Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Countdown Answers

Wow, I didn't expect to be so busy these past few weeks! I have a break now, so I'll start by posting answers to the remaining countdown questions. More posts to come this weekend...including fund recipient!

Countdown #17 - 23 - Would You Rather x 7

- Up to 7 points available

1. Would you rather play in a chess tournament on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve?

Probably Christmas Eve! I usually like to stay at home on New Year's Eve to watch the countdown under a warm blanket. On the other hand, if I stay at home on Christmas Eve, you can guess by now what I'd be doing - wrapping last minute gifts. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

2. Would you rather receive a wool sweater with a huge graphic of a chess king that says "Check me!" or an antenna hat with giant light-up pawns?

I'm not much of a sweater person. Plus, there's something compelling about things that bounce around, light up, and make you look like a bumble bee. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

3. Would you rather make a (chess-related) holiday logo for Apple or Microsoft?

Oooh tough one...I'd buy the software from Microsoft, and create the logo for Apple. As you'll find out below, I love apples in general, and the company Apple seems to have a more colour-oriented logo in general. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

4. Would you rather have a completely black and white holiday tree or a standard tree with all black and white ornaments?

Every now and then I like think up something fresh and unique. A black and white tree would certainly suit my style! (1 point for any appropriate answer)

5. Would you rather eat burnt holiday brownies or burnt holiday pie?

These options seem rather ridiculous, considering I'm not a big fan of sweets in the first place (I like to bake, and I'll have sweets here and there, but I don't enjoy them nearly as much as when I was younger). I prefer pie to brownies, especially if the pie has cinnamon in it, but burnt pie tastes awful. So brownies win by default. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

6. Would you rather go shopping on December 24 (Christmas Eve) or December 26 (Boxing Day)?

Easy choice - Christmas Eve. Before Christmas, I'm able to rationalize shopping for gifts (and delay wrapping them haha), even if it means finding my way through crowds. But after Christmas, I just want to relax and get back to other things that need to be done. True, there are some great deals on Boxing Day, but I've learned more than once that it's not worth lining up early in the morning for whatever scraps that didn't make it into Santa's bag. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

7. Would you rather spend Christmas day (substitute with another holiday if you don't celebrate Christmas) at home or with relatives/friends?

I love all my relatives and friends, but there is no better day than Christmas to spend time with my family. (1 point for any appropriate answer)

Countdown #24 - Knight Path (modified)

- Up to 5 points available

I haven't found a solution yet - have you? Here are my attempts (2 points for filling at least half the board):

Nh1 - g3 - f1 - h2 - f3 - g1 - h3 - f2 - g4 - e3 - g2 - e1 - d3 - b2 - d1 - c3 - e2 - c1 - a2 - b4 - c2 - a1 - b3 - d2 - b1 - a3 - c4 - d6 - f7 - h8 - g6 - h4 - f5 - h6 - g8 - f6 - e8 - g7 - h5 - f4 - e6 - g5 - h7 - f8 - d7 -b8 - a6 - c5 - a4 - b6 - c8 - e7 - c6 - d8 - b7 - a5 ouch so close

Nh1 - g3 - f1 - h2 - f3 - g1 - h3 - f2 - d1 - e3 - g2 - e1 - d3 - c1 - e2 - c3 - a2 - b4 - c2 - a1 - b3 - d2 - b1 - a3 - c4 - b2 - a4 - c5 - d7 - f6 - g4 - h6 - g8 - e7 - f5 - h4 - g6 - h8 - f7 - g5 - h7 - f8 - e6 - f4 - h5 - g7 - e8 - d6 (I can already see I've made a misstep somewhere) - b5 - a7 - c6 - e8 - b7 - a5

(third attempt = trying to work from the front and back)

Nh1 - g3 - f1 - h2 - f3 - g1 - h3 - f2 - g4 - e3 - d1 - b2 - d3 - c1 - e2 - c3 - a2 - b4 - a6 - c5 - a4 - b6 - c4 - a3 - b1 - d2 - b3 - a1 - c2 - e1 -g2 - h4 - g6 - h8 - f7 - d8 - e6 - f8 - h7 - g5

Na8 - c7 - e8 - f6 - d7 - b8 - c6 - a5 - b7 - d6 - b5 - a7 - c8 - e7 - g8 - h6 - f5 - g7 - h5 - f4

(unfortunately the two knights cannot connect)

The biggest problem is keeping moves flexible without boxing off certain squares, especially edges and corners. Even if you don't find a solution, this is a great exercise for students, since it involves thinking many moves in advance!

Countdown #25 - Joke IV

- Up to 5 points available

Why does Santa give chess sets without the queens and rooks?

Answer: On the busy night before Christmas, he wants to avoid major problems! (5 points for correct guess, 2 points for any creative guess)

Countdown #26 - River-crossing

- 2 points available

1. Rook and knight cross
2. Rook returns
3. Rook and one 'male' pawn cross
4. Rook and knight return
5. King and other 'male' pawn cross
6. King returns
7. King and queen cross
8. Queen returns
9. Rook and knight cross
10. King returns
11. King and queen cross
12. Queen returns
13. Queen and one 'female' pawn cross
14. Rook and knight return
15. Rook and other 'female' pawn cross
16. Rook returns
17. Rook and knight cross

(2 points for finding the entire solution)

Countdown #27 - Camel Story

- Up to 4 points available

Question 1 -What are the names of the camels and how were these names chosen?

Gamalo and Gamala. 'Gamal' means camel in Arabic. (1 point)

Question 2 - What did the camels say the chess king looked like?

A pharaoh. (1 point)

Question 3 - How did chess lose its status as a 'royal game'?

'Sandbagging'. For further information, see (1 point)

Question 4 - What is the name of the tournament Oscar will play in?

Ma'at. (1 point)

Countdown #28 - Brain Teaser

- 2 points available

In a single move, Johnny moved his king two squares, but did not castle. How is this possible?

Johnny is playing checkers. He moved his king two squares by jumping over one of his opponent's pieces (how nice - kings can jump in checkers but not in chess!), and hopefully winning the game. (2 points)

Countdown #29 - Top Ten II

- Up to 7 points available

Top 10 ways to signal you want to resign a chess game:

1. Say "I resign".
2. Shake (1 point) hands
3. Tip down your king (1 point)
4. Stop the clock (1 point)
5. Write "you win" on your scorepad and show it to your opponent
6. Stare at your opponent angrily, then storm/stomp/run/etc. (1 point) out of the room (not a good idea!!!)
7. Sweep all the pieces (1 point) off the board ( (not a good idea!!!)
8. Offer to play (1 point) again
9. Spell it out using toothpicks?
10. Disconnect your computer (1 point) (not very nice, even if your opponent usually can't see you!!!)

Countdown #30 - How well do you know your blog writer?

- Up to 4 points available

Question 1 - What are my favourite colours?

I love all sorts of colours, but my favourites...
(c) Blue and purple...they're so 'cool'! (1 point)

Question 2 - What do I like to drink when I need an energy boost?

Coke Zero is okay, but a bit too bubbly to have regularly. Plain water is a bit too...plain. I never have energy drinks, so take a point off if you chose that.
(b) Vanilla cappuccino (1 point)

Question 3 - What is my favourite thing to do over the holidays?

If you took a look at one of my other countdowns, wrapping gifts is out of question.'s not so bad afterall...just not my favourite. Shops are too hectic. Visiting friends is nice, but in the end, I just want to catch up on some zzzzzzz.
(b) Sleep (1 point)

Question 4 - I was once asked what food I could live off of for the rest of my life. What was my answer?

This question was asked a long time ago, but I think my answer made sense. I love apples!
(b) Apples (1 point)

Countdown #31 - New Year

- Up to 5 points available

Five of my resolutions (1 point for each of your resolutions):

1. Aim for a healthier lifestyle - I won't list all the specific details here, but it includes drinking more water, eating daily vitamins, choosing whole grains/fruits/veggies when possible, and getting at least 6 - 8 hours of sleep most nights.

2. With first semester over, time to reorganize! Throughout January (since this post is late, I have already accomplished much of this 'reorganization'), reclean my room, get all my new course materials, sort my computer files, contact friends, ...

3. This semester, go to all my classes (unless there is a legitimate reason like illness), but leave time for other activities (at least 1 volunteer initiative and at least 1 school club).

4. Find a summer job to support my education.

5. As for my blog, throughout the next year, give out the 2010 Elaine Howie Fund, collect at least $200 for the 2011 fund, finish the camel story, think of at least five fresh new ideas for regular features on the blog, update tournament information monthly, and of course, continue to entertain my readers!

Congratulations for finishing the countdown! Hope everyone is having a great month!

No comments: