A puzzling dozen

19 December 2020

9:00 AM

19 December 2020

9:00 AM

This Christmas, government guidance says that board games are out and quizzes are in. Thus, 12 questions for Christmas. Answers at

1. The Candidates tournament decides a challenger for the World Championship. Seven rounds were played in Yekaterinburg in March, but scheduling the second half is proving difficult. Which player declared ‘I’m ready to play, so to speak, in a garage, basement, zoo or train station.’

2. The Queen’s Gambit was watched by 62 million households in its first 28 days, according to Netflix. ‘I thought nothing would beat THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN but this does’. Which American author tweeted that?

3: The final episode of The Queen’s Gambit was dedicated to the Dutch artist and inventor of chess boxing, who died in 2020. What was his name?

4. Which arbiter from Iran, who presided at the Women’s World Championship in January, was recently granted refugee status in the UK?

5. An elite internet game this year began with the moves 1 c4 e6 2 g3 Qg5 3 Bg2 Qxd2+ 4 Qxd2 and Black resigned. Who were the players?

6. A lockdown-themed chess puzzle. See diagram 1: White to play and draw. Composed by J.G. Campbell, 1855. How does White counter the virulent kingside pawns?

7. The explosion of internet streaming in 2020 has lent a certain notoriety to the opening which begins 1 e4 e5 2 Ke2. What name is given to this tomfoolery?

8. Antonio Radic presents a popular chess channel on YouTube, and begins his videos with the greeting ‘Hello Everyone’. What is his internet pseudonym?

9. Which book, which I wrote about in May, was later awarded the English Chess Federation’s book of the year award?

10. Which player was hospitalised with Covid-19 this year, recovered, and went on to win the US Women’s Championship in October?

11. Which composer, who died earlier this year, composed ‘Inno degli scacchisti’ for the 2006 Turin Chess Olympiad?

12. The pieces in this puzzle are arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree. See diagram 2. Composed by Birger Knudsen.

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