2011 Holiday Puzzler

2011 Holiday Puzzler

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Welcome to the 2011 Holiday Puzzler!

What better way to entertain yourself over the holiday season than by trying to answer the questions in our fun seasonal chess quiz? Cool

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: One month Diamond Membership plus t-shirt
Fifth-Tenth prize: One month Diamond Membership

So get puzzling, and send in your answers 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 2011, and the winners will be announced early in the new year.  Good luck, and have a great 2012!

1. As usual, we have an easy question to start. is the biggest and best chess community on the internet, but when was it launched? Exact date please! 

2. After black's fourth move in a crazy chess game, the following position was reached.  What were the moves of the game?


3. Hero or villain? This person caused a storm at a chess event this year, but can you name him?



4. Who am I? I learned to play chess at the age of six, and became a Grandmaster at 18 years of age. I have won my senior national chess title 6 times, and my peak Elo rating is 2765. I have also achieved great success in Chess960 events. A family man, I enjoy reading and listening to music, especially Bob Dylan.

5. Can you identify the player with the black pieces in the game below, pulling out a crucial 2011 tournament win with victory in the last round?


6. Exactly how many member federations are there currently in FIDE, and which continent has the most FIDE member federations?


7. The eyes have it...can you name these chess players?

Xmasquiz2011 eyes_1.jpg


8. "I know you to be a sportsman and a gentleman, and I am looking forward to some exciting chess games with you." Who wrote these words to a reigning world chess champion shortly before challenging him for the title?


9. Can you name the Grandmaster playing white and the amateur playing black in this casual game from 2011?


10. Which chess Grandmaster abandoned the game for a very successful career in Economics, working initially for the International Monetary Fund, and is currently employed as Professor of Economics at an Ivy League University?


11. Which world chess title challenger had yogis known as Didi and Dada in his entourage, and what were their real names?


12. Can you name this Grandmaster, and at what event in 2011 was this photo taken?



13. Which tournament was the last that Garry Kasparov played in before announcing his retirement?


14. While wandering past the boards at your local chess club, you notice this position on the board of a finished game. What was the last move played?


15. Who invented the first pocket chess set?


16. Can you name the chess wife and daughter in the picture?

Question 16.jpg


17. It's not everyday that a Grandmaster loses to someone rated more than 500 points below him in a regular tournament game. Can you name the Grandmaster having a bad day with black in this game from 2011?



18. Who am I? Born in 1996, I scored my first major tournament win in 2006 with a 6/6 score. In 2008 I won for the first time against a Grandmaster, and qualified as an International Master by the age of 12.  I was first reserve for my national team at the 2010 Olympiad, but decided to quit chess for Mathematics aged just 15. Oh, and my older cousin plays soccer for Manchester United!


19. Which brilliant final move enabled a future world chess champion to win an exhibition game in time for him to visit the Bolshoi Theatre in 1914?


20. And finally, this position once featured on the silver screen during the time that Alexander Alekhine was the world champion. Which film, and what move is played next?

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