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And the World Cup Quiz Winner is…

October 9th, 2017 1 comment

The winner of our 2017 World Cup Quiz is… Mr Alberto Muniz Pardino.

Mr Muniz’s excellent score of 12 points was a clear winner. If you want to see how it was done, our winner’s answers were (with correct answers in bold):

1.d4
Howell
Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie? Caro-Kann

1. Who will win the World Cup (3 points)? Aronian (3 points)
2. How many top seeds (1-64) will be knocked out in Round 1? 11 (1 point)
3. How many Round 2 matches will end in Armageddon Blitz? 1 (0 points)
4. Predict the four semi-finalists. (2 points per correct answer) Carlsen, Aronian, So, Mamedyarov (2 right, so 4 points)
5. Which round will Levon Aronian reach? Final (1 point)
6. How many 1-1 draws will Anish Giri have? 2 (1 point)
7. How many Black wins will there be in Round 4 (excluding playoffs)? 0 (0 points)
8. Predict the score: Dreev – Bachmann (excluding playoffs) 1-1 (0 points)
9. Predict the score: Motylev – Xiong (excluding playoffs) 1.5-0.5 (1 point)
10. Predict the score: Hou Yifan – Piorun (excluding playoffs) 1.5-0.5 (1 point)
11. How many Russians will there be in Round 3? 6 (0 points)
12. Who will be the youngest quarter finalist? So (0 points)
13. How many non-European players will make it to the 4th round? 6 (0 points)
14. Which home player (Georgian) will go furthest? Pantsulaia (0 points)

Tiebreaker: How many moves will there be in the longest game? 115 (tiebreak not needed, but pretty close to the correct 130)

Surviving the hurdle question by going for the Caro-Kann, then correctly picking Read more…

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2017 World Cup Quiz – The Answers

September 28th, 2017 5 comments

Our World Cup Quiz would have run more smoothly if we had hired a lawyer to draft unambiguous questions. Two of our three hurdle questions eliminated nobody. Only Grünfeld fans were killed off early on.

Below are what I believe to be the correct answers to all the questions. Before we assess your efforts, and then declare a winner, it seems wisely paranoid to check with our eagle-eyed blog readers that all the answers below are true. Any disagreements or ambiguities?

Hurdle Questions

A: What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither? A 50-50 draw between 1.e4 and 1.d4, so you could make a case for all 3 answers being right, so we ignore this question.
B: Which English player will go further: Gawain Jones or David Howell? (if knocked out at same stage then which one has played more moves is the tiebreak) Both knocked out in Round 1. Gawain played more moves, but David survived one more day, so is that going further? No ideal answer, so we also ignore this question. 
C: Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie? CARO-KANN. Eliminated if you said Grunfeld or tie.

Main Competition Questions:

1. Who will win the World Cup (3 points)? ARONIAN

Read more…

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ECF Book of the Year Shortlist

September 5th, 2017 17 comments

The English Chess Federation announced its four-book shortlist for Book of the Year. Each publisher is allowed to nominate two books and the Quality Chess two both made the cut. Ilya Smirin’s King’s Indian Warfare and Jacob’s Thinking Inside the Box are our runners. The other two nominees are books by Timman and Portisch, so it’s tough competition, but so far it’s going as well as possible.

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2017 World Cup – Quiz

August 28th, 2017 61 comments

We have run a few quizzes before, and they have been fun, so with the 2017 World Cup starting on Sunday in Georgia, let’s have another. I say it’s for fun, but there is a winner-takes-all prize.

Quality Chess will send a box of 20 books to your home. 10 of them chosen by you, 10 of them chosen by us. All you have to do is to predict some results in the World Cup. We will contact the winner once the World Cup is over and organize the shipment of the prize.

Hurdle Questions: To allow us to quickly reduce the number of emails to check, only participants who get the three initial questions right will proceed to the second round of scoring. The points scored in the first round will count in the second round (unless otherwise stated, a correct answer is worth one point).

A: What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither?
B: Which English player will go further: Gawain Jones or David Howell? (if knocked out at same stage then which one has played more moves is the tiebreak)
C: Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie?

Main Competition Questions:

Read more…

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Colin the Silver Solver

August 14th, 2017 1 comment

Last week Colin McNab, long-time QC editor and proofreader, was in Dresden, Germany as part of the British team at the World Chess Solving Championships. The Polish team of Piorun, Murdzia and Mista proved too strong, but Britain took the silver medals – well done all. Full results here.

The photo below, by Franziska Iseli, shows Colin with his teammates Jonathan Mestel and John Nunn – all three are of course over-the-board Grandmasters.

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Gawain Jones – 2017 British Champion

August 7th, 2017 4 comments

Congratulations to GM Gawain Jones who is the 2017 British Chess Champion. Gawain won a four-man playoff against GM Luke McShane, GM David Howell, and IM Craig Hanley after they all finished on 7/9.

Gawain wrote two excellent books on the Dragon for Quality Chess, and naturally we would like him to write more books for us, but so far he has been too busy playing chess and winning tournaments.

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Dundee 150 – Andrew wins

July 24th, 2017 2 comments

Congratulations to Quality Chess’s own IM Andrew Greet, who was first outright in the Dundee 150 international tournament. His 6/9 gained plenty of rating points, but was not quite enough for a GM norm. GM Colin McNab started well, but sadly faded to finish on 3/9. Full results here.

Congratulations also to 16-year-old Murad Abdulla who became Scottish Champion and looks to have gained enough in rating to become an FM. This makes Murad the second-youngest-ever Scottish Champion – GM Paul Motwani was also 16 when he first won, but a few months younger.

The Scottish Championship was held as part of an Open, so I will complete my congratulations by saying GM Andrei Maksimenko of Ukraine won the Open, but was of course not eligible to be Scottish Champion. Full results here.

Update: Dundee Chess Club have very helpfully put a link to a report that was broadcast on the Scottish TV programme ‘STV News’. It’s just 2 minutes and worth a watch. Spoiler: as Colin is on-screen, the reporter says: “If this was football, you’d be watching the equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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Dundee 2017

July 14th, 2017 7 comments

In 1867, Dundee in Scotland hosted a tournament that featured elite players such as Steinitz and Blackburne. One hundred years later, in 1967, the centenary event included Larsen and Gligoric. Now in 2017, it’s 150 years after the original event, and Dundee is again hosting an international tournament.

You can check out the full line up at the following link, but I will highlight the participation of two of the Quality Chess team: GM Colin McNab and IM Andrew Greet. And right now in Round 1 they are playing each other. Live coverage here.

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