Bulletin No.41 – Christmas Puzzles and Quiz Special
Photo by Photo by Kgbo (Wikimedia) CC BY-SA 4.0
In this Christmas bumper edition, to mark the 24th day of the Christmas run-up, here are 24 fun Christmas questions and problems. There is a mixed bag, some easy and some just a bit more tricky:
- 6 Christmas Tree Chess Puzzles – It wouldn’t be Christmas without these!
- 6 Famous Chess Players using Catchphrases Pictures – this game is often played around the Festive season!
- 6 Unusual yet Interesting Trivia Quiz Questions – Guess the player or event. Ideal for Christmas!
- 6 Other Tricky Festive Chess Puzzles – to challenge the mind!
Answers will be provided on Saturday, 2nd January.
A. Six Christmas Tree Chess Puzzles
It wouldn’t be Christmas without these!
1. Warm Up – What is the best move if it is White to move and also if it is Black’s move? Very Easy!
2. A bit more difficult but it should still take no more than a minute. It is White to move and mate in 2.
3. Now it starts to get serious! – White to move and mate in 2
4. Even trickier – Benko was famous for his puzzles. White to move and mate in 2.
5. This is possibly the hardest mate in 2 problem. It’s Black to move and mate in 2!
6. And all mates in 3 are harder still. It’s White to move and mate in 3.
B. Six Christmas Catchphrases
This game is often played around the Festive season!
Name the Six Famous Chess Players – ok, four are only famous to us locals!
Answer = Toe Knee Smiles i.e. Tony Miles
1. Very Easy – A good warm up
Hint – Can you get the title of this local player?
Hint – This player has solved the occasional puzzle!
Hint – A very well known local chess player who has done so much work for Dorset chess!
4. Slightly Challenging
Hint – He is a very well known strong English chess Grandmaster.
5. Getting Harder
Hint – A leading light of New Milton
Hint – A well known Bournemouth Chess Club player!
C. Six Unusual Trivia yet Interesting Quiz Questions
Guess the player or event – Ideal for Christmas!
Q1. Which ex British Chess Champion has appeared on Gogglebox?
a) Bill Hartston
b) Ray Keene
c) Jon Speelman
d) Nigel Short
Q2. Which person connects the British Chess Championship to Stephen Hawking?
a) Nigel Lawson
b) Leonard Barden
c) Roger Penrose
d) James Dyson
Q3. Which British Champion co-wrote “The Mating Game”?
a) Bill Hartston
b) Ray Keene
c) Jonathan Rowson
d) Jovanka Houska
Q4.Which British Champion won £250,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
a) Jim Plaskett
b) Julian Hodgson
c) William Watson
d) Matthew Sadler
Q5. It is well known that Lennox Lewis and the Klitscho brothers are amateur chess players.
But which world chess champ was an amateur boxer?
a) Alexander Alekhine
b) Max Euwe
c) Michael Botvinnik
d) Boris Spassky
Q6. In which town or city has a strong Xmas Open been held from 26th to 30th December every year since 1977?
a) Wijk aan Zee
D. Six Tricky Non-Christmas-Tree Festive Puzzles!
Perfect to challenge the mind after a heavy Xmas lunch!
1. Black is about to promote any one of his/her 8 pawns and win but it is White to move and mate in 2.
2. Isn’t White losing? White to play and win.
3. Other than the squares they are on what is the difference between these two positions? (Martin likes this one!)
4. Isn’t Black easily winning? White to play and draw (Peter likes this one! It is his favourite of the year!)
This problem was composed by Aleksander Sarychev and Kirill Sarychev (Russia)
5. All of White’s chess pieces and pawns are on the board and only 2 of Black’s but can White stop Black mating with …Bxc7? It’s White to play and draw.
Once White has secured the draw, how does Black then avoid losing?
This problem was composed by Boris Sidorov, a Russian chess composer.
6. This one looks drawn but how does White break through? It’s White to play and win!
Interestingly, chess engines cannot solve this problem straight away!
This problem was composed by P K Cathignol, 1981.