2008 Holiday Puzzler!

2008 Holiday Puzzler!

| 106 | Fun & Trivia

Welcome to the 2008 Holiday Puzzler!

How many of the 20 questions below can you answer?

Don't answer in the comments!

Send your entries to and you could win one of these fabulous prizes!

1st Prize: 1 year of Chess Mentor
2nd Prize: 1 year of Gold Membership (or Platinum Upgrade)
3rd Prize: 1 T-Shirt
4th-10th Prizes: 5 hours of Chess Mentor

So what are you waiting for?  Get puzzling and send in your answers to as soon as possible!  Please include your username with your answers.  Only one entry per member, so think carefully before you send your answers in!

Entries accepted until midnight on 31 December (GMT) and the correct answers and prize winners will be announced early in the new year!

Happy Holidays from!



1. Irishman Alexander McDonnell and Frenchman Louis Charles de la Bourdonnais played a famous series of matches in 1834 which, taken together, are often regarded as an unofficial world championship match.  La Bourdonnais won the match +45 -27 =13, but who sat by McDonnell’s side through all of the games recording the moves for posterity?

2. White to play and mate in ONE move.  Should be easy, right?  So you would think...What is the solution and which poet, writer and Irish Chess Champion composed many unusual chess problems, including the one below.  

3. Which brilliant Soviet player coached both Boris Spassky and Anatoly Karpov, and had a lifetime plus score in serious games against the world champions Botvinnik (+4 -1 =7), Smyslov (+11 -9 =33), Petrosian (+5 -3 =34) and Fischer (+5 -3 =2).

4.  Name the talented young girls meeting the President and First Lady... 

5. Which of these is NOT a recognized chess opening?

  • The Frankenstein-Dracula Opening
  • The Monkey's Bum
  • The Abracadabra Opening
  • The Orangutan

6. White to play and mate in 2.  Which unofficial World Chess Champion composed this problem, and what is the solution? 

7.  The world governing body for chess is called FIDE.  In which year and in which city was it founded?  

8. Who are these two beautiful ladies, and what is their connection to chess?

9.  An unusual puzzle.  White to play and FORCE black to checkmate HIM in just 2 moves.  

10. Which former world champion famously said 'I don't believe in psychology, I believe in good moves.' 

11. Who is this well-known chess blogger and commentator? 

12. We now know him as Garry Kasparov, but what was Garry's name when he was born? 

13. Who am I?  Born near St. Petersburg in 1850, I learnt to play chess at the relatively late age of 16.  I played twice for the world championship, but lost out both times.  One of my most impressive performances was at the 1895 Hastings tournament, where I finished ahead of Wilhelm Steinitz and Emanuel Lasker.

14. The James Bond film 'From Russia With Love' features a famous chess scene in which the fictional Kronsteen (pictured below) wins an important game.  But what is the name of his equally fictional opponent and who are the REAL players who played the game on which the position in the film is based? 

15. What does the chess term 'Zwischenzug' mean?

16. Who played white in the following game, featuring a rarely seen and picturesque tactic from moves 40 to 44 in which a knight chases a rook back and forth until a pawn is won?  

17. Who holds the record for consecutive victories in top-level chess games and how many games in a row did he win? 

18. What is the name of this award-winning author, who published a popular book on the history of chess in 2006?

19. Which Grandmaster became World Champion before he became the Soviet Champion?

20. Who became US Women's Chess Champion in 2008 after winning a controversial armageddon blitz game with her opponent? 



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