2010 Holiday Puzzler

2010 Holiday Puzzler

| 101 | Misc

Welcome to the 2010 Holiday Puzzler!

To help keep yourself entertained over the holiday season, why not try our fun seasonal chess quiz?

There should be something for everyone, so you don't need to be a Grandmaster to have a go!

But don't forget, this is a prize competition so...

Don't answer in the comments! 

Instead, send your answers to and you could win one of the fabulous prizes below!

First prize: One year Diamond membership, plus t-shirt
Second prize: One year Platinum membership, plus t-shirt
Third prize: One year Gold membership, plus t-shirt
Fourth prize: t-shirt
Fifth-Tenth prize: One month Diamond Membership

So what are you waiting for?  Get puzzling, and send in your answers as soon as possible to the email address above.  Please include your username with your answers, so we know who you are!  Only one entry per member, so think carefully before you send your answers in - changes are not allowed!

Any ties will be broken by a random draw, so there's no need to hurry.  Entries will be accepted up to and including 31 December 2010, and the winners will be announced early in the new year.  Good luck, and good chess in 2011!

The competition is now closed! Answers and Results are here.


1. An easy one to start! Name all the chess grandmasters that have achieved an official FIDE rating above 2800 Elo.


2. Here is the position from the end of a game where white checkmated black.  What were the last 3 moves played? (white's move, black's reply and then white's checkmate move).


3. Who are the following grandmasters, and what chess event in 2010 links them all together?

1.jpg 2.png
4.jpg 3.jpg


4. One for the mathematicians now. In how many different ways can a standard chess set and board be set up with the correct opening position for a normal game of chess?


5. Who am I? Born in 1933, my father was a renowned geneticist. Both my brothers also achieved great distinction in the scientific world, but despite earning a PhD in psychology I became better known for my amateur chess career.  Winning my national championship a record number of times, I also competed in eight Olympiads between 1952 and 1970, winning a silver medal on two occasions.


6. Can you identify the players in the following game, which won a Best Game prize at a tournament during 2010?


7. Despite producing some great chess, the FIDE 2008/10 Grand Prix series suffered because of rule changes during the competition.  Which two grandmasters dropped out in protest?


8. This abstract chess set made the news this year. Who designed it and how much does it cost?

abstract chess set.jpg


9. Vishy Anand succesfully defended his world title against Veselin Topalov earlier this year in Sofia.  But what was the name of the volcano that erupted and spewed ash over European airspace, halting flights and delaying the start of the match? (correct spelling required!) 


10. Oh dear. The anagrams below have gone slightly wrong because one extra letter was included in each by accident (oops! Wink).  Can you still unscramble the anagrams to find the names of three famous chess players? [The first anagram has been corrected for a typo - apologies!]

  • Vain Loan Boner
  • A Land Shark Ravioli
  • Lewd Yank Love


11. Who is this smartly dressed gentleman?


12. The Armenian Lev Aronian won the World Blitz Championship in Moscow this year, but which two rivals at the event decided that 38 rounds of blitz were not enough and played a friendly blitz match against one another into the early hours of the morning?


13. What is the best move for white in this position?


14. Who is the most successful tournament player in history, winning more major chess tournaments than any other player?


15. Which player hurt his back during the early stages of a tournament in 1985, but completed the event by playing his remaining games lying prone on a medical table?


16. This unassuming gentleman is an amateur player, so why is he famous in the chess world?



17. Can you solve this fun selfmate chess problem?  It's WHITE's turn to move and he must force BLACK to checkmate HIM in three moves.



18. In which novel from the 1920's is a chess player electrocuted while playing a game?


19. Which famous Grandmaster won the national championships of the Soviet Union, Netherlands and Switzerland?


20. Who are the two protagonists from this unusual game in 1968?

More from SonofPearl News Is Changing... News Is Changing...

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix