Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quiz: Do You Know Your World Chess Champions?

How well do you know your World Champions? :)

I've come up with a quiz. Now try to figure out who they are - answers can be found by highlighting between the brackets.

To make things easier, I'm limiting the Chess Champions to the 15 Classical World Champions (WCs). In other words, the answers to the quiz are amongst the following:

1 Wilhelm Steinitz 1886–1894
2 Emanuel Lasker 1894–1921
3 José Raúl Capablanca 1921–1927
4 Alexander Alekhine 1927–1935
5 Max Euwe 1935–1937
6 Mikhail Botvinnik 1948–1957
7 Vasily Smyslov 1957–1958
8 Mikhail Tal 1960–1961
9 Tigran Petrosian 1963–1969
10 Boris Spassky 1969–1972
11 Bobby Fischer 1972–1975
12 Anatoly Karpov 1975–1985
13 Garry Kasparov 1986–2000
14 Vladimir Kramnik 2000–2007
15 Viswanathan Anand 2007–present

Ready? Here we go (Googling the answer is for wimps):

Q1. When he was young, this WC's home chess set had a missing white bishop so he used a toy lead soldier in its place on the f1 square instead. He often blundered this toy soldier away as well in his early games.
A1. [Mikhail Botvinnik (Source: Achieving the Aim - Mikhail Botvinnik)]

Q2. This WC once exclaimed,"So great is the conviction nowadays in the advantage of the 2 Bishops (over 2 Knights)". He proceeded to prove his doubters wrong with a win using 2 Knights over 2 Bishops over another WC.
A2. [Vasily Smyslov - His defeated opponent was Max Euwe (Source: My Best Games of Chess 1935-1957 - Vassily Smyslov) ]

Q3. The famous "double bishop" sacrifice was often attributed to this WC but surprisingly, this sacrifice was actually played years before he did it.
A3. [Emanuel Lasker (Source: Chessgames.com - the famous game was Lasker-Bauer, Amsterdam 1889)]

Q4. This WC proposed this chess variant (using a 10x8 board) while he was world champion.
A4. [José Raúl Capablanca (Source: Wikipedia - José Raúl Capablanca)]

Q5. This then 18 year old WC created a huge stir when he beat his then more famous GM opponent in classical time controls using only 15 minutes of his own time.
A5. [Viswanathan Anand (Source: Daniel King - How Good Is Your Chess). He beat Soviet GM Gennady Kuzmin in Frunze 1987 (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1017948).]

Q6. This World Champion had a favorite souvenir made by one of his fans - it was a chess knight made out of onyx and in the eye of the knight, a miniature chess board and on it, the World Champion's 5th game position in his WC match win.
A6. [Tigran Petrosian (Source: Vik Vasiliev - Tigran Petrosian - His Life And Games)]