Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Chess Quiz

I found a pretty interesting chess quiz on the internet. Had fun solving it and getting most of it right, of course. So, here it is, if you think you know chess, take a shot and let me how you did. I got 9/10. You can scroll down for the answers which are accompanied by my expert comments and explanations *smug smile*.
Oh, and before I forget, you can find the original quiz at

Question 1:
Which one of these endgame White setups (assuming Black holds a lone king) will always end in a draw?

1.king, knight, and bishop
2.king and two knights
3.king and queen
4.king and knight

Question 2:
If a knight is attacking the queen and king at the same time, which one of these strategies is being used?


Question 3:
Pins and skewers can be performed by several pieces, but not all. Which one of these pieces cannot pin or skewer?

1. rook
2. knight
3. queen
4. bishop

Question 4:
Which piece does the fianchetto strategy mainly benefit?

1. bishop
2. knight
3. rook
4. queen

Question 5:
Want to lose a chess game quickly? Fall for the commonly used Scholar's Mate. Which one of these squares is the target for this checkmate?

1. e2 or e7
2. f2 or f7
3. d2 or d7
4. h2 or h7

Question 6:
This is a chess situation: suppose White has a rook on d4, and Black's king is on g8, with three pawns on f7, g7, and h7. The pawns and the king are Black's only pieces left. It's Black's turn, so she moves her g-pawn to g5. What kind of checkmate is Black trying to prevent with this pawn move?

1. forced mate
2. back rank mate
3. smothered mate
4. double attack

Question 7:
Some structures of pawns are good, and some can really give you problems. Which one of these pawn structures is generally the strongest?

1. doubled pawns
2. passed pawns
3. isolated pawns
4. backward pawns

Question 8:
Now for some chess terminology- which one of these terms describes a situation where it is your turn and this puts you at a disadvantage?

1. zwischenzug
2. fianchetto
3. en passant
4. zugzwang

Question 9:
Another chess term- what is the term used for an 'in-between move', or a forcing move that is different from what would be normally expected?

1. zugzwang
2. zwischenzug
3. castling
4. en passant

Question 10:
There are several openings in chess, all characterized by a move, a position, etc. In which opening does White move his knight to f3 on the first move?

1. English Opening
2. Ruy Lopez
3. Reti's Opening
4. King's Gambit


Q.1. (4) King and knight, though mating with the first two options is not easy either.

Q.2 (2) Fork.
A bishop, rook or queen doing the same thing is known as a skewer.
A 'pin on a piece' restricts its movement, ie.discovers check on king, or threatens material loss.
And obviously, everybody knows what a 'check' is.

Q.3. (2) knight. Knights fork, as mentioned in Q2. And since knights can anyway jump over material, a pin by a knight is NA.

Q.4. (1) bishop. Refers to the bishop on b2, g2, b7 or g7. The bishop is placed on the longest diagonal on the chessboard from where logically, it is supposed to have the greatest influence.
With the same logic, knights have the least influence in the corners.

Q.5. (2) f2 or f7. The traditional weak squares in the beginning of the game since they are defended only by the respective kings and a double attack might bring about a quick downfall.
eg. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 Nf6 4.Qxf7#
Of course, a 'Fool's Mate' takes even lesser, 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#

Q.6. (2) back rank mate. The king is trapped on the last rank by its own pawns and cannot escape a check from a rook or queen.
A smothered mate is a similar mate delivered by a knight on an enemy king which is hemmed in by its own pieces.
A forced mate refers to a forced sequence of moves (typically a series of checks) leading to mate.
A double attack is a move that threatens two things at the same time. Forks and skewers are both double attacks.

Q.7. (2) Passed pawns. Refers to pawns which can no longer be obstructed or threatened by enemy pawns. Such pawns are easier to promote to the eighth rank where as we know, they can take up new job responsibilities.
Doubled pawns refer to two pawns of the same color on the same file. They are weak since they are susceptible to attack. Moreover, they restrict and cannot support each other's movement.
Isolated pawns. Pawns which find themselves alone, ie. absence of pawns of the same color on their adjacent files. They are weak since of course, they cannot be supported by neighboring pawns. But interestingly, in certain situations, such pawns also aid an attacking player as the open files on either side can be used for piece activity.
Backward pawns. Like the name suggests, pawns which have not achieved much purpose in their life. Additionally, they might restrict piece movement, so obviously, they are a liability.
There are other pawn structures like hanging pawns, pawn chain, hedgehog formation etc., but they are out of scope of this discussion *smug smile*

Q.8. (4) Zugzwang. Refers to a situation where 'whatever move you make, you lose'. Its derived from the German: Zug (move) + Zwang (compulsion, obligation). Generally happens in King pawn endgames so if it ever happens in the middlegame its rare, so take a picture and mail it to me.
en passant. Derived from French and means 'in passing'. Refers to a pawn capture by an enemy pawn in this special situation.
-A player moves his pawn two squares, from his second row to his fourth row.
-There is a pawn of the opponent that can capture at the squares that is passed over by the pawn.
-In that case, this pawn of the opponent has the right to capture en passant in the directly following move.
-To capture en passant, the opponents pawn goes to the square passed over by the pawn (i.e., the square on the third row), thus moving diagonally forwards. The captured pawn is taken from the board.
zwischenzug. Refer next question.

Q.9. (2) zwischenzug. Another German term. I didn't know what this meant. Apparently, refers to a situation where, instead of making the obvious move, like an immediate recapture, a player interposes a move (like a check, I guess) to achieve a favorable objective.
Castling. A king + rook move to achieve a safe haven for the king. Of course, so many rules about castling, again out of scope of this discussion.

Q.10. (3) Reti's Opening. Well, actually, the answer is simplistic. The Reti is completely characterized by the first 3 moves, 1.Nf3 2.c5 and 3.g3. The first move can actually transpose into many other openings, including the English or even the Ruy Lopez.
Discussing these openings will mean I will have to write a book. But, if you find chess openings boring, read up on the King's Gambit :)

Well, sorry if I bored many of you with this technical ramble, but I had lots of fun. If any of you found it interesting, sure, anytime!

1 comment:

Isolani159 said...

Very good writing