Tag Archives: Nigel Short

Nigel Short visits ACC

On Monday June 18, 2012, GM Nigel Short came to Annex Chess Club in Toronto to deliver a chess lecture and hold a 20-board simultaneous exhibition. His lecture featured one of his games from the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters tournament at the beginning of the year – which he won on tie-break over Hou Yifan.

Nigel Short’s chess lecture at ACC
(photo by Dave Bitton)

The game he chose for the lecture was from the tenth round of the Gibraltar tournament, where Nigel played a Benoni against India’s number two player, Krishnan Sasikiran. Asking the audience if anyone played the Benoni, he called those who did (including himself, apparently) “masochists.” When one of the audience also admitted to playing the Stonewall, Nigel said that was even worse. “The point of the Stonewall,” he quipped, “is to give yourself weaknesses at the start.” Its redeeming feature, however, is that “you know what they are.”

The same Stonewall logic – that playing a move you understand is more important than playing a move you know is “correct” – seemed to guide him in his own play against Sasikiran. With respect to his choice of 9…Nbd7 and 10…h6 in the game, he explained that he had asked Garry Kasparov why everyone plays 9…a6 in that position. “Garry said it was so you could put your queen on c7 without being disturbed by a knight on b5.” Nigel didn’t dispute the correctness of the move. “But I was thinking,” he continued, “why in the hell do I want my queen on c7?” The anecdote served as an opportunity to teach an important lesson: “You shouldn’t just follow what other people do. You’ve got to think for yourself.” And that is what he does in his lecture game. “I go my own way. It’s not that my understanding of the Benoni is correct, but at least I know what I’m trying to do.”

While it’s important to understand your own reasons for the moves you make, Nigel insists it’s equally important to be flexible and willing to change plans. “You have your basic ideas, but – in chess as in life – when the circumstances change you have to alter your plans.”

His lecture entertained a broad audience of beginners and experts, old and young. It was peppered with British humour, had a number of references to well-known figures in chess, and even contained several facetious evocations of the basic guidelines that every beginner learns – such as the point system of piece values (a queen is worth nine points, etc.). With reference to the classic question of the relative strength of bishops versus knights, for instance, he jokingly pointed out that “rooks are better than knights, especially in the ending.”

One of the most well-received pieces of wisdom he imparted was the emphasis on tactical play. “There is no such thing as a good strategic player who can’t play well tactically. You very often have to use tactics to achieve your strategic ends.” Later in the lecture, he put it more emphatically: “Games are decided by tactics, really. Cheap tricks. All this stuff about strategical play is rubbish. I may look like a quiet person, but… I always keep my eye open.”

Here is the game featured in his lecture:

After the lecture, the simul began. The following are the 20 players who tried their luck against Nigel. The final result, though, was 20-0.

1. Shabnam Abbarin
2. Jeff Back
3. Brett Campbell
4. Geordie Derraugh
5. Rowan James
6. Jim Mourgelas
7. Zehn Nasir
8. Razvan Preotu
9. Ian Prittie
10. Alejandro Renteria
11. Manuela Renteria
12. Rolando Renteria
13. Carlos Romero
14. Josep Sobrepere
15. Michael Song
16. George Supol
17. Michael Sutton
18. Daniel Wiebe
19. Marcus Wilker
20. Yuanchen Zhang

Some players may be embarrassed by their games (some of which ended after a dozen moves or so), but I’ll post here the ones I get. If you’re not too ashamed (and you shouldn’t feel bad – he is 2700 after all), please send your gamescore to info@annexchessclub.com.

Nigel Short simultaneous chess at ACC
(photo by Dave Bitton)

Play a Game Against a Grandmaster

GM Nigel Short at Annex Chess Club – June 18

Annex Chess Club is proud to present a chess lecture and simultaneous exhibition by English GM Nigel Short.

This January, Nigel won a very strong Tradewise Gibraltar Masters tournament, spoiling an otherwise fantastic tournament for Hou Yifan, who lost to him in a rapid tiebreak playoff.

In April, he won the 12th Bangkok Chess Club Open with 8/9, after which he re-joined the prestigious 2700+ club.

From May 11 to 12, he was in Moscow providing live commentary for the first two rounds of the World Championship match. (See this recent interview for some of his impressions of the match.)

And June 18, on his way to the 7th Edmonton Chess Festival, he is stopping in at Annex Chess Club.

Short Biography

Nigel Short (Elo 2705) is the most famous English grandmaster of recent times. He has had a long career among the world’s elite. At 19, he was the youngest grandmaster in the world; now in his late 40s (and currently ranked 40th in the world) he is the oldest player in the FIDE top 100.

He is especially known for his successes in the 1980s and 1990s when he won the British Championship several times, came first in a number of international tournaments, ranked third in the world by rating, and challenged Gary Kasparov for the World Championship.

Nigel in Toronto

We had a great time when Nigel visited us last September, and we are very pleased to have him return to Annex Chess Club this June 18. He will once again give a chess lecture and offer a simultaneous exhibition, playing up to 30 chess games at the same time.

His chess lectures are always entertaining, and the simul is a rare chance to play a game against such a legendary super-GM.



The simultaneous exhibition is limited to 30 players on a first-come, first-served basis

Register online today through Guestlist.

  • lecture and watch simul – $10 (free for ACC full-year members)
  • play a game against GM Nigel Short – $60 ($50 for ACC full-year members)

Hosting an awesome event? Guestlist makes event registration easy!

2011 Chess Classic in London, England

GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Nigel Short, during the opening press conference

3rd London Chess Classic – December 3 to 12, 2011

The charity, Chess in Schools and Communities, is running the 3rd London Chess Classic at Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, West London.

Starting this Saturday December 3, the London Classic pits American GM Hikaru Nakamura, English GM Nigel Short (who recently visited Toronto), and three more English grandmasters – Michael Adams, Luke McShane, and David Howell – against the world’s top four – Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, and Kramnik – in a round-robin, all-play-all tournament.

With an odd number of players, one player will assist with the live broadcast each round.

Along with “the Classic,” CSC has a huge variety of other chess events on tap: a FIDE open, two weekenders, a women’s invitational, rapid and blitz tournaments, simuls with Viktor Korchnoi, free coaching for children, classes for chess teachers, etc.

Through 6 rounds, Hikaru Nakamura is leading with 11 points (he’s 3-1-2).

Round 7 starts at 9:00 am EST on Saturday December 10 – Here are the pairings:

Nigel Short – Luke McShane
Vladimir Kramnik – David Howell
Levon Aronian – Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen – Michael Adams

Hikaru Nakamura bye, assisting the commentary

Round 6 (Fri Dec 7)

Get the .pgn gamefile

Michael Adams – Levon Aronian (½-½)
Viswanathan Anand – Vladimir Kramnik (½-½)
David Howell – Nigel Short (½-½)
Luke McShane – Hikaru Nakamura (½-½)

Round 5 (Thurs Dec 6)

Get the .pgn gamefile

Hikaru Nakamura – David Howell (1-0)
Nigel Short – Viswanathan Anand (0-1)
Vladimir Kramnik – Michael Adams (1-0)
Levon Aronian – Magnus Carlsen (½-½)

Round 4 (Tues Dec 6)

Get the .pgn gamefile

Magnus Carlsen – Vladimir Kramnik (½-½)
Michael Adams – Nigel Short (0-1)
Viswanathan Anand – Hikaru Nakamura (0-1)
David Howell – Luke McShane (0-1)

Round 3 (Mon Dec 5)

Get the .pgn gamefile

Levon Aronian – Nigel Short (1-0)
Magnus Carlsen – Hikaru Nakamura (1-0)
Michael Adams – Luke McShane (0-1)
Vishy Anand – David Howell (½-½)

Round 2 (Sun Dec 4)

Get the .pgn gamefile

David Howell – Michael Adams (½-½)
Luke McShane – Magnus Carlsen (½-½)
Hikaru Nakamura – Levon Aronian (1-0)
Nigel Short – Vladimir Kramnik (0-1)

Round 1 (Sat Dec 3)

Get the .pgn gamefile

Vladimir Kramnik – Hikaru Nakamura (½-½)
Levon Aronian – Luke McShane (½-½)
Magnus Carlsen – David Howell (1-0)
Michael Adams – Vishy Anand (½-½)

The round started with tennis star Boris Becker playing the ceremonial first move on Magnus Carlsen’s board:

Later, Mr. Becker played a game with GM Nigel Short:

Opening Ceremonies (Fri Dec 2)

The day before Round 1, there was a press conference followed by a game between the London Classic GMs and the Rest of the World. The GMs took turns playing Black’s moves, while White’s moves were decided democratically through Twitter (@londonclassic #lccvworld).

Here’s the game:

Kasparov beats Short in Belgium

Kasparov wins Your Next Move blitz match

This past Sunday October 9, eighteen years after their World Championship match, Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short faced off in a blitz match in Leuven, Belgium.

After three draws, Garry won games 4 and 5. Then Nigel won games 6 and 7. Tied 3½-3½ going into game 8, Garry took the game and won the match.

Kasparov 4½ – Short 3½

Check the photo essay on ChessBase.com.

Get the .pgn file from ChessBase.

View games

Nigel Short goes 28-1-3 at ACC

GM Nigel Short Lecture and Simultaneous Exhibition


In his lecture, an endgame lesson which was both helpful and entertaining, Nigel analysed a game played earlier this year between himself and Portuguese GM Antonio Fernandes in Luanda, Angola.

Needing only a half point, Black opened with the Petroff (Nigel has promised to ban it, if he is ever made FIDE president, or at least to require players “to pay a fine to their opponents for playing such boring stuff”). Black continued, through the middlegame, playing what Nigel described as “vacuum chess” (trying to “hoover up all the pieces” to reach a draw).

In the endgame, the focus of his presentation, Nigel showed how, as White, he pressed for extra space (“space, the final frontier”) and used subtle manoeuvres (and impressively deep analysis) to pull out the full point.

Here’s the game (with Nigel’s annotations):

White: Short,Nigel (2682)
Black: Fernandes,Antonio (2404)

2011.05.22 Cuca Open (6)

C42 Petroff

Simultaneous Exhibition

In the simul, Nigel played 32 games simultaneously. He won 28, drew 3, and lost only 1. But guess which game we’re going to focus on :) (Apparently, even grandmasters don’t always look out for queen checks.) Actually, many of Nigel’s wins were brutal crushes; he blew some of his opponents right off the board! We’ll try to show some of that destruction soon, to give a more balanced view of things.

White: GM Short, Nigel (2698)
Black: Lawless, David (2055)

2011.09.19 ACC Simultaneous (28)
Toronto, ON

C80 Ruy Lopez

ACC Simultaneous Exhibition Player List

# Name CFC# CFC Rating Result
1 Jeff Back 111052 2009 0
2 IA David Cohen 100234 1904 0
3 Joel Graham 152317 1799 0
4 Yuanchen Zhang 148449 1961 0
5 Lawrence Garcia 106367 1433 0
6 Jim Mourgelas 108540 1485 0
7 Derick Aghamalian 146782 1604 0
8 Hayk Oganesyan 152587 1332 0
9 Evnato Frias 152975 1125 0
10 Gerhard Gross 0
11 WCM Jiaxin Liu 149747 1502 0
12 Kevin Noble 0
13 Rhys Goldstein 110906 2005 0
14 Daniel Wiebe 132137 1996 0
15 Hugh Siddeley 120619 2024 0
16 Ken Kurkowski 104537 1601 0
17 Jean-Marc David 151900 1127 0
18 Daniel Zotkin 146857 1689 0
19 FM Brett Campbell 101324 2251 ½
20 Leif Becker 101244 2047 0
21 Rayleigh Becker 151788 1301 0
22 Stuart Brammall 145597 1959 0
23 Christopher Knox 136503 2048 0
24 Arkadiy Ugodnikov 146626 1842 0
25 Alejandro Renteria 152628 1434 ½
26 Daniel Aparicio 149967 2058 0
27 Kevin Gaffney 102701 1632 0
28 David Lawless 112068 2055 1
29 Zehn Nasir 148198 1841 ½
30 Manuela Renteria 152627 1750 0
31 Wajdy Shebetah 148432 2124 0
32 George Supol 152286 1404 0
# Name CFC# Rating Result

.pgn for games

[Event “Cuca Open”]
[Site “Luanda, Angola”]
[Date “2011.05.22”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Short, Nigel”]
[Black “Fernandes, Antonio”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C42”]
[Annotator “Nigel”]
[PlyCount “113”]
[SourceDate “2011.09.27”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.h3 Be7 7.c3 Nbd7 8.Bc2 0-0 9.d4 Re8 10.0-0 Nf8 11.Re1 Be6 12.Nbd2 c6 13.Nf1 N6d7 14.Bf4 d5 15.Qd2 Ng6 16.Bg3 Ndf8 17.Re2 Bd6 18.Rae1 f6 19.h4 Qc7 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.g3 Nh8 22.Ne3 Qd7 23.h5 Nf7 24.Nh4 Nh6 25.f3 Qc7 26.Kf2 Qf7 (26… Bf7 27.Nef5 Nxf5 28.Nxf5 Rxe2+ 29.Qxe2 Re8 30.Ne7+ Kh8 31.Bg6!! Nxg6 32.hxg6 Bg8 33.Qe3) 27.g4 Qc7 28.Neg2 Bd7 29.Qf4 Rxe2+ 30.Rxe2 Qxf4 31.Nxf4 Re8 32.Rxe8 Bxe8 33.Bd3 Bd7 34.c4 Ne6 35.Nxe6 Bxe6 36.c5 Nf7 37.b4 Bd7 38.a4 a6 39.Ke3 Nd8 40.Nf5 Bxf5 41.Bxf5 h6 42.Bc8 Kf7 43.Kf4 Ne6+ 44.Ke3 Nd8 45.Kf2 Ke7 46.Kg3 Kf7 47.Kh4 Ke7 48.f4 a5? (48… Kf7 49.g5 Ke7 (49… fxg5+ 50.fxg5 hxg5+ 51.Kxg5 Ke7 52.Kg6 Kf8 53.Kf5 Ke7 54.Ke5 Nf7+ 55.Kf4 Nd8 56.Kf5 Kf7 57.Ke5 Ke7 58.b5 axb5 59.axb5 Nf7+ 60.Kf5 Nd8 61.Bxb7 Nxb7 62.bxc6 Na5 63.c7 Kd7 64.Kg6 Nc6 65.Kxg7 Nxd4 66.Kf6+-) 50.Kg4 Ke8 51.gxh6 gxh6 52.Kf5 Kf7 53.a5 Kg7 54.Bxb7+-) 49.bxa5 Ne6 50.Bxb7 Kd7 51.a6 Kc7 52.Ba8 Nd8 53.a7 Nb7 54.Kg3 Kc8 55.a5 1-0

[Event “ACC Simultaneous”]
[Site “Toronto, Canada”]
[Date “2011.09.19”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Short, Nigel”]
[Black “Lawless, David”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C80”]
[WhiteElo “2698”]
[BlackElo “2055”]
[PlyCount “84”]
[SourceDate “2011.09.20”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. Re1 Bc5 10. Be3 O-O 11. c3 Qd7 12. Nbd2 Bxe3 13. Rxe3 Nc5 14. Nd4 Ne7
15. Bc2 Bg4 16. N2f3 Ng6 17. h3 Bxf3 18. Qxf3 Ne6 19. Rd1 c6 20. Nf5 Rae8 21.
h4 f6 22. exf6 Rxf6 23. Qg4 Ngf8 24. Rde1 Rg6 25. Qf3 Rf6 26. Qh3 Rd8 27. h5
Nf4 28. Qg4 N4e6 29. b4 Qf7 30. g3 Kh8 31. f4 Rd7 32. Nd4 Rd6 33. Nf3 Rh6 34.
Re5 Nd7 35. Rf5 Nf6 36. Ng5 Qa7+ 37. Kg2 Nxg4 38. Rxe6 Qb8 39. Re7 Rhf6 40.
Nf7+ Kg8 41. Nxd6 Qxd6 42. Re2 Re6 0-1