2017 World Cup – Quiz

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:

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

Tiebreaker: How many moves will there be in the longest game? 

How to enter: Send an email to WorldCup@qualitychess.co.uk at latest an hour before the start of Round 1, which is on Sunday 3rd September 2017 at 3pm Georgian time (they are GMT +4 so that should be midday UK time). The email must have the following information and no more:

Your Name and Rating – in the subject header of the email
Answers written like this:
answer A
answer B
answer C
answer 1
answer 2
And so on.

Each answer on a new line. Just the answer: number or one word. For names only give surnames.

So your email might look like:






And so on. So you should have a total of 18 answers over 18 lines.

Any entries not in that format will be excluded. Only one entry per person, please.

We reserve the right to invent extra rules later to make our lives easier. And let’s not have a tie for first place (as in the 2015 World Cup quiz). To quote one of the classics: “There can be only one.”

61 thoughts on “2017 World Cup – Quiz”

  1. What’s the definition of non-European? Especially do players officially given as playing for (I assume it is not country of birth) Russia, Armenia, Azerbajian, Georgia, Ukraine, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan count as being European? Since this is not the European song contest, I guess Israel does not count as Europe.

  2. @Thomas Hey, I live in Switzerland and that’s not part of Europe for shipping and delivery. And you can find people here and in the UK that might question whether these are part of Europe…. So many options on how to define it. EU, Schengen space, countries that self-identify as being part of Europe, UPS package delivery zone Europe, my mobile provider’s Zone Europe, geographical Europe (with/with a part of/without Turkey and Russia included), people born in Europe (by some definition, even if they have changed nationality), people with a Eruopean nationality, people with their FIDE federation as a European country and so on. I had not even thought of the possibiity of membership in the ECU being the criterion (I assume it’s people with one of those countries as their federation according to the FIDE Elo list).

  3. mr :
    @John Shaw
    Is that list also used for shipping your books to European countries ?

    No, a very different list, made by UPS who tell us if somewhere is in the standard European zone. As Björn said, different situations have different definitions.

  4. Hi!
    Can you please clarify question 2 about “top-seed” players?
    Are we talking about the top 64 players of the World cup tournament – therefore from Carlsen (No 1) up to Dreev (No 64)?
    Thanks in advance.

  5. I don’t think it’s a good idea with the initial three questions. Those who fail (which is a lot) lose interest in the competition.

    It must be possible to find a way to make the checking automatic.
    A simple google questionare work, for example.

  6. @RYV: Are you kidding? It’s the only high profile knockout tournament there is, of the whole top-30 or so I believe only Topalov is missing, and on top of that two of the eight Candidates spots are decided directly by this tournament. I’m Dutch so Tata Steel is a bigger event for me, but other than that this is the most exciting tournament of this year for me.

  7. No i am serious.
    Knockout tournament like this have shown inappropriate for chess. Usually 2 boring games then rapid or blitz to qualified….and again. I ma much more interrested in tournament like strong open or all round or team évent. Zonal & interzonal were good évent to détermine candidates.
    About this world cup, dont you think a 9 or 11 rounds tournament world be better ?

  8. I wouldn’t like it if knockout tournaments replaced all tournaments, but I like to have one huge one. There’s a lot of tension, and if a player lets too many matches go to tiebreaks, then he doesn’t have real rest days.

    Round robins are the best, but we’ve got far too many of those right now at top level, with far too many of the same faces all the time, gaining points for series nobody cares much about. Big opens also lead to many draws on the top boards.

    And in terms of participants I don’t think there’s been anything close to this one, even Carlsen is playing, that proves it’s more than a qualifier for the Candidates.

    The European championship is a large open, did you watch it closely?

  9. About question C:
    Grunfeld means specifically 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 or all the Grunfeld structures and lines as classified in ECO?

  10. kosmeg :
    About question C:
    Grunfeld means specifically 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 or all the Grunfeld structures and lines as classified in ECO?

    To make it clear, let’s go with ECO codes. Grunfeld is D70–D99. Caro-Kann is B10–B19.

  11. Ouch, I ‘ve already sent the quiz, but now that I am looking at it again, I did it wrong. Like “Answer A: e4
    Answer B: Jones
    Answer C: Grunfeld” etc. Is it valid? Or I do it again?

  12. Re question 1, does ‘anything else’ win if all other moves together are commoner than e4 or d;, or only if one move in particular is more popular?

    So say it’s e4 30, d4 20, c4 25, Nf3 25, which runs?

  13. @Fer
    In each match (except the final I think) there are 2 classical games, so if the score is 1-1 after those two games… it is a draw and it goes to playoffs.

  14. @John Cox

    In your scenario, 1.e4 is the answer. Maybe we should have said: “What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or one other move?”

  15. > Each answer on a new line. Just the answer: number or one word. For names only give surnames.

    How do I answer no. 4 Predict the four semi-finalists. (2 points per correct answer),
    which requires at least 4 words? On separate lines or on a single line?

  16. This might sound weird, but..

    How about a contest for guessing the publishing schedule? 🙂

    Books are published on Wednesdays, so contestants could guess which Wednesdays for which books.

  17. Looks like
    1st/2nd(=): 1.e4 and 1.d4 (50 games each)
    3rd/4th(=): 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 (13 games each)
    5th: forfeit (2 games)
    equal last: all other moves (0 games each)
    for question A.

    Gawain Jones is meanwhile doing a good job keeping question B open.

  18. So much for the first hurdle question, ruled out just about nobody ?

    Gawain played a lot of moves in his loss yesterday so could be favourite for the tiebreak against Howell if they go out in the same stage.

    Dreev 2-0 Bachmann was a tough one to predict ?

  19. What happens if Jones gets eliminated today with ~170 moves made and Howell loses tomorrow but with ~140 moves in 4 games?

  20. Zvonokchess :
    What happens if Jones gets eliminated today with ~170 moves made and Howell loses tomorrow but with ~140 moves in 4 games?

    Cue the arguments as Howell appears to have made less moves in 6 games than Gawain did in 2. However doesn’t Howell getting to the tiebreaks count as him getting further than Gawain?

  21. @John Shaw
    Seems a shame, given that Howell’s match was much closer than Gawain’s, but I agree, given your wording in the question Gawain should be the correct answer. That’s me out of the quiz then ☹️

  22. John Shaw :
    Seems to me Jones is the winner. More moves in the two regular games. Number of moves in playoff games does not count.

    John Shaw :
    Yes, exclude playoffs everywhere.

    Yikes! And I thought Jacob had a lock on the bad decisions at QC 🙂

    In no other competition would getting eliminated in the minimum number of games count as “going further” than someone who made it to the tiebreak/playoffs.

  23. I realize that a) I paid nothing to enter this and b) the 3 hurdle questions are to make the administrator’s task easier, but having apparently been eliminated (I chose Howell) on the 2nd day of a 24 day event, I can’t say I had much fun. If you do more of these in the future, I suggest the hurdle questions go a bit deeper into the event. Just one person’s opinion.

  24. @John Upper

    Agreed, it’s too messy. As the rules/question were written, Jones would be the answer, but that feels unnatural to everyone here. So the 2nd hurdle question eliminates nobody. So whether you guessed Howell or Jones, you are still alive.

  25. Gollum :
    And what about question 1? Are 1.e4 and 1.d4 really tied?

    It appears so. A 50-50 draw between 1.e4 and 1.d4.

    There appear to be zero moves in both Onischuk default wins. I presume he did not have to make a first move with White, then wait for his opponent to fail to show up?

  26. iirc FIDE tournament regulations require all players to be present at official starting time (before clocks are pressed). Failing this means loss by no-show.

  27. Michael :
    @John Shaw
    If it’s 50-50 between 1.e4 and 1.d4 then maybe only people who chose “neither” should go through?

    With the ‘neither’ option, this means that a different move will be more popular. Therefore, it makes very little sense that this is the correct answer as it was entirely wrong in this case. Both the other two options should be viewed as correct, I believe

  28. So after reading all this Jargon, are we at the point where 1.e4/Jones and 1.d4/Jones and 1.e4/Howell and 1.d4/Howell are alive and 1.Neither/Jones or 1.Neither/Howell are dead with the third question pending?

  29. Considering the poor wording of some of the questions, QC should send everyone who entered the quiz 20 free books. As compensation, to use a chess term. 😉

  30. Has anyone checked the third hurdle question in the meantime? I did notice Wesley played the Caro Kann …
    For me it doesn’t matter anyway. Although I didn’t check in detail I’m terribly wrong with almost everything. I haven’t picked obvious Jobava as best home player because of his sometimes inconsistent play, did pick Wei for best youngest player (with some doubts, but finally due to last world cup) and my semifinalists were: Carlsen, Karjakin, Adhiban, Mamedyarov – all out long before.

    So no matter, whether I picked conservatively or went for a surprise: I did it wrong 😉 But it’s not easy to score many points I guess.

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