Barnet Chess Club on-line Christmas Quiz!

Answers now available (as of 1st February) in bold

Before commencing the quiz, here is BCC on-line's chess christmas cracker joke was -

A group of chess enthusiasts had checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off.  Click for answer.

The Quiz

Some of the answers you may find lurking on this website, some you may not! Apologies in advance: A lot of the questions are UK biased except the General Knowledge ones.

General Knowledge
British Grandmasters
Computer chess
Internet chess
British web sites
British chess players
Barnet chess club

Answers to this challenging quiz will be published on February 1st in the trivia section of this web site.
Email your answers to the webmaster and the top three scorers/ highest scorers in individual sections will be awarded various surprise prizes and acknowledgements, eg your favourite game might be web-published.

Disclaimer: The author acknowledges that the following answers may be inaccurate/ wrong. Please email proposed corrections/ insertions to the author.

General Knowledge

World Champions, challengers and championships

  1. Who said this in a really funny interview a few years ago and about whom:
    "He does not overestimate, he does not underestimate... he is.... a fish!" (Click here for a real audio version of this question!) Korchnoi about Karpov
  2. How many chess world champions have there been and can you list them? There are 12 official world champions :-
Name Country of origin World champ reign
William Steinitz Bohemia/ USA 1886-94
Emanuel Lasker Germany 1894-1921
José Raúl Capablanca Cuba 1921-27
Alexander Alekhine Russia/France 1927-35
Machgielis (Max Euwe) Holland 1935-37
Mikhail Botvinnik USSR 1948-57
Vasily Smyslov USSR 1957-58
Mikhail Tal USSR 1960-61
Tigran Petrosian USSR 1963-69
Boris Spassky USSR 1969-72
Robert (Bobby) Fischer USA 1975-85
Anatoly Karpov USSR 1975-85
current FIDE world champion
Gary Kasparov USSR 1985-
current PCA World champion
  1. Which world champion popularised chess in the USA in the mid 70's and later went into hibernation? Robert (Bobby) Fischer
  2. Which world champions did not have to defeat his current world champion?Anatoly Karpov
  3. Which two players were noticeable by their absence in the 1997 FIDE world championship? Kramnik and Kasparov
  4. Who were Fischer's first two victims to lose 6-0 on the run up to his world title challenge? Larsen and Taimanov
  5. Who managed to stop Fischer's game winning run. Tigran Petrosian
  6. How many moves is the longest game played between Karpov and Kasparov in world champ. match ?
  7. Which FIDE organiser was not on best terms with Kasparov? Campamones
  8. What was the score at the point the challenge match was terminated between Karpov and Kasparov? 5-3 in terms of wins
  9. Which player has got the best overall score against Kasparov? Kramnik
  10. Which world champion liked his drink so much, that many people claim he lost a world championship match because of it.? Alekhine
  11. Which world champion was born in Cuba? Capablanca

Opening systems

  1. Which player in chess history, invented an opening system which can give rise to doubled pawns frequently? Nimzowitsch
  2. Which variation in the Dutch Defence may have to change its name to the St Petersburg variation? Lenningrad Dutch
  3. What opening was originally named after the river Volga? Benko gambit
  4. What opening variation is named after a mythical creature because its pawn structure resembles that creature? Sicillian Dragon
  5. What variation has been named after a certain part of an animal's anatomy? Monkey's bum!
  6. What variation of the sicillian takes its name from a certain war formation because of its pawn formation? Scheveningen variation
  7. What opening is named after a certain nationality which typifies the kinds of cramped positions which are tolerated in order to get longer term gains? French defence
  8. What variation of the Kings Indian defence takes its name from a master who managed to get the world record for the number of games lost on time in a serious tournament? Saemich
  9. What opening variation has a name which reflects an unusual knight manoever which resembles the action of an eagle? The Vulture

Quotes from famous players / people

  1. Who said "Chess is like a beautiful mistress" Bent Larsen
  2. Who said "Chess is a fighting game which is purely intellectual and excludes chance" Richard Reti
  3. Who said "Chess is not for timid souls" William Steinitz
  4. Who said "Chess is Life" Bobby Fischer

Other general knowledge

  1. What three standard chess notations are there? forsyth, algebraic, descriptive
  2. Which grandmaster wrote a book which advocated the idea of thinking like a computer as a way of analysing better? Kotov

British Grandmaster / top player related questions


  1. If you want your son to be a British grandmaster, what two statistically good first names would you name him? Jon or Jonathon
  2. If you want your daughter to be a British Woman grandmaster, what three statistically good first names would you name her? Harriet, Susan or Jana
  3. How many British grandmasters are currently (1997) in the world top hundred? 7 (see top brits section!)
  4. Which two British grandmasters had to play each other recently in the FIDE world championship? Adams and Short
  5. Roughly how many UK grandmasters are there:  (choose a-d from the following) A under 10, B 10-20, C 20-30, or D 30-40 ? D


  1. Who was the first ever British grandmaster? Tony Miles
  2. Which British grandmaster was a very young entry into Oxford University? John Nunn
  3. Which British grandmaster was once part of a rock band? Nigel Short
  4. Which British grandmaster has recently married a Croatian? (Hint: LaLaLa) Susan Lalic
  5. Which British IM innovated with an interesting first move? Basman
  6. What was the top British player who lived from 1841-1924? Joseph Blackburne
  7. What was the top British player who lived from 1854-1930? Isidor Gunsberg
  8. What was the top British player who lived from 1905-1966? (Hint: He defeated Capablanca at Hastings 1930-1931) Mir Sultan Khan
  9. What two, now famous British players hit the news in 1986 for gaining norms? Adams and Sadler

Computer Chess Questions


  1. What are the two main standard search techniques that computer programs uses to play chess? Minimax and Alpha Beta pruning
  2. Which technique out of the two above, is quicker yet does not actually compromise the strength of moves played by computers? Alpha beta pruning

Grandmasters and masters - involvement, bets, losses

  1. Which American Grandmaster was on the deep blue team this year (1997)? Benjamin
  2. Which British IM made a bet that he would not lose to a computer within 10 years? David Levy
  3. Who in 1977 became the first grandmaster to lose to a computer? Michael Stean (it was a blitz game)
  4. Which computer did Kasparov lose to in a blitz tournament in 1994? (The program also defeated Anand, Short, Gelfand and Kramnik!) Fritz3 in Munich. Huebner refused to play it and was defaulted!
  5. Which Grandmaster used the ending database in KAISSA to win an adjourned game in a tournament in Vilnius in 1975? David Bronstein
  6. In 1988 which computer did British GM Tony Miles share first place with in the US Open championship? Deep thought (Author's new question!- did they name deep thought after the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy ?!)
  7. In 1988 which grandmaster became the fist GM to lose to a computer in a major tournament - the American open? Hitech
  8. What was significant about this year (1997) for computer chess? The world champion lost to a computer in a long game match

Landmarks in the development of computer chess

  1. Who in 1947 specified the first chess program for chess? Alan Turing
  2. Which computer in 1985 achieved a performance rating of 2530? Hitech
  3. What happened for the first time in 1984 in a computer-chess tournament held in Canada? A microcomputer won a tournament for the first time against mainframes
  4. Who wrote the first full fledged chess playing program in 1957? A chess program written by Bernstein for an IBM 704.
  5. When was the ICCA formed? 1977


  1. What was the name given to the first every computer automation ? The Turk
  2. What was the name of the first chess program to play in a tournament and who was it written by? MacHack written by MIT by Greenblatt
  3. What was the first all-computer championship held in New York won by? Chess 3.0
  4. What was the first microcomputer chess playing machine called? Chess Challenger
  5. What computer was confiscated by the US state department as it was heading to the soviet union to play in a chess tournament? And why? Belle in 1982 was confiscated by the State Department as it was heading to the Soviet Union to participate in a computer chess tournament. The state department claimed it was a violation of a technology transfer law to ship a high technology computer to a foreign country.
  6. What is not the best move to play with the black pieces against a strong computer in the following position? h6

computers.gif (6306 bytes)

Internet Chess questions

Commands and Variables

  1. What command can be useful in finding out the identity of someone ? fi <handle>
  2. What command could be used to screen out match challenges from other players? formula
  3. What convenient device could you use, to hear people from a particular country (eg Canada, Australia, Britain) or particular chess interest group (eg chess lectures, computer chess,etc) ? channels
  4. Which variable could you set to handle different scenarios. Eg, sometimes you are at work and only play blitz while the boss is out. But when you're at home you play standard with people within 200 points of your rating. Also, you sometimes like to play wild and standard with people outside of your rating range? mood
  5. What command could be useful for speeding up what you want to do? (eg instead of typing "tell This personhasalongname", you could reduce it to a single letter if you wanted to) alias
  6. How could you quickly find out the best players on the ICC? "who 19" for those currently on the server, or "best" for all players registered on the ICC


  1. What computer on the ICC has surpassed the rating of 3100? (hint: they eats rabbits) Ferret
  2. Which player has achieved the highest blitz rating on the ICC so far (as of Dec 97) ? Shirov
  3. Which player has achieved the highest bullet rating on the ICC so far (as of Dec 97) ? Hawkeye
  4. Which ICC broadcast match in 1997 had over 1800 observers? The Deep Blue match
  5. What is the record for the most players logged onto the ICC in 1997? 2266 on May 4th 1997
  6. Which player handle has brought the ICC the most hits, nearly 8 times more hits in fact than the week in chess? Bonus point: Which pop group might have had some influence? Goob
  7. What has caused in the past, the most amount of abusive language on Internet chess? Bonus point: What new resource has helped reduce this problem considerably? Lag (computer abusers may be the next one ! :-) )
  8. Which Internet chess server will start having a London technical support line from January 1st 1998 ? the ICC


  1. Which personality which has name of a certain character on Star-Trek gives regular chess lectures on the ICC? MrSpock


British Web sites related questions

  1. What web site could you could find archived tournament games played in British tournaments since 1945? 4NCL web site
  2. Which British club web site, has excellent teaching materials and is the teaching pioneer of British chess club websites? Exeter chess club
  3. Which team captain and web site marketing director recently left a Polish IM somewhere where he shouldn't be? (clue: ChessMoves seemed to find this funny) Nigel Johnson
  4. Which British web site started clickable maps? Barnet chess club
  5. Which British web site is strongly against the use of gimmicks and the use of proprietry browsers? Click here for a useless gimmick if you are lucky enough to be using Internet Explorer 4.0. Exeter chess club
  6. Which British IM has recently sponsored TWIC? Malcolm Pein
  7. Which web site would you find information on chess players that didn't quite make it to world champion status? The uncrowned kings web site by Philip Hughes
  8. Which chess club hosts the British Internet Chess Server? Warwick chess club
  9. Which internationally popular web site, could you find weekly news updates? The Week In Chess by Mark Crowther

British chess player-specific questions

  1. Who are the current joint British champions? Adams and Sadler
  2. Which British player wrote a hit computer game called "The theme park", that was at the top of the charts for six months and sold than more 3.5 million copies ? Hint: He also did quite well in this years (1997) Mind Sports Olympiad. Demis Hassapis
  3. Which British player has become an IM relatively quickly and only a few years ago, was a relatively unknown player. Hint: he also did well in this years (1997) Mind Sports Olympiad. Danny Gormally
  4. Which British player was recently called something non-complementary by an overly enthusiastic team captain in the European club championship?  Aaron Summerscale
  5. Name an ex-British champion that is an IM and who makes chess contributions to an Irish newspaper. Michael Hennigan
  6. Which British players achieved GM titles this year? Aaron Summerscale, Dharshan Kumaran and Harriet Hunt have achieved Grandmaster status in 1997
  7. What famous UK tournament is played in January and sometimes involves feeling the implications of adverse climatic conditions? Hastings
  8. What is the most active independent chess league in the UK? the 4NCL
  9. Who are the two people in the following photograph? Adam Raoof (Left) and Nigel Short

adams.1.jpg (26271 bytes)

Barnet chess club and web site specific related questions

  1. Who are the current league champions of the Hertfordshire chess league? Hertford
  2. Which player from Barnet chess club was recently on TV in respect of ICL recruiting people for the year 2000 problem? (If you thought other questions were unfair, this is a really unfair question!) John Venn
  3. Who is currently the highest rated player in Barnet chess club? Paul Georghiou (however if we count Neil Bradbury who is honary life member , then Neil!)
  4. Who was made an honary life member of Barnet chess club? Neil Bradbury
  5. Where is Barnet chess club located? The Fern room, off barnet high street (see about BCC)
  6. When is the Barnet chess congress? It is usually held at the QE Boys School Barnet
  7. Which Barnet player managed to beat American IM Danny Kopec recently? Tryfon Gavriel (webmaster)
  8. Which Barnet player managed to beat an ex-world title challenger at the Lloyds Bank masters tournament a few years ago? Paul Georghiou
  9. How many members of the Barnet Herts I team are ex-British champions? 3 (Natasha Regan, Paul Georghiou, Eddie Holland)
  10. Who is that British model in the "Why Chess" section of this site ? (Hint: Have you used the guest book to give your feedback) Jo Guest !
  11. Who is that mysterious man in the "Why Chess" section of this site ? John Major !


"Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."


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