Home > Prizes > Olympiad Quiz – The Solomon Decision

Olympiad Quiz – The Solomon Decision

We have the winners of the Olympiad Quiz. And with winners, I do indeed mean winners.

The prize of 10 books of your free choice and 10 books taken from our gift list, will be split between two winners, Piotr from Poland and Ferdo from Croatia. Both will receive 5 books of their own choice and 10 books we will choose from our list of overstock.

The reasons for the split are a few, but mainly that the whole thing was meant to be fun. We find that having two happy winners rather than one happy and one unhappy winner is the most “fun” way to conclude the competition.

There has been some debate on some of the questions and it has certainly been an interesting debate, as we can see both sides of some of the arguments.

The contentious points were the interpretation of the following questions:

  1. Will John, Colin and Andrew combined meet their expected score?

Our verdict: They did. Andrew won more rating than Colin and John together managed to give away. It is not relevant what their TPR was, as this is influenced on playing against really weak players. Expected score directly points to rating calculation.

  1. How many norms will the Iranian team score?

Our Verdict: 2. Our friend Alireza got the IM-title during the event so his norm does not count in this calculation.

  1. Will any women player score a 2750 or higher performance?

This is where the fun starts. The official list has Valentina Gunina with a 2643 performance as the best player. But this is because a total of 7 games is needed. If you look carefully, you will find the following result:

Board 5 for Poland, WIM Wozniak Mariola 2246

Score 6/6

Expected score 4,03

Rating gain 78,8

Performance rating 2891

This leaves us with three possible verdicts:

Verdict 1: Performance rating cannot be calculated on a perfect score. It is a well-known flaw, but it can be corrected: If you add a draw against a 2750 rated opponent (the prototype 2750 performance), the performance drops to 2498.

Verdict 2: Ms Mariola did not play enough games to come into consideration by the official site, so the result does not count.

Verdict 3: The question did not include number of games and Sami Khader of Jordan, who made 8/8 is recorded with a 2932 performance rating in the official ranking order. For this reason Mariola’s result should count.

Solomon rules…

As said in the beginning, we will have two winners. It is the result that causes the least pain. But as we are really a very democratic bunch, we would like to hear your opinion on what our decision should have been.

Notable mention

Our beloved friend Gollum was in second place in both interpretations. Sorry! Better luck next time!

You can find the Excel Sheet with the winner(s) here.



Categories: Prizes Tags:
  1. September 20th, 2016 at 19:36 | #1

    “Piotr from Poland” here and I’m really happy about it! 🙂
    Regarding “Will any women player score a 2750 or higher performance?” question, when I was preparing my answers I considered the official list and I had a look at the official results from previous olympiads where no women scored 2750 so my choice was ‘No’.

  2. Gollum
    September 20th, 2016 at 19:47 | #2

    The sad thing about it all is that although it was never clear that I may win, I went to see which 10 books I was going to go for, and made me realize I still have a lot of books left that I would love to have, so I’m afraid I will have to spend money to get them now 🙁

    As I’m not going to win either way, I think that splitting the price is the best thing you can do, having 5 free books (plus the other ones) makes you almost as happy as 10 books, so the level of happiness of the blog has gone up by giving two 5 books prize instead of one 10 book prize.

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    September 20th, 2016 at 20:21 | #3

    2×15 instead of 1×20 🙂

  4. September 21st, 2016 at 05:16 | #4

    Many thanks from Quality chess.
    2 x 15 is obviously the best choice
    Two people happy instead of one

    NB Next I (Lion_aile) will take more time to answer to the questions because I am surprised to have so many good answer taking less than one minute to answer to it!!! lol

  5. Pierre
    September 21st, 2016 at 07:39 | #5

    Thx to Quality Chess, it was a lot of fun 🙂

  6. Johnnyboy
    September 21st, 2016 at 10:56 | #6

    I mentioned this problem with minimum number of games for a 2750 rating when the quiz was first published (comment#7) but as it wasan’t answered at the time you need to give the benefit of the doubt to Maria. I’ll bet for thenext quiz all ambiguities will be ironed out before it starts.
    Great quiz though- can I suggest a few questions if there is a competition for the carlsen -karajakin wc match? (I like the quiz with or without a prize)

    1. how many times will magnus appear to fall asleep at the board
    2. how many times magnus’ water bottle blocks the web camera’s view of the board at crucial time trouble moments
    3. number of times the guest celebrity makes an inane cermonial first move
    4. number of times peter svidler sniffles in the live commentary
    5. number of times match visitor nigel short appears in the nude so he doesn’t need to get security checked
    Any other suggestions?

  7. Laffranchise
    September 21st, 2016 at 11:52 | #7

    How many draws
    How many games with moves below 20
    How many games in more than 4 hours

  8. Patrick
    September 26th, 2016 at 21:11 | #8

    Just my opinion, possibly if this question comes up again in a future event, I think it’s crazy to say that when a person gets the IM title that he didn’t earn a norm.

    Unless I am mis-understanding what is being said, you have to achieve a certain performance rating to get an IM norm. If I were to do such a thing, I would get my first IM Norm. 3 months later, I go to another event, and I also outperform the threshold, I get IM Norm number 2.

    Now again, unless I am mis-understanding what you are saying about question 13, in my hypothetical example, I am at a 3rd event, and I also outperform the threshold to get an IM norm. This would get me the IM title, but didn’t I have to achieve a norm to get that title? It’s the 3rd norm. So while said person “Got the IM Title” at said event, didn’t it take getting a norm at the event to get the IM title?

    If you aren’t going to count these, the question should probably say “How many will get either their first or second career IM Norm at the event?”, which would really be a dumb question if you ask me as then you have to figure out how many players already have 2 IM norms as they can’t possibly get another one without getting the IM title.

    Just saying.

  9. Remco G
    September 26th, 2016 at 21:44 | #9

    @Patrick: the Iranian player actually had all his norms, but didn’t have the title yet because the actual titles are awarded at FIDE meetings (like the one that was held at the Olympiad). So he got the score for a fourth norm at the Olympiad, but it wasn’t really a norm since he basically already was an IM except for the formalities.

  10. Jacob Aagaard
    September 27th, 2016 at 07:16 | #10

    It is not even as Remco is saying it. The titles are awarded on the congresses by a committee. Your application has to have norms over 27 games. In this case, the application was with the committee and approved before the tournament finished, which means that no norm certificate was asked for or handed out, as he was already an IM. A third norm would definitely count. As would a 4th, 5th and so on. But not after he got the title.

  11. Patrick
    September 27th, 2016 at 13:44 | #11

    I see – sorry about the confusion. Unfortunately with my busy life as a full time employee, father, and worrying about improving my own game, I don’t get to follow the international circuit as much as I’d like to be able to.

  12. Johnnyboy
    September 27th, 2016 at 14:41 | #12


    Think you should deal with any complaints over future quizzes in true Solomon style and guillotine each book you offer as a prize vertically and offer a half each to both of the warring parties if your judgement isn’t what they want to hear- that might be met with a subsequent deafening silence. And so much nicer doing it to books rather than babies.

  13. Tobias
    November 11th, 2016 at 23:08 | #13

    Wouldn’t the proper Solomon judgment have been to order John to cut the books in half, and hope that one of the two claimants to the -baby- books to say “noooo – the poor books! give them all to the other winner”?

    That said, you always made it clear that you are the only judges and that your verdict is final, so I don’t see why people were complaining. It’s not that you gave the books in suspicious ways to one of your authors.

    Btw., I’m aware that I’m about 2 months late with this comment 😉

  14. Jacob Aagaard
    November 12th, 2016 at 17:43 | #14

    People were putting their case across with grace and respect. Otherwise we might have reacted differently.

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