World Cup Quiz – The Survivors

Our World Cup Quiz (previous instalments here and here) attracted almost 200 entrants, but you may recall there were three qualifying questions to narrow the field:

A: What will the most common opening move be in round 1: 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither?
B: Which of these home players will go further: Mamedov or Safarli?
C: Which opening will be more common in round 3: Najdorf or Catalan?

In the previous instalment we knew two of the correct answers. Now we know all three: 1.e4, Mamedov and Najdorf.

21 contestants survived the cull. I won’t name names, but in chess terms they range from unrated to mid-2400s. Which of them will be our champion? Too early to say.

There were several GM entrants, but they all fell, usually due to their faith in 1.d4.

A hypothetical question: Should World Cup competitors be allowed to enter our World Cup Quiz? I would say “Yes”, but since they both crashed out of our quiz in the qualifying round, we’ll say it’s hypothetical.

18 thoughts on “World Cup Quiz – The Survivors”

  1. Interesting. I thought the e4-d4 question was the easiest to answer with some confidence. Just look up the opening repertoires.

  2. I’m not a GM bus also fell with 1d4. I think we have a moral victory though, because a lot of games started with 1.Nf3 with d4 to follow one of the next moves.

  3. I don’t know for sure, but I think that if we go back and check previous World Cup knock-out events we’ll find that in the first round e4 won most of the time.
    It’s especially the elite that uses d4, c4 and Nf3 most of the time, the lower you go with elo, more 1. e4 openings you find, even at grandmaster level.

    Of course take this consideration with a grain of salt, it’s just speculation and it was a close call anyway.

  4. Anyone else shocked by Eljanov’s performance? Where did it come from? Looks like he’s going to qualify for the candidates, potential World Champion?

  5. in 2010 Eljanov was 2761 and #6 in the world, so he’s been elite before. But this would be quite a run for anyone. According to my calculations his performance rating for the 10 classical games so far is 3029.

  6. @Capodoglio
    That’s pretty much what I found when I looked at the repertoires. The first half of the playing field has e4/d4 roughly balanced, but when I started looking at the second half, e4 clearly surged ahead, (so much so that I actually didn’t bother to look at the complete second half).

  7. I’m pissed about all these cheating accusations from so-called chess supporters who only see the numbers, and have no chessunderstanding whatsoever.

    I’m starting to symphatize with Gelfands view that chess is not for the masses

  8. @James
    Not at all. I have known Pavel for nearly a decade and always knew he was wildly talented. Remember he was number 6 in the World before he lost his confidence.

  9. @Thomas
    We have talked about it many times, but then he started playing well again. I think at the moment he is on a roll… He did a little DVD for ChessBase though. It is worth a peek.

  10. Jacob Aagaard :
    We have talked about it many times, but then he started playing well again. I think at the moment he is on a roll… He did a little DVD for ChessBase though. It is worth a peek.

    I think that in “Grandmaster vs Amateur” book one chapter is written by Pavel

  11. The comments about Eljanov that seem to be going around are absurd. You only have to look at game one against Grishuk to see that no computers were involved. The guy is just playing great chess.

  12. To decide between 1.e4 and 1.d4 I make the following considerations:

    1. People is going away from 1.e4 because there seems to be a lot of drawish lines. Hence 1.d4 has the lead.
    2. People is trying to get a game with closed openings, but there have been a surge in english and 1.Nf3, so even though 1.d4 should be the answer, as there are many transpositions available, 1.e4 will win.

  13. Congratulation to people who managed to answer the three questions correctly !

    Hmmm…, is there any consolation draw for those who managed to get all three wrong ? 🙂

  14. @Jacob seems now’s Pavel’s time. Winning against Karjakin, must be his 3rd win against the QID in this tournament? Makes it look like a dodgy opening. Tbh though I suspected the QID was on the slide as soon as Adams ditched it a few years ago in favour of QGD Tartakower, he doesn’t make changes to his repertoire unless it’s necessary.

  15. @James

    He beat Jakovenko as far as I know in the QID, but he didn’t beat Karjakin! A
    lso as far as I can see he hasn’t beat anyone else in the QID. I suspect the QID is just out of fashion at the moment rather than it being a dodgy opening

  16. Just a comment about the world cup and grandmaster repertoire books. The Open Spanish looks to have stood up quite well with Adams failing to get the slightest advantage and Karjakin getting an advantage only when Mamedyarov didn’t follow GM 13. incidentally I think I got just about every question wrong!

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