Dorset Junior Christmas Quiz – Answers

We hope you had fun with the Christmas Quiz.  Here are the answers to all the puzzles!

Question 1. A warm up question

In the Christmas nativity scene

which chess piece came to visit the baby Jesus bearing gifts

(in fact more than one came)?


Answer: King – the three kings

Question 2. White to mate in 2 moves.

What are White and Black’s moves?

1.Nf6+ then two alternatives
1…Kh8  2.Rh7#
1…Kf8  2.Rf7#

Question 3. Which two pieces (combined) move closest to the same way as the queen?

  • King and pawn


  • Rook and pawn


  • Bishop and pawn


  • Rook and bishop


Answer: Rook & bishop

Question 4. How many of these chess words can you find in the word search below?

The words may appear horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Question 5. White to play and mate in 3 moves. What are White and Black’s
moves? (This is known as Damiano’s mate)

1.Qh5 Be7
2.Qh7+ Kf8

Question 6. How many of the chess pieces have legal moves on the first move?
And which are they?

  • 2


  • 8


  • 10


  • All


10 pieces have legal first moves.
They are 8 pawns and 2 knights.

Question 7: What is White’s best move after Black plays g6?

White has two straightforward wins:

2.Bxg6+ Kg7
3.Qh7+ Kf6
4.Bc2 or Bd3
and White’s material advantage will win.

Or even better, White can mate in 5
2.Qh6! Rd8
3.Bxg6+ Kg8
4.Qh7+ Kf8

Question 8. What do we call the rows on a chess board?

  • Ranks


  • Rows


  • Files


  • Lines


Answer: Ranks

Question 9. To be awarded the Grandmaster title, what minimum ELO rating must a player have had at some point in their career?

  • 1000


  • 1500


  • 2500


Answer: 2500

Question 10. White to play and mate in 4.

What are white and blacks moves?

1.Nf7+ Kg8
2.Nh6+ Kh8
3.Qg8+ Rxg8
4.Nf7# Smothered mate!

Question 11. Find the white rook’s way through the maze

In this rook maze, white has to move the rook consecutively until it captures the black king.

It is not allowed to capture any black pieces and cannot move to squares that are attacked by black pieces.

The rook can capture the king in 8 moves – can you find your way through the maze?


The rook moves from its start on a1 in sequence ->
a8, h8, h2, c2, c6, f6, f4, d4 and then eats the king!

Question 12. How many reindeer does Santa have and which chess piece is worth this amount?

Santa has nine reindeer and the queen is worth nine.

Question 13. Black to play – and then White to mate in 3.

What can Black play that will only allow White to mate in three moves?

This is a tricky puzzle!

Black has two ways or delaying mate for as long as possible.

1…h6 which is met by
2.Bxf7+ now black has two options:
3.Qxf7+ Kh8
And secondly
3.Qg6 threatening Qh7 mate

1…any rook move (excluding Re8 which allows mate in 2) when White plays
2.Qxf7+ Kh8
3.Qg8+! Rxg8

We said it was very tricky!

Question 14. Helpmate!

Black has to make the worst possible move, helping White to deliver checkmate on White’s next move!

So what is Black’s move, and what will be White’s reply?


Black’s worst move is 1…Nd7 which allows 2.Nd6#


Question 15. Who was the victor in the Chess game between space and
earth played on June 9, 1970?

  • Space


  • Earth


  • The game never finished


  • Draw


Answer: It was a draw


We hope you enjoyed this quiz.

We always welcome new juniors of all levels and volunteers, so please contact the B&DCL and DCCA junior chess coordinator, Nikki Forster at [email protected] if you wish to find out more on any junior chess matters or check out the Dorset Junior chess webpage

Many thanks to the UK Chess Challenge Team for use of some of its fun puzzles (4, 11 & 14).

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