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Candidates 2016 Quiz

Last week’s poll question led to a clear answer: the Candidates events are generally more exciting than World Championship matches.


So it’s good news that the 2016 Candidates starts in Moscow on Friday. Last year we had a quiz about the World Cup. It seemed like fun, so we will have another go for the Candidates.

Same prize as last time: Quality Chess will send a box of 20 books to your home, wherever in the world that may be. 10 of them chosen by you, 10 of them chosen by us. All you have to do is answer the following questions:

1) Who will win the Candidates tournament?
2) What will the winning score be?
3) Who will score the first win?
4) How many games will reach move 60?
5) Which American will finish higher – Caruana or Nakamura?
6) Which Russian will finish higher – Karjakin or Svidler?
7) How many games will Anand win?
8) How many games will Giri draw?
9) How many games will be the longest winning streak?
10) How many games will be the longest losing streak?

And as a tiebreaker:
How many moves will there be in the longest game?

How to enter: Send an email to candidates2016@qualitychess.co.uk at latest an hour before the start of Round 1, so by 10am UK time on Friday 11th March 2016. The email must have only the following information:

Your Name and Rating – in the subject header of the email

Answers written like this:
1. answer
2. answer
And so on. For names only give surnames.

Only one entry per person, please. Good luck everyone, but considering the shipping costs, let’s hope the winner doesn’t live in Antarctica.

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  1. Hilmi M
    March 8th, 2016 at 16:31 | #1

    How many games will be the longest winning streak? i dont understand this, what is the difference between the 9th and 10th questions? (i think you are not asking how many win will happen at the tournament)

  2. Daniel McGowan
    March 8th, 2016 at 16:46 | #2

    @Hilmi M
    How many games in a row do you think one player might win. For instance, in the San Luis 2005 tournament the answer would have been 5, as Topalov won in rounds 3-7. Same goes for question 10, but this time for losses!

  3. Hilmi M
    March 9th, 2016 at 02:08 | #3

    @Daniel McGowan
    thank you…

  4. Patrick
    March 9th, 2016 at 15:46 | #4

    How is this scored? Is it simply number right? Or is it a point system where closer answers better than answers farther from correct?

    For example, for the 6 questions with numerical answers, does having 2 of the 6 correct and the other 4 being WAY OFF better or worse than having 1 correct and being off by no more than 1 one way or the other in the other 5 numerical questions? (Q’s 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10)

  5. Thomas
    March 9th, 2016 at 17:24 | #5

    There aren’t 20 QC-books I don’t have.
    Ok, the questions are too complicated for me anyway.

  6. Pierre
    March 9th, 2016 at 17:54 | #6

    Mail sent ! Nice to play (and eventually lose, of course :)) once again !

  7. Kassy
    March 9th, 2016 at 19:06 | #7

    Thomas :
    There aren’t 20 QC-books I don’t have.
    Ok, the questions are too complicated for me anyway.

    My problem as well. Outside of opening books for openings I don’t play and have no future plans to play, I doubt there are 20 QC books I don’t own.

  8. Gollum
    March 10th, 2016 at 07:43 | #8


    My idea is to give away the books I already own or from openings I do not play. Hence if I win people will appreciate me more 🙂

  9. Pierre
    March 10th, 2016 at 10:17 | #9

    Hey Gollum, let’s be friends then 😉

  10. John Shaw
    March 10th, 2016 at 11:01 | #10

    Probably we will keep it simple and go: one point for a correct answer, zero for a wrong one. For the tiebreaker, closest to the right answer wins, as I will be surprised if one of the joint-winners gets the number of moves exactly right.

  11. Hedgehog
    March 11th, 2016 at 16:57 | #11

    Ok,just got number 3 wrong.

  12. Hesse_Bub
    March 11th, 2016 at 17:02 | #12

    Just got number 3 🙂

  13. Patrick
    March 16th, 2016 at 15:38 | #13

    Hedgehog :
    Ok,just got number 3 wrong.

    I got Number 3 wrong also, but hopefully I can get number 7 right by him not winning another game this tournament!

    My status:

    1. Possible
    2. Possible
    3. Wrong
    4. Haven’t seen many of the games, how many reached 60 thus far?
    5. Current my pick is ahead
    6. Uhm, I can’t fathom getting this one wrong
    7. Need Anand to lose or draw the rest of his games
    8. I am starting to think I low-balled it after 5 draws so far. Expected a loss by now.
    9. Looking like Topalov will draw. Ugh! A win by Kajarkin would put me in the driver’s seat with this question.
    10. Hmmm…Topalov, where’s that losing streak you are supposed to have?

  14. DragonTurtle
    March 16th, 2016 at 17:25 | #14

    2 games so far to reach move 60 – Giri-Aronian and Nakamura-Svidler, so a bit behind my prediction right now.

  15. Wallace Howard
    March 21st, 2016 at 19:21 | #15

    I guessed the longest game would be 96 moves, which is exactly what today’s game was.
    Thank goodness Giri played on in a drawn position. I like my tie-break chances. 🙂
    Could I maybe get a “consolation” prize for getting that one spot-on?

  16. mike twyble
    March 26th, 2016 at 10:27 | #16

    Just a thought on the Nakamura – Anand game yesterday. The ideas seemed very familiar from Marin’s book on the English and anyone who had read it would have been very suspicious about playing g5.As ever all my predictions were wrong.

  17. March 27th, 2016 at 10:45 | #17

    @mike twyble, perhaps QC will convince Marin to issue a 2ed of his magnum opus on the English now that 1 c4 is the Opening of the year.
    cf Danii Dubov @ https://www.chess.com/blog/Spektrowski/gm-daniil-dubov-discusses-the-candidates-tournament-and-cheating-in-chess
    “DD: Yes. I once came and saw an Italian with Na3, this 1. Nf3 d5 2. e3, and… Only Svidler makes me happy. Svidler plays the English, and this, I think, is the opening of the future.

    MM: Is it?

    DD: Yes. I think that 1. c4 is currently the only first move that makes sense and has no direct drawish dead-end. 1. e4 has Berlin. If they don’t play Berlin, the games are interesting, but there’s a lot of Berlin. And here, we’ve already seen again what Berlin was. After 1. d4, it’s better, but there’s Gruenfeld. And Gruenfeld is somewhat depressing. Though if Svidler doesn’t play the Gruenfeld [in the Candidates’], I reckon there’s some reason for this. I don’t know.”

  18. March 27th, 2016 at 13:57 | #18

    @weng siow
    In 1992 Konikowski & Schulenburg wrote a book “Fischers Vermächtnis” (Fischer legacy). First I want Marin to write a book like this, because I think he can do it much better!

  19. Wallace Howard
    March 28th, 2016 at 00:22 | #19

    Well, there goes my longest game prediction…
    I also hope Marin does a follow-up on his English series. He really should have checked everything with an engine, and there have been loads to top-level games in the English, especially at the Candidates. It would be great to see an update.

  20. March 28th, 2016 at 01:21 | #20

    @Phil Collins, Thanks for tip on the book. Been looking for a good book on Fischer. There are a lot of books on Fischer but a book that may be close (to the one you mentioned, have not read nor seen it but only guessing from title) is that by Elie Agur? no?
    But I also want Marin to write a 21st C book on the Pirc. Yes, I know he did a CB DVD but I cannot learn by watching ……
    @Wallace Howard, I made my comment without really checking. Marin’s English is with g3. Some of the Candidates’ English are/are not, ?? Just read Sagar Shah’s very enthusiastic annotations and the classic English 4 knights.

  21. Jacob Aagaard
    March 28th, 2016 at 10:34 | #21

    I liked Agur’s book, but honestly, I cannot remember it so well anymore 🙂

  22. March 28th, 2016 at 16:50 | #22

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Huebner criticize that book… superficial analyses I think he said

  23. peter
    March 28th, 2016 at 17:38 | #23

    I think the first question should be weighted higher than the others as this was THE question of the tournament (and maybe the second question as well – spoiler: I’ve got them both correct).

  24. Wallace Howard
    March 29th, 2016 at 02:59 | #24

    peter: I think it would be a bit odd to change the scoring AFTER the contest is over. 🙂

    As for the Agur book, it was a lightweight. Not worth studying. There are much better books on Fischer. And honestly, you should probably just go through “My Sixty Memorable Games” again. I also liked Kasparov’s annotations in “My Great Predecessors”. Both books are classics.
    Thanks to Quality Chess for having this contest. Even if I didn’t win 🙁

  25. Peter
    March 29th, 2016 at 15:20 | #25

    Actually I’ve got 6 out of 10 correct (1,2,5,6,9,10). With the rest I was quite significantly of the mark (only 2 wins for Anand, 11 draws for Giri, 6 games more than 60 moves and longest game just 87 moves – I wrongly assumed they would play more for preserving energy). Still I hope that 6 correct answers might give me a chance to win!? Or is here anybody who got more answers correct!?

  26. Peter
    March 30th, 2016 at 15:52 | #26

    Ok, I just learned from http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/4363#more-4363 that one person got seven questions right and thus became the solely winner. Even though he did not predict Karjakin as the winner of candidates. But you are right – those were the rules.

    So I will not complain and pay my most wanted next quality books on my own (will be less than 20 books for some time to be …)

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    March 30th, 2016 at 18:27 | #27

    I honestly thought John was going to disqualify him when he asked for Playing 1.e4 as a part of his prize!

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