damiano’s defense.


(d) Amazingly

(98) Which of the following animals does not have a chess
opening named after it:

(a) Hippopotamus

(b) Rat

(c) Great Snake

(d) Pterodactyl

(e) Brontosaurus


(e) The rat and hippo are most commonly known, the Great
Snake and Pterodactyl names are not canonical but have
appeared in published games. The Pterocdactyl is so named
because it looks like a "rat with wings", referring to
early pawn advances, while Black’s odd pawn advances
in the Great Snake seem to mimic such a creature.

(99) World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik benefited greatly
from training games with future World Correspondence
champion Viacheslav Ragozin. One of Ragozin’s other
services for Botvinnik was:

(a) Physical trainer

(b) Supplier of vodka

(c) To blow smoke in his face

(d) KGB contact

(e) English Interpreter


(c) Botvinnik had found himself disturbed by second hand
smoke, so to get used to it he asked Ragozin to puff
smoke his way in training games. Those were dark days

(100) The finals of the 1971 candidates match had the
unique distinction that neither qualifier had lost even
a single game in the earlier rounds. However, the number
of wins was different. Fischer won all of his games
(i.e. 12) and Petrosian won:

(a) 10

(b) 8

(c) 6

(d) 4

(e) 2


(e) In a beautiful reflection of his style, Petrosian
won just one game in each match - quite enough if you
never lose a game.

(101) Who was/is known as the Magician of Riga?

(a) Alexi Shirov

(b) Aivar Gipslis

(c) Alexander Koblentz

(d) Mikhail Tal

(e) Alexander Alekhine


(d) Who else?

(102) What player was referred to as "Der schwarze Tod"?

(a) Wilhelm Steinitz

(b) Conrad Black

(c) J. H. Blackburne

(d) Edward Blackmar

(e) Adolf Schwarz


(c) AKA "the black death".

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 (with answers) (2/25/2000)
  • 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)
  • Related Stories
    Trivia 4
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