Hope for our society!

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
David Williams
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by David Williams » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:55 am

I lost to Matthew Turner in the semi-final of Countdown, a rare instance of two ECF graded players competing against each other on a game show. I also, scandalously, had the word OUTGRADES disallowed on another occasion.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:54 am

A dramatic piece of disinterring threads...

I'm playing CC against Jerry Asquith, who is rather strong. He commented that he had done "Life and career of Alexander Alekhine" on Mastermind. There's a report in the May 2008 edition of "Chess". It's alarming to find that they only told him how they would pronounce Alekhine at the start of filming, when the theme music was playing. He scored 10 on the subject, despite getting such questions as, "Which spectacular move did he make at Baden-Baden in 1925 to stop Reti?" Jerry reasonably points out that although they expected the answer 26....Re3!, Kasparov later said that 31....Ne4!! was stronger. Later they asked what reason Alekhine gave for his "great bishop move, leading to a double pawn sacrifice" against Flohr at Nottingham 1936. (The move was 4.Bd2) That was obviously a tough set of questions...

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:54 am

Also thinking back to Countdown, Dave Ledger had "pincer" disallowed on the basis that it's either "Pincer movement" named after a Mr PIncer, hence capitalised, or the tool is "pincers", and only occurs as a plural. Nowadays they would allow "pincer". Dave could have said "prince" of course...

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:13 am

We may be talking semantics here re Alekhine, but I would describe ...Ne4 as brilliant, and ...Re3 as spectacular. It's the difference between putting a piece en prise and leaving it there.

I think it's pretty obvious what the quizmasters were getting at. In fact the question was easy: anyone with a reasonable chess culture should get it.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 am

"I think it's pretty obvious what the quizmasters were getting at. In fact the question was easy: anyone with a reasonable chess culture should get it."

If you have time to think - I got the impression he was a bit surprised to be asked about individual moves.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:00 pm

I think it was an easy question but not a good one. Any talk of spectacular moves leaves room for ambiguity.

A good quiz question should be unambiguous, not too hard and not too easy. I recently took part in a quiz where one of the questions asked what is the capital of China. Laughably easy, so in my opinion not a good question.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:04 pm

Unless they only ruled "Beijing" an acceptable answer (and "Peking" not) perhaps?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:11 pm

Both were accepted. Now asking the capitals of Australia or Brazil might have point; easy, certainly, but with ways to go astray.

Melbourne?
Sydney??
Sao Paolo???
Rio????

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:13 pm

Sorry, struggling to complete my sentence there.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:22 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:11 pm
Both were accepted
Well yes, that should be considered too easy for even a local pub quiz.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:29 pm

"A good quiz question should be unambiguous, not too hard and not too easy. I recently took part in a quiz where one of the questions asked what is the capital of China. Laughably easy, so in my opinion not a good question."

Agreed! On the other hand I was asked (roughly), "What is a chrematist obsessed with?" on "15 to 1". 30 years later, I still haven't found anyone who knew the answer, until I tell them.

A good quiz question also gives the right answer - at a pub quiz, we got, "In which conflict were jet fighters first used?" So we said, "World War II" as I pointed out the existence of the Gloster Meteor and the Messerschmidt 262. "Wrong" said the quiz master and his book, "Korean War". Admittedly, that was the first conflict where jet fighters were in combat with each other, but that wasn't the question.

NickFaulks
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:34 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:11 pm
Both were accepted. Now asking the capitals of Australia or Brazil might have point; easy, certainly, but with ways to go astray.

Melbourne?
Sydney??
Sao Paolo???
Rio????
Nigeria is a good one. Also Myanmar ( Burma ).
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:55 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:54 am
Also thinking back to Countdown, Dave Ledger had "pincer" disallowed on the basis that it's either "Pincer movement" named after a Mr PIncer, hence capitalised, or the tool is "pincers", and only occurs as a plural. Nowadays they would allow "pincer". Dave could have said "prince" of course...
I was disallowed SCROOGE on Countdown (February 2004) on similar grounds, i.e. the capital S. Certainly it wouldn't be allowed as the Dickens character or someone else behaving like a miser. However, Chambers has it as a variation of 'scrouge' (to squeeze or crowd) and it's allowed in Scrabble. Not that I knew it at the time. But you don't have to know meanings in either Countdown or Scrabble.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:27 pm

In the late 1990s I was contacted by the compilers of questions for University Challenge. They wanted the correct answer to, 'Who is the World Chess Champion?' I told them not to ask the question, Karpov or Kasparov could have been the answer.

I then gave the researcher a new question. 'How many squares are there on a draughts board?' Of coure he immediately said 64. I pointed out that was wrong. There are only 32. He thought for a moment and said, 'Is it OK to change it to, 'How many squares are used on a draughts board?'
i don't know whether that question was ever used. Apparently there were 5 members of the compilers team. They worked on other quizzes as well.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:19 pm

There shouldn't be any element of 'trick' to a question. It causes ill will.

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