1. Would you rather play chess in a room that's a bit too bright or a bit too dark?
Seeing that I already like to dim my computer screen, I guess I'd prefer a bit dark to a bit bright in a chess room.
2. Would you rather have a chess-themed picnic or chess-themed campfire?
Picnic...as long as no one invites the ants :) I've never been much of a camping person.
3. Would you rather receive a bag of promotional items (pens, coupons, etc.) or free refreshments (water, coffee, juice, etc.) at a chess tournament?
Well, with a sore throat right now, I feel biased towards refreshments. However, on a usual day, I would prefer the promotional bag - I love surprises! Plus, I suppose a promotional bag means the tournament got sponsorship, which is a huge benefit for chess.
4. Would you rather have a friend/family member play on the board next to you or on the other side of the room?
Next to me, especially if we're on the same team. It's nice having family support nearby (just not in front - wouldn't really want to play against a family member unless it's for fun).
5. Would you rather play a chess game in a beautiful plaza (with cafe, fountain, trees, etc.) or next to a beautiful ocean?
Hmmm...maybe a plaza. I'm picturing one in Europe, or in Boston (Harvard Square is beautiful).
6. Would you rather play online chess games under your own name or a made-up name?
I don't play online chess much, but since it's just for practice/fun, I would make up a name to change things up a bit.
7. Would you rather play chess on top of the Great Wall of China or directly below the Eiffel Tower?
Part of me thinks the Great Wall would be amazing, but I don't think I could handle the smog. You can't see much directly beneath the Eiffel Tower (I've been there once before, after the WYCC), but I would probably choose that option anyway, play my game, then go up the Eiffel Tower or walk to another area of Paris to enjoy the wonderful sights!!! Now, if only someone would pay my travels fees :)
8. Would you rather come to a chess tournament on a bad hair day or after getting only four hours of sleep?
Again, this would depend on the circumstance. If I've been getting a lot of sleep most days, and only four hours one night, I would survive quite easily. However, if it's something similar to exam week, where I'm getting four hours or so regularly, I would choose the bad hair day.
9. Would you rather play in a chess tournament at a moderately-nice venue with free parking or a deluxe venue with pay parking?
It doesn't take much to excite me, so a moderately-nice venue is usually good enough. Pay parking is a bit of a turn-off so yet another reason to choose the moderately-nice venue. However, I do have to say, the way the Canadian Open has organized its Toronto venue is starting to change my mind a bit, in terms of large, prestigious tournaments.
10. Would you rather have pairings made under the Swiss system (with large section size) or Round Robin system (with small section size)?
I've always preferred Swiss. As mentioned, I like surprises, and the fact that you can be matched in many different ways, and face a variety of opponents is exciting. It's true, Round Robin can help with preparation and managing expectations, but it works two ways. If I can prepare against my opponent, he/she can usually prepare against me. So it's not as straightforward as it sounds...therefore, I prefer the surprise :)