Daily Quiz: Answers 151-200

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.200 – You are the Arbiter!

White wishes to castle queenside. Which squares are allowed to be under attack by the Black pieces for such castling to be permitted? More than one answer may be valid.
A) a1
B) b1
C) c1
D) d1
E) e1

Answer: A & B

FIDE Rule – Castling is prevented temporarily if the square on which the king stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent‘s pieces

i.e. Although not often seen, a rook can be attacked or pass through an attacked square but the king cannot. We ask the reader, have you ever seen this happen in any of your games?


Test Your Chess Knowledge No.199 – International Chess

Which player has had the highest ever lead at the top of the FIDE ratings list?
A) Bobby Fischer
B) Anatoly Karpov
C) Garry Kasparov
D) Veselin Topalov
E) Magnus Carlsen

Answer: A

On the July 1972 FIDE rating list, Bobby Fischer’s rating of 2785 was 125 points ahead of the second-highest rated player, then-reigning World Champion Boris Spassky (2660). Kasparov’s biggest lead at his peak was 82 points in January 2000.

Photo courtesy of German National Archive

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.198 – National Chess

Who was reportedly in 1985, paid a sum of just over £1,000 by the British Chess Federation as Tony Miles’ second at the Interzonal in Tunis when he had not actually been Miles’ second.
A) Bill Hartston
B) Michael Stean
C) John Nunn
D) Jim Plaskett
E) Raymond Keene

Answer: E

Miles advised the BCF about it in 1987. Two months later, Keene resigned his posts as BCF Publicity Director and FIDE delegate. Keene said that his resignation was for different reasons, and that he was “furious” at his treatment after organising numerous events from 1983 to 1987.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Keene

Photo by Rob Bogaerts / Anefo

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.197 – Local Chess

Who is Dorset’s captain for the 2021 Western Counties Online County Chess Championship?
A) Keith Gregory
B) Ian Clark
C) Martin Clancy
D) Martin Simons
E) Peter Anderson

Answer: B

Ian is the first Dorset captain for approximately 15 years.

Ian Clark_060320

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.196 – Chess Laws / Trivia

Which World Champion has had the longest streak of winning first class games?
A) Wilhelm Steinitz
B) Alexander Alekhine
C) Mikhail Tal
D) Bobby Fischer
E) Garry Kasparov

Answer: A

The longest streak of winning first class games is often attributed to Fischer at 20 (and we must acknowledge that this was against very strong opposition) but in fact Steinitz won 25 first class games in a row, the last two after a six year lay off. This was reported in yesterday’s bulletin!

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.195 – You are the Arbiter!

In a 4NCL FIDE rated team tournament, who is allowed to point out a flag fall? More than one answer may be valid.
A) The player
B) The opponent
C) The captain of the opposing team
D) The arbiter
E) A responsible spectator

Answer: A, B and D.

FIDE Rule 6.8 – A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when either player has made a valid claim to that effect.

FIDE Rule 12.7 – If someone observes an irregularity, he may inform only the arbiter. Players in other games must not to speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. Spectators are not allowed to interfere in a game. The arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.194 – International Chess

Of the 37 or more International women players who have earned the full Grandmaster title (not just WGM) how many have since passed away?
A) 0
B) 2
C) 4
D) 6
E) 8

Answer: A

Unlike the men, all the women who have earned the full GM title are still alive!

Photo by Ygrek (Wikimedia)
CC BY 3.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.193 – National Chess

Which English player claimed, in 2001, that he was playing Bobby Fischer in online matches?
A) Tony Miles
B) Raymond Keene
C) Nigel Short
D) James Plaskett
E) Danny Gormally

Answer: C

In 2001, Short advised the Sunday Times chess column that he believed he had been secretly playing the reclusive former chess champion Bobby Fischer on the online chess platform ‘Internet Chess Club’ in speed chess matches. Fischer denied ownership of the account. Later Short accepted he had been mistaken.

Photo by Rob C Croes / Anefo
Dutch National Archive
CC0 1.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.192 – Local Chess

How many Animal Openings were reviewed in the four bulletins on the Dorset Chess website over the summer 2020?
A) 16
B) 20
C) 24
D) 27
E) 30

Answer: D

Here is the complete list of 27 Animal Openings covered in the four bulletins!

Part 1 – The Mammals: Black Lion, Elephant Gambit, Giraffe Attack, Hedgehog, Hippopotamus, Monkey’s Bum, Orangutan, Rat & Tiger’s Modern!

Part 2 – The Birds: Bird’s Attack, Bird’s Defence, Bird Opening, Bird Variation, Hawk, Kingfisher Gambit, Pelikan & Vulture!

Part 3 – The Weird & Wonderful: Creep Crawly, Dory Defence, Dragon, Pterodactyl, Raptor Trompowsky, Snake Benoni and Woozle!

Part 4 – Wrap Up: Gibbon, Kangaroo Defence and Porcupine!

Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim
GNU Free Doc License, V 1.2

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.191 – Chess Laws / Trivia

When the longest ‘White to win’ checkmate problem was set in 1929, how many moves do you think this was?
A) 40
B) 90
C) 140
D) 190
E) 290

Answer: E

The longest chess problem at the time was accredited to Otto Blathy (1886-1939). Apparently this is the position. It’s White to move and mate in 290 moves!

The solution is provided here and a video clip here

We haven’t tested if this is accurate against today’s chess engines! There may have been longer ones set since!

Another one of Blathy’s puzzles appeared as the puzzle of the day on this website back in July last year.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.190 – You are the Arbiter!

After a game has finished one of the players is noticed walking around the playing hall with a mobile phone in their hand whilst other games are still in progress for that round. What could the arbiter do? There may be more than one answer.
A) Ask the player to leave the playing hall.
B) Confiscate the mobile phone.
C) Award a loss for the game the player has just played.
D) Ban (or award a loss to) the player in future rounds.
E) Do nothing.

Answer: A

FIDE Rule 11.4 – Players who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators.

Therefore, players must be treated as spectators once their games have finished and can only reasonably be asked to leave the playing hall (unless there are competition rules or specific notices around the playing hall stating otherwise). Naturally they should know better and could be under suspicion in future rounds.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.189 – International Chess

Which player withdrew from the Candidates Tournament in March 2020 citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic?
A) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
B) Teimour Radjabov
C) Alexander Grischuk
D) Anish Giri
E)Ding Liren

Answer: B

Citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and what he considered FIDE’s inadequate attempts to deal with it, Radjabov withdrew from the 2020 Candidates tournament on March 6th 2020. He was replaced by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

On March 26, the tournament was abruptly postponed as a result of new governmental policies aimed at containing the pandemic. This development prompted Radjabov to call for his reinstatement in the tournament.

Photo by Rauf Iskenderov (TiFFOZi iz Baku)
CC BY-SA 3.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.188 – National Chess

Who won the Caplin Online British Chess Championship 2020?
A) Mark Hebden
B) Ameet Ghasi
C) Mickey Adams
D) Matthew Turner
E) Daniel Fernandez

Answer: C

Mickey Adams and Ameet Ghasi came joint first on 7 out of 9 with Mickey Adams winning the two game tie-breaker. You can read about it here.

Photo by Stefan64 (Wikimedia)
CC BY-SA 3.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.187 – Local Chess

The following chess variants (in alphabetical order) were played locally in the online ‘Ringwood Chess Tournaments’ during the week 12th to 19th December 2020 after the In Praise of Chess Variants Bulletin (No.39) was posted on 12th December 2020.  Which variant does not always require a player to get out of check?
A) Atomic
B) Chess 960
C) Crazyhouse
D) King of the Hill
E) Three Check Chess

Answer: A

In Atomic chess you do not have to get out of check if you can immediately blow up your opponent’s king.  Many examples of this were seen in the local Atomic tournaments during 2020.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.186 – Chess Laws / Trivia

Which is regarded as the most famous chair in World Chess history?
A) Fischer’s chair in the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match.
B) Korchnoi’s chair in the 1977 Korchnoi v Petrosian match
C) Korchnoi’s chair in the 1978 Karpov v Korchnoi match
C) Kasparov’s chair in the 1984 Kasparov v Karpov match
E) The Mastermind chair due to the appearance of a famous World chess player

Answer: A

During the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match in Reykjavik, the Russians linked Spassky’s erratic play with Fischer’s chair. The Icelandic organization put a 24-hour police guard around the chair while chemical and X-ray tests were performed on the chair. Nothing unusual was found.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.185 – You are the Arbiter!

Which of the following can the Arbiter not do during a game? There may be more than one correct answer.
A) Appoint assistants to observe games.
B) Award extra time to both players if there is external interference.
C) Indicate the number of moves completed.
D) Advise a player that a clock has not been pressed.
E) Advise a player that an opponent has completed their move.

Answer: D & E.

Answer C is permissible when a flag has fallen as given in FIDE Rule 12.6 below.

FIDE Rule 12.4 – The arbiter may appoint assistants to observe games, for example when several players are short of time.

FIDE Rule 12.5 – The arbiter may award either or both players additional time in the event of external disturbance of the game.

FIDE Rule 12.6 – The arbiter must not intervene in a game except in cases described by the Laws of Chess. He shall not indicate the number of moves completed, except in applying Article 8.5 when at least one flag has fallen. The arbiter shall refrain from informing a player that his opponent has completed a move or that the player has not pressed his clock.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.184 – International Chess

Who won the recent online $1.5m Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters Tournament which finished in January 2021?
A) Magnus Carlsen
B) Ian Nepomniachtchi
C) Levon Aronian
D) Teimour Radjabov
E) Daniil Dubov

Answer: D

Teimour Radjabov defeated Levon Aronian in the final. Radjabov had survived an Armegeddon match in the quarter finals against Ian Nepomniachtchi with only seconds left on his clock when Nepomniachtchi inadvertently repeated the position three times when he had to win with the White pieces!

Photo by Przemysław Jahr
GNU Free Documentation License 1.2

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.183 – National Chess

Which English player is the 2020 European Online Chess Champion?
A) Luke McShane
B) Nigel Short
C) Matthew Sadler
D) David Howell
E) Gawain Jones

Answer: E

England’s Gawain Jones won the 2020 European Online Chess Champion when he convincingly defeated Alexei Shirov in the final. You can read about it in this report

Photo by Stefan64 (wikimedia)
CC BY-SA 4.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.182 – Local Chess

Which of these teams (in alphabetical order) won most Local Online Team Battles in 2020?
A) Highcliffe
B) New Milton
C) Poole
D) Ringwood
E) Southbourne

Answer: C

13 Team Battles have were held in 2020. Poole won 7, Southbourne 5 and Ringwood 1.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.181 – Chess Laws / Trivia

Which World Champion was the chess consultant for the highly popular ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Netflix TV Programme?
A) Anatoly Karpov
B) Garry Kasparov
C) Vishy Anand
D) Vladimir Kramnik
E) Magnus Carlsen

Answer: B

Kasparov developed critical moments in the story, such as when a real 1998 game between grandmasters Petrosian and Akopian was improved to showcase Beth’s skill.

Photo by Gage Skidmore
CC BY-SA 2.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.180 – You are the Arbiter!

In a tournament game, Player A’s flag has fallen but no complete scoresheet from either player can be used to determine if Player A has overstepped the allotted time. What does the Arbiter do?
A) Default both players for not keeping proper score of the game.
B) Use best estimates of the moves played providing both players agree then make an informed decision.
C) Reconstruct the game on the board being played under the control of the Arbiter to determine the number of moves played.
D) If the game cannot be reconstructed, use the current position, advise the players to play on with the next move being the first move of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been played.
E) If the game cannot be reconstructed, the game must be stopped and the players are asked to agree on a result. If there is no agreement, then the arbiter will decide on the result which may involve consultation with an independent adjudication panel taking into account all the circumstances and the final position.

Answer: D

FIDE Rule 8.5.3 – If no complete scoresheet is available, the players must reconstruct the game on a second chessboard under the control of the arbiter or an

assistant. He shall first record the actual game position, clock times, whose clock was running and the number of moves made/completed, if this information is available, before reconstruction takes place.

FIDE Rule 8.6 – If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move made shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made or completed.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.179 – International Chess

Which of the following countries has not banned chess at any point in history?
A) England
B) Iran
C) France
D) Saudi Arabia
E) Scotland

Answer: E

In July 1240, the Synod of Worcester Synod in England declared that chess was forbidden.

In 1254, King Louis IX (1214-1270) of France banned chess after returning from a Crusade. He called chess a useless and boring game. He had an aversion to all games.

As reported in the Guardian in 2016, Saudi Arabia’s highest cleric banned chess as it encouraged gambling and was a waste of time. And in the same article, it was noted that Iran banned chess for similar reasons in 1979. However, this was lifted in 1988.

We are not aware of chess ever being banned in Scotland.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.178 – National Chess

The musical ‘Chess’ by (Sir) Tim Rice and Abba opened in May 1986 and ran successfully for 2½ years but which famous English chess player was the chess advisor?
A) Raymond Keene
B) Bill Hartston
C) Michael Stean
D) Jonathan Penrose
E) Stewart Reuben

Answer: B

International Master Bill Hartston was the chess advisor. The show opened with a ballet of a chess game and giant video screens on each side of the stage which showed games in progress.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.177 – Local Chess

Who was the last Bournemouth Echo Chess Problem Columnist?
A) Ivor Sanders
B) Alan Dommett
C) Richard Holmes
D) Peter Fowler
E) Roy Eggington

Answer: A

We believe Ivor Sanders successfully ran the Problem Competition for more than 20 years, and always stood for re-election, much to the relief of the then B&DCL Chairman, David Burt, as he openly admitted he never understood the problems and would not know how to seek a replacement!

By cleverly asking the Editor to provide the main trophy, there was a large regular feature in the Bournemouth Echo. Winners included Richard Holmes, Miles Cowling and Peter Fowler.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.176 – Chess Laws / Trivia

Which famous strong chess player provided this great quote? … ‘I am not some sort of freak. I might be very good at chess but I’m just a normal person.’
A) Garry Kasparov
B) Hikaru Nakamura
C) Mickey Adams
D) Vishy Anand
E) Magnus Carlsen

Answer: E

As we know, Carlsen enjoys his sport and has many other interests.

Photo by Andreas Kontokanis
CC BY-SA 2.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.175 – You are the Arbiter!

In a tournament game, an illegal move has been played. However, it was not immediately noticed by either player but was picked up by a spectator later. What should the Arbiter do?
A) Spectators are not allowed to intervene so the game continues.
B) If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be determined, then the game should continue from the current position in play.
C) If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be determined, the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity.
D) If it is established that a player has made a subsequent second illegal move, then, because of the circumstances and that the player may not have been made aware of the first illegal move at the time, they would not immediately be awarded the loss.
E) If the game has been completed then the result should not be allowed to stand but only if the next round has not started and if it can be proven that an illegal move has been played.

Answer: C

FIDE Rule 7.5.1 – An illegal move is completed once the player has pressed his clock. If during a game it is found that an illegal move has been completed, the position immediately before the irregularity shall be reinstated. If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be determined the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity. Articles 4.3 and 4.7 apply to the move replacing the illegal move. The game shall then continue from this reinstated position.

FIDE Rule 7.5.5 – After the action taken under Article 7.5.1, 7.5.2, 7.5.3 or 7.5.4 for the first completed illegal move by a player, the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent; for the second completed illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

If present the Arbiter should step in immediately after a clock press to avoid escalation of the situation. Spectators should bring the situation to the Arbiter’s attention and not to the players’. It is preferable that the Arbiter supervises any reconstruction, both to establish, as far as possible, the correct sequence of events and to ensure that the players do not exceed acceptable noise levels. If the illegal move was caused by a failure to get out of check the Arbiter should ensure that the touched piece is moved if possible to block the check or capture the attacking piece. Note that a second illegal move by a player will normally lose (see FIDE Rule 7.5.5)

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.174 – International Chess

We all know who is the current World Chess Champion but who is the current Women’s World Chess Champion?

A) Anna Ushenina (Ukraine)
B) Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine)
C) Hou Yifan (China)
D) Tan Zhongyi (China)
E) Ju Wenjun (China)

Answer: E

The list of the last five Women’s World Chess Champions in this question is in chronological order:
Anna Ushenina (Ukraine) – 2012/13
Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) – 2015/16
Hou Yifan (China) – 2010/12, 2013/15 & 2016/17
Tan Zhongyi (China) – 2017/18
Ju Wenjun (China) – 2018 – current

Photo (cropped) by Andreas Kontokanis
CC BY 2.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.173 – National Chess

When was the first international chess event held in England?
A) 1851
B) 1871
C) 1891
D) 1911
E) 1931

Answer: A

England was once the cornerstone of international chess. In 1851, the first international chess tournament was held in Crystal Palace, London, organised by the legendary Howard Staunton.

It was a 16 player knock-out event. Adolf Anderssen of Germany was eventually victorious in this event and Staunton came a disappointing 4th place.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.172 – Local Chess

Which current active local chess player has an FM title?
A) Peter Anderson
B) Martin Simons
C) Allan Pleasants
D) Bruce Jenks
E) Mike Waddington

Answer: E

To achieve an FM title, a player needs to achieve a 2300 FIDE rating. There used to be a greater stipulation but this is no not required.

Mike Waddington secured this rating when achieving a 2351 performance at Hastings in 2001 but at the time, it was not recognised as he had played insufficient titled players from different federations. He was later awarded the title after he applied for it in 2012 after he was informed the requirements had been relaxed.

For full details of Mike’s interesting story and success at Hastings can be found in Bulletin No.33

Mike Waddington Winner Hampshire Chess Open 2017

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.171 – Chess Laws / Trivia

Which famous strong chess player provided this great quote? … ‘Enormous self-belief, intuition, the ability to take a risk at a critical moment and go in for a very dangerous play with counter-chances for the opponent – it is precisely these qualities that distinguish great players?’

A) Alexander Alekhine
B) Mikhail Tal
C) Bobby Fischer
D) Garry Kasparov
E) Hikaru Nakamura

Answer: D

These qualities were in evidence when Kasparov beat Nigel Short in the 1993 World Chess Championship match, as reported in in Bulletin No.36 Part 2.

Photo by Jürg Vollmer
CC BY-SA 2.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.170 – You are the Arbiter!

During a live tournament chess game, when can pieces be adjusted by a player?

A) When their clock is running.
B) When their clock is not running.
C) When their opponent’s clock is running.
D) When neither clock is running.
E) At any time.

Answer: A

FIDE Rule 6.2.5 – Only the player whose clock is running is allowed to adjust the pieces.

If the arbiter stops both clocks, then players are sometimes seen adjusting their pieces so some people may argue that D is also correct. However, often the arbiter will not like either player adjusting the pieces, particularly if there is a dispute.


Test Your Chess Knowledge No.169 – International Chess

In the 20th century, in terms of time, who was the shortest World Chess Champion on record?

A) Max Euwe
B) Vasily Smyslov
C) Mikhail Botvinnik (2nd time)
D) Mikhail Tal
E) Mikhail Botvinnik (3rd time)

Answer: D

Mikhail Tal was World Chess Champion for one year and five days between 1960 and 1961.

In 1960, at the age of 23, Tal defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in the Moscow World Championship match, by 12.5–8.5 (six wins, two losses, and thirteen draws). This made him the youngest-ever world champion, a record later broken by Garry Kasparov. Botvinnik, who had never faced Tal before, won the return match against Tal in 1961 by 13–8 (ten wins to five, with six draws). Between the matches Botvinnik thoroughly analysed Tal’s style, and turned most of the return match games into close manoeuvres and endgames, rather than the complicated tactical melées which were Tal’s preference.

Photo coutesy of Dutch National Archives / ANEFO

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.168 – National Chess

As at October 2020, using the FIDE ratings, what ranking was Nigel Short amongst the English players?

A) 2nd
B) 3rd
C) 4th
D) 5th
E) 6th

Answer: E

Mickey Adams 2716
Matthew Sadler 2694
Luke McShane 2674
Gawain Jones 2670
David Howell 2663
Nigel Short 2626

Photo by Andreas Kontokanis
CC BY 2.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.167 – Local Chess

Which club that no longer plays in our local leagues had a reunion chess match in 2012 at the Bournemouth Grand Chess Congress between two of its strongest teams?

A) Christchurch
B) Oakdale
C) Knights
D) Kinson
E) Bournemouth School

Answer: E

There was a Bournemouth School chess team ‘Class of 79’ versus ‘Class of 82’ re-union match held in 2012 at the 1st Bournemouth Grand Chess Congress event at the Carrington House Hotel. We think the youngsters won!

Bournemouth School Chess Club_260420

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.166 – Chess Laws / Trivia

What is defined as a ‘Rapid game’ of chess (based on 60 moves)?

A) More than 10 minutes but less than 30 minutes for each player
B) More than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player
C) More than 5 minutes but less than 30 minutes for each player
D) More than 5 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player
E) None of these.

Answer: B

FIDE Laws of Chess 2018 – Appendix A. Rapid chess – A.1 – A ‘Rapid chess’ game is one where either all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player; or the time allotted plus 60 times any increment is of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.165 – You are the Arbiter!

In a FIDE chess tournament who decides where the chess clock is placed?

A) The clock is always placed on White’s left hand side.
B) By mutual agreement amongst the players.
C) The player of the White pieces.
D) The player of the Black pieces.
E) The Arbiter.

Answer: E

FIDE Rule 6.5 – Before the start of the game the arbiter shall decide where the chess clock is placed.

The chess clock must be visible to the Arbiter so that it can be checked to ensure it is working properly and for flag falls when necessary. It is normal to place the clock on White’s left hand side and to have the room set up accordingly. If a clock has to be placed on the other side (e.g. one player has an injured hand) then it is normal to turn the board around rather than having the clock facing in the opposite direction. Many players wrongly believe that in Blitz that Black can decide on which side the clock is placed


Test Your Chess Knowledge No.164 – International Chess

Since FIDE introduced world rankings some 56 years ago, there have been 12 (FIDE and PCA) world champions. 7 have always been ranked in the top 3 in the world when they won or regained the title? Of the remaining 5 players, who was the lowest ranked when they won or regained the title.

A) Alexander Khalifman (1999 – 2000)
B) Ruslan Ponomariov (2002 – 2004)
C) Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004 – 2005)
D) Vladimir Kramnik (2006 – 2007)
E) Viswanathan Anand (2007 – 2014)

Answer: C

Rustam Kasimdzhanov was ranked 54th in the world, Alexander Khalifman was ranked 44th, Ruslan Ponomariov was ranked 7th, Vladimir Kramnik was ranked 9th and Viswanathan Anand was ranked 4th.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.163 – National Chess

Based on the FIDE ratings, what was Nigel Short’s highest ever ranking in the world?

A) 3rd
B) 4th
C) 5th
D) 6th
E) 7th

Answer: A

Nigel Short’s peak ranking was 3rd behind Karpov and Kasparov from July 1988 to July 1989 inclusive. His highest rating numerically was 2712 in April 2004 (when he was ranked 15th in the world).

Photo by Rob C Croes / Anefo
Dutch National Archive
CC0 1.0

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.162 – Local Chess

Which of these local chess clubs were formed in the 1970s.

A) Highcliffe, New Milton & Southbourne
B) Highcliffe, New Milton & Wimborne
C) Highcliffe, Southbourne & Wimborne
D) New Milton, Southbourne & Wimborne
E) Highcliffe, New Milton, Southbourne & Wimborne

Answer: D

Southbourne was formed in 1974, New Milton in 1975, Wimborne in 1978 and Highcliffe in 1984.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.161 – Chess Laws / Trivia

What are the generally accepted benefits of playing chess?
A) Better brain function, improved memory, reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s but not necessarily attention improvement.
B) Better brain function, improved memory & attention improvement but not necessarily reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s.
C) Better brain function, reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s & attention improvement but not necessarily improved memory.
D) Improved memory, reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s & attention improvement but not necessarily better brain function.
E) Better brain function, improved memory, attention improvement & reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Answer: E

Better brain function – Chess will effectively exercise and develop not one but both sides of our brains. Scientists also claim that playing chess can improve mental age by up to 14 years. How’s that for a workout?

Improved memory / Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s – Scientists have shown that chess helps keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay, which is directly related to the loss of memory.

Attention improvement – While playing chess, each cognitive ability is stimulated because the game covers every part of our actions.

Improved Strategic thinking, is an additional benefit. A chess player commands his or her own pieces in a battle of black and white. So playing chess greatly improves the ability to develop certain strategies and plans.

You can read more about all these benefits here

So it is important for our health that we can all return to face-to-face chess when safe to do so!

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.160 – You are the Arbiter!

What is allowed in terms of writing moves down in advance on your scoresheet?

A) This is always allowed.
B) This is allowed providing the player only writes down one move in advance.
C) This is only sometimes allowed in certain situations.
D) This is only allowed when the arbiter is present.
E) This is never allowed.

Answer: C

FIDE Rule 8.1.1 – In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix C), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.

FIDE Rule 8.1.2 – It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2, or 9.3 or adjourning a game according to Guidelines I. 1 .1

So moves can be written down in advance in certain situations (i.e. if claiming a draw) but the arbiter does not necessarily need to be immediately present.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.159 – International Chess

When was the first official World Chess Championship held and publicly recognised?

A) 1843
B) 1858
C) 1886
D) 1894
E) 1921

Answer: C

The Wilhelm Steinitz versus Johannes Hermann Zukertort match in 1886 was the first to be publicly declared as a World Chess Championship match and generally accepted. Prior to then any World Chess Championship match was ‘unofficial’.

Pictured below is the winner of this match, Wilhelm Steinitz.

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.158 – National Chess

Stewart Reuben is a well-known British chess player, organiser, arbiter and author but what else is he arguably more famous for playing?

A) Bowls
B) Snooker
C) Darts
D) Bridge
E) Poker

Answer: E

Stewart Reuben has also been a professional poker player, has been called “one of Britain’s foremost poker players” and “one of the best two or three players in England”. He has written several books on the topic.


Stewart Reuban (foreground)
Photo courtesy of Brendan O’Gorman

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.157 – Local Chess

Which local club has had the most DCCA Presidents?

A) Weymouth
B) Dorchester
C) Wimborne
D) Poole
E) Southbourne

Answer: A

Weymouth has had 4 DCCA Presidents – Mr A F Thomas (1953 to 1963), Joe Anderson (1970 to 1980), Frank Kingdon (pictured below, 1980 to 1995) and Chris Johns (1998 to 2008).

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.156 – Chess Laws / Trivia

What is the most number of queens known to be on a chess board in a FIDE rated match at any one time?

A) 4
B) 5
C) 6
D) 7
E) 8

Answer: C

In Szalanczy and Nguyen, Budapest 2009 there were 6 queens on the board at the same time and they all stuck around for 7 moves! We hope there were enough spare queens lying around but see Question No.155 what you might be able to do if this is not the case!

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.155 – You are the Arbiter!

What is generally not accepted as a valid reason for stopping the chess clock in live play?

A) To seek the arbiter’s assistance.
B) To go for an emergency toilet break when short of time.
C) To promote a pawn to a queen when there is no spare queen.
D) A medical emergency.
E) To complain that a spectator is disturbing the player.

Answer: B

FIDE Rule 6.11.2 – A player may stop the chess clock only in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, for example when promotion has taken place and the piece required is not available.

Other valid reasons for pausing the clock include being disturbed by spectators (or the opponent) or illness. Without a medical reason, a toilet break would not normally be sufficient reason for a player stopping the clock.

FIDE Rule 6.11.4 – If a player stops the chess clock in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, the arbiter shall determine whether the player had any valid reason for doing so. If the player had no valid reason for stopping the chess clock, the player shall be penalised in accordance with Article 12.9.

FIDE Rule 7.4.1 – If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position in his own time.

FIDE Rule 7.4.2 – If necessary, either the player or his opponent shall stop the chess clock and ask for the arbiter’s assistance


Test Your Chess Knowledge No.154 – International Chess

By some accounts, at the St. Petersburg 1914 chess tournament, the title Grandmaster was formally conferred by Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who had partially funded the tournament. Who in the list below was not one of five international chess players to be awarded the Grandmaster title in this tournament?

A) Emanual Lasker
B) Jose Capablanca
C) Alexander Alekhine
D) Frank Marshall
E) Max Euwe

Answer: E

At the famous St Petersburg Chess tournament in April 1914, a few months before WWI, Tsar Nicholas II awarded the Grandmaster title to Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Marshall and Tarrasch. This was an informal gesture as there was no FIDE until a decade later.


Max Euwe, however, did become the 5th World Chess Champion in 1935 when he defeated Alekhine and was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950.

Max Euwe – Photo by Theo van Haren Noman / Anefo
Courtesy of Dutch National Archives

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.153 – National Chess

Who was not re-elected despite standing as the candidate for the ECF’s Chief Executive position in 2015?

A) Phil Ehr
B) Mike Truran
C) Chris Majer
D) Martin Regan
E) Andrew Farthing

Answer: A

Phil Ehr was the ECF’s unpaid Chief Executive, and had been a volunteer running junior chess before his two-year stint at the top finishing in 2015. He was not immediately replaced.

Chris Majer was the ECF’s Chief Executive in 2001 and from 2008 to 2010.

Martin Regan took up the reigns from 2006 to 2008.

Andrew Farthing was in the position from 2010 to 2012.

Mike Truran has been the ECF’s Chief Executive since 2016.


Test Your Chess Knowledge No.152 – Local Chess

Which local chess club once lost a B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup Final by 5.5 – 0.5 but won it on the handicap scoring system?
A) New Milton
B) Purbeck
C) Bournemouth
D) Highcliffe
E) Dorchester

Answer: D

Highcliffe lost to Weymouth by 5.5 – 0.5 in the 2016 B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup Final but due to there being an average grading difference of 62 points on each board in Weymouth’s favour Highcliffe won the match! Captain Richard Ursell was the hero on the night securing the required draw for his team!

Test Your Chess Knowledge No.151 – Chess Laws / Trivia

What is defined as a ‘Blitz’ game of chess (based on 60 moves)?

A) Up to 20 minutes for each player.
B) Up to 15 minutes for each player.
C) Up to 10 minutes for each player.
D) Up to 5 minutes for each player.
E) Up to 2 minutes for each player.

Answer: C

FIDE Laws of Chess 2018 – Appendix B. Blitz B.1 – A ‘Blitz’ game is one where all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of 10 minutes or less for each player; or the allotted time plus 60 times any increment is 10 minutes or less

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