Holiday Chess Trivia
By Michael Klein   
December 23, 2007
xmastrivialead2.jpgWelcome to CLO's 2007 Holiday Chess Trivia quiz. Results are in! Congratulations to 1st place winner Jon Leisner with nine points. and to Sara Walsh and Mike Landolfi who tied for 2nd/3rd with 7 points each.

The grand prize winner will win a signed copy of Paul Hoffman's "King's Gambit: A son, A Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game. "  Second and third place will win a choice of ten opening books, listed at the end of this article. The winners will be announced concurrent with the solutions, on December 26.

Contest rules: Only the first 64 valid entries will be eligible, (one for every square on the chessboard! )  This article will post a notice when the maximum number of entries has been exceeded and the contest is closed. Your entry must be sent to before December 25 at 6 PM.  Include the answers (not the questions) in the e-mail body. (No attachments.) You must be a USCF member to win the contest. Only one entry per member. The grand prize will go to the member with the highest score- in case of a tie, the tiebreaker question will decide the winner. If both winners correctly answered the tiebreaker, the person who answered the tiebreaker first will win. 

The contest is over, so the answers are bolded below. Look for an article explaning the solutions later this week.

Holiday Chess Trivia
Methodology notes – Ratings as of October Supplement, active players only with current state affiliation (regardless of actual residence) used. State ratings based on top four players.

1.    New York, the state with the strongest average rating of its top players, boasts a gaudy average. It is:

A.    2675
B.    2699
C.    2726  (The term average is explained above as "State ratings based on top four players.")
D.    2740

2.    How many of the top 12 states by rating are red states, as defined by the 2004 presidential election?

A.    4
B.    6
C.    0
D.    2  (Florida, 5th, Texas, 6th)

3.    Which state has more masters than any other state?

A.    California  (more than 200 active, though NY has more Senior Masters--43.)
B.    Texas
C.    Florida
D.    New York

4.    How many states have no masters?

A.    0
B.    3  (North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming)
C.    5
D.    8

5. Which state has the highest average comparable to its population ranking?

A.    Connecticut
B.    Hawaii
C.    Alaska
D.    New Hampshire  (41st in population, 17th in ranking)

6. Which state has more Dunkin’ Donuts within 20 miles of its capital than active players statewide?

A.    Massachusetts
B.    Rhode Island (There are 236 Dunkin' Donutes within a 20 mile radius of Providence.)
C.    Vermont
D.    Maryland

7. Which state has the youngest player leading its rating list?

A.    New Hampshire- IM Josh Friedel turns 21 in December while IM John Bartholomew of MN turned 21 in September.

B.    Minnesota
C.    New York
D.    New Mexico

8. Which is the largest state in terms of population not to have a U.S. Chess League team?

A.    Michigan
B.    Ohio
C.    Illinois- 5th in population, also 8th in rating--top 7 in rating all had teams in the 2007 season. Editor's Note: The Chicago Blaze  and the Arizona Scorpions were added to the 2008 season's team list. This was announced just after this quiz was published.  
D.    Colorado

9. How many states have an average of 2400 or higher?

A.    9
B.    13
C.    15
D.    21- Nevada is right at 2400. Nebraska just missed with an average of 2399.5.

10. What is the smallest state in terms of population to be represented in the U.S. Chess League?

A.    Tennessee
B.    North Carolina
C.    Maryland - 19th in population, Tennessee is 16th in population.
D.    Washington

True or False: The top four New Yorkers have a FIDE average higher than England’s top four. England 2643, New York 2639. NY does beat Czech and Germany.

12. Put these four entities in order of their top four FIDE average: New Jersey (2549), Argentina (2547), Massachusetts (2537), and Italy (2535).

13. How many Americans competed at the 2006 Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy?

A.    6
B.    10
C.    15
D.    29 -6 U.S. Men, 4 U.S. Women, 5 USVI Men, 4 USVI Women, 6 Puerto Rico Men, 4 Puerto Rico Women – USVI and Puerto Rico Residents are considered U.S. Citizens – Fabiano Caruana did not play for any of the Italian teams

14. Not counting New York, which state has the highest rating and a Canadian border?

A.    Washington-Washington's top four players average to 2536. Michigan is close behind with an average of 2529.

B.    Michigan
C.    Minnesota
D.    New Hampshire

15. What state has the highest top four boards but does not have a coastline with an ocean or the Great Lakes?

A.    Kentucky
B.    Arizona is the right answer, which has an average of 2507. Close behind is Colorado, 2448.
C.    Colorado
D.    Tennessee

16. Tiebreaker question: Which state has the largest disparity between its number one and number two players?- Rhode Island.  Check out the state rating lookup here. Check all 50 states manually to confirm the answer or just take Mike's word for it!

List of Opening books for 2nd/3rd prize:

"The Pirc in Black and White" James Vigus
"Starting Out: Sicilian Schveningen" Craig Pritchett
"Starting Out: Sicilian Najdorf" Richard Palliser
"Stating Out: Queen's Gambit Declined" by Neil McDonald
"Chess Explained: The queen's Indian"by  Peter Wells
"Chess Explained: The English Opening" by Zenon Franco
"Chess Explained: The Taimanov Sicilian" by James Rizzitano
"Play the Queen's Gambit" by Chris Ward
"The Philidor Files" by Christan Bauer