Quiz on fights in sports

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on February 24, 2017


This week’s quiz picks out a few more fights and feuds.

On February 25, 1964, Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, and Sonny Liston clashed in one of the most anticipated fights in sporting history.

1 This literary spat started in 1996 when a travel writer found his guru selling signed copies of his books on the internet and in retaliation wrote a book titled Sir ____ Shadow detailing the crankiness of the other author. Fill in the blanks, and name both authors.

2 A 19th-century pistol duel in the US ended with the death of the former secretary of the treasury Alexander Hamilton. Who shot Hamilton, and which post did he hold?

3 Since 1948, the town of Herzogenaurach has been rent by a bitter rivalry between two of its most famous sons. Either name both gentlemen or the institutions they started.

4 In the 6th century, the city of Constantinople was completely polarised between two sporting teams, the Blues and the Greens. The rivalry reached a head in AD 532 when thousands of Greens supporters were slaughtered by the army. In which sport did the Blues and Greens compete?

5 In which extremely high-profile sporting conflict of 1996, reprised one year later, was one side represented by Murray Campbell, Joel Benjamin and Feng-hsiung Hsu?

6 Two of Hollywood’s bitterest rivals in the 1930s acted together in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane in 1962. One was so upset about the other being nominated for an Oscar that she offered to accept the award on behalf of any of the other nominees. Name both actors.

7 Which famous incident in Indian cricket history was a direct response to the England team’s post-match celebrations at the Wankhede stadium in February 2002?

8 It’s ironic that two of the bitterest rivals in professional football are collectively known as the ‘Old Firm’. Name the two institutions involved.

9 The calculus controversy was an argument between two leading mathematicians about who invented that particular stream of mathematics. German Gottfried Leibniz was one of the parties involved. Who was the other?

10 In a ’50s Bollywood film, a legendary performer came to Akbar’s court to challenge his rival and avenge his father’s death. History indicates that their meeting was cordial. Who were the two real-life performers, played by Bharat Bhushan and Surendra in the film?


1. Vidia’s. Paul Theroux and VS Naipaul. They finally shook hands 15 years later

2. Aaron Burr, who was the US Vice-President at the time. Burr’s political career was destroyed by the subsequent trial

3. Brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler, who started Puma and Adidas. Legend has it that the entire fight was about an insult shouted at an Allied airplane by Adi during World War II, which Rudi thought was directed at him

4. Chariot racing

5. The chess encounter between world champion Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Throat Computer, programmed by them. Kasparov won in 1996 but lost the rematch

6. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Crawford accepted the Best Actress Award for Anne Bancroft.

7. Sourav Ganguly’s shirt waving at Lords, in response to similar celebrations by Andrew Flintoff in India

8. Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers, who have been clashing in the Scottish League since 1887

9. Isaac Newton; contemporary historians believe they arrived at their conclusions separately

10. Baiju Bawra and Tansen

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on February 24, 2017
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