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Weekend Trivia Break

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I just sent off the last of the signed copies of Kasparov's "Modern Chess Part 2: Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-1985" won by ICC members during our live Corus coverage on Chess.FM. Winners were from Japan, Kentucky, Australia, and Oregon, and nearly a dozen more places. The books were prizes from Everyman Chess for our 'call of the day' contest, in which people would leave a voicemail with a question, comments, or, in one case (thankfully just one case), an Obama impersonation. New In Chess sponsored our daily trivia contests with ICC account extensions and one-year NIC subscriptions. House of Staunton contributed 13 Reykjavik II Series chess sets for our 'game of the day' trivia, which was done by email. Thanks to all the sponsors and congrats to all the winners.

Here are some of the better questions. That is, ones that didn't just rely on speed and good guessing, which are as integral a part of our NIC trivia as knowledge since it's done live and first correct answer wins. Over-thinking and attempts at pedantry are generally not rewarded. (E.g. if I'd wanted to include the girls' world junior championship in #1 I would have said so.) Wijk aan Zee is generally meant to include every edition of the event, going back to before it was held in Wijk aan Zee. A few are trivially (ahem) looked up, but the answers are interesting.

For best results, don't look anything up and pretend you have to answer each in under 10 seconds (3 seconds was more realistic for most of them) to have any chance at winning.

1) Gupta in the C group is the current world junior champ. Who is the only other player in all three groups to have won it?

2) Which two participants in the A group have the most games played in Wijk aan Zee events?

3) Name all three Dutch representatives the last time the Corus A group had this many.

4) Name all the players in the Corus A group who were not yet born when Garry Kasparov won the world championship. [Imagine if we included all groups. Yikes.]

5) Which world champion won his first and last appearances at the Wijk aan Zee tournament, 18 years apart?

6) Who, in a recent interview, said he "expected no great performances" from the current Dutch generation?

7) Which B group player won his national championship at the age of 13?

8) Aronian surprised in a 2008 interview when he said *who* could not play chess?

9) Name three of the players in group A who did not play board one for their 2008 Olympiad teams.

10) Last year at Corus Nigel Short made news when which player refused to shake his hand?

11) Name *all* the players in the a group who have played in a FIDE world championship final match.

12) Kasparov referred to Movsesian as a 'tourist' at the 1999 FIDE KO. Name one of the other players included as a 'tourist' in Kasparov's article.

13) Which Corus A players are #1 and #2 in the FIDE Grand Prix standings?

14) Name two players who were in the A group the first time van Wely participated. [Hint: nobody else in this year's A group was there.]

15) Which elite player *not* at Corus this year said "a lot of people think that chess deprived me of my childhood. This is absolutely wrong." [No doubt many prodigies have expressed similar sentiments.]

16) Put these players in order of age, youngest to oldest: Movsesian, van Wely, Morozevich, Carlsen, Kamsky. [Because of his retirement break most people assume Kamsky is older than most of the other top players.]

17) List all the first names in the A group of fewer than five letters. [It comes in handy that both of Wang Yue's names qualify.]

18) Who knocked out Kamsky at the 1999 FIDE KO world championship in Las Vegas?

19) Name the two countries represented in the A group with the smallest populations. [Only two people from over 60 guesses got this right.]

20) Name three participants in the current Gibraltar Masters tournament who gave live commentary on ICC Chess.FM in the last year.

21) Which legendary player wrote a book with the title, in approximate translation, "Understanding the World"?

22) Who was the first Soviet player to win Wijk aan Zee? [This was an email question and many people tried too hard here, submitting Rossollimo, Tartakower, and even Pirc. The Corus site caused the problem, listing Tartakower, for example, as "RUS." And as many sites do now, they list deceased Soviet players under their non-Soviet nationalities, when known. E.g. Tal as Latvian and Petrosian as Armenian, which is inappropriate in most cases. Tal squeaks in, though calling him a "Latvian player" still sounds odd, but Petrosian was born and died in the USSR. Just because a country has ceased to exist does not mean we should retroactively change people's nationalities.]

23) Name both participants in the first world championship match held in Dominguez's home of Cuba.

24) Which Dutch player won the first online supertournament?

25) Who holds the record for most Wijk aan Zee tournament titles?

You don't have to write your answers in the comments, but how many did you know for sure and how many did you guess correctly vs how many no clue, unsure?


Hmmm, your question 24 is wrong. That Dutchman took 2nd in the First Online Supertournament (May 22nd, 1999), and 1st in the Second Online Supertournament (February, 2000). :)

I think we have different definitions of "super" :)

Cat 16 used to be Super... :(

I've always stuck on Cat. 17, actually, but even that's far outdated these days. You could hit that without anyone from the top ten participating, probably top 20. Instead of inflated categories we should come up with some other criteria. Half of the players should be top ten, at least. No more than one player from out of the top 50, to allow for the local cannon fodder slot.

That ICC event was four players, one in the top ten, one probably not in the top 100. Game/10, wasn't it? Were there proctors? Don't remember the details much.

As for ranking criteria for tournaments, how about calculate the average *placing* on the FIDE-list of the best players, where is the number of rounds.

In an open of 9 rounds it is the 9 best players you have to beat, OTB or indirectly. You could then have an open with 1000 players and still make it a top ranked event if you had the top 9 of the FIDE list.

The above should read:
"As for ranking criteria for tournaments, how about calculate the average *placing* on the FIDE-list of the N best players, where N is the number of rounds."

I put N in brackets so it was parsed as a tag :)


This is what rating inflation does to you!! :)

At the time, it was Svidler (#8 at 2713), Piket (#50 at 2619), Sutovsky (#58 at 2612), and Annakov (#81 at 2600).

Very interesting that the #39-#40 on the January 1999 list (Predrag Nikolic and Vadim Milov), at 2633, wouldn't be on the Top 100 now. Similarly the 2700 club has gone from 10 then (Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Shirov, Morozevich, Adams, Ivanchuk, Svidler, Karpov, Topalov) to 31. At least the 2800 club has remained the same, or smaller, since then. :)

Yeah, it was G/10, no proctors, mostly because frankly computers in 1999 (10 years ago, oh dear how old we're getting) weren't really that relevant then, certainly not like today. So no, no proctors, as cheating wasn't the issue it became quite quickly afterwards.

Did I hear "rating inflation"? (Scans horizon). Where is frogbert???

The Obama impersonation was great!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 7, 2009 6:10 PM.

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