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Nigel Short vs Garry Kasparov
OHRA-A (1986), Brussels BEL, rd 4, Dec-??
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  1-0


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Given 14 times; par: 61 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-08-05  seeminor: 43.Ka3!!. a petrosian like move walking his king and killing of kasparovs counterplay
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I guess white can play 43. Nd4 winning, but Short's move is better. 43. Rd4 Rd1 or even worse, 43. Qc3 Rb1+ or definitely not the ways to go.
Aug-30-06  ToTheDeath: 38... Nf8 is the losing move. Instead 38... Kh7 is equal.

Kasparov called Short's win here a fluke, and it's easy to see why. Black stood better for most of the game.

Nov-13-06  seeminor: LOL, Kasparov calls all wins against him flukes. Short should argue that he merely defended like petrosian and Kasparov wasnt skillful enough to find the right moves. That would REALLY have wound him up!
Nov-13-06  Fisheremon: <ToTheDeath: 38... Nf8 is the losing move. Instead 38... Kh7 is equal.

Kasparov called Short's win here a fluke, and it's easy to see why. Black stood better for most of the game.> I found the following fluke for Black 39...Qd6 (instead of 39...Rh1+) 40. Rxa5 Kh7 41. a4 Ne6 42. Ra8 Nd8 43. Qxd8 Rh1+ 44. Kb2 Rb1+ 45. Kxb1 Qd1+ 46. Qxd1! stalemate

Dec-06-06  natto: <ToTheDeath: Kasparov called Short's win here a fluke, and it's easy to see why. Black stood better for most of the game.>

I disagree.

White's position is better for most of the game. Who has the initative for most of the game? White. Who has more space? Also white. Better king position, advanced k-side pawns that make black suffer, well-coordinated pieces (look at the knights vs the queen), centralized bishops, center control... all in white's favor.

After 15. Na4, white is calling the shots. There are two exceptions: 29. ... Rc3 and 35. ... Qd4 -- These are good moves from Black. Compare the king positions for the the late part of the game... Black's king is extremely unhappy. White's king is safe from black's Rook and Queen due to Short's excellent moves.

White was not without faults: 12. Rhe1, 25. Ba7, and 29. Nb2 are all kind of silly. However, the position is strong enough that these missteps aren't enough to equalize.

Even Kasparov gets outplayed sometimes. Perhaps I'm being hard on him because I like to root for the underdog...

Dec-08-07  JASAHA: I know this looks like a long shot but could not Kasparov draw this game. His King has no move.Sack eveything possible 44..PxP 45 NXp, QxP 46 KXQ Rh4+ etc. There is a way to avoid this!
Dec-08-07  JASAHA: 12 Rhe1 was a prepared move...Short says that 25 Ba7 was a blunder, He thought 32 Rc1 was a blunderish but it freed up his position.
Apr-08-08  piroflip: This game was shown on English T.V. with both players “thoughts” audible (dubbed on after the game of course). Nigel explained that this “crazy move” 12. Rhe1 was shown to him by John Nunn and was designed to stop Kasparov opening the centre. Nigel certainly thought that he was winning for almost all of the game but of course he was commenting post game.
Apr-08-08  piroflip: Every so often I dig out the video and watch this old game. It's worth it just to see K's face at the end. Sure he was a far better player than Nigel but he needed to learn how to lose with Grace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: This game was the first time Kasparov lost an official tournament game to someone younger than himself.
Jul-02-08  wanabe2000: <JASAHA> It was worth a "swindle" try with 46....axb+ 47.Nxb4 Qxb4+!48.Kxb4 Rh4+,however, it seems like 46....axb+ 47.Ka4 and black has no checks 1-0.
Aug-04-09  LIFE Master AJ: Several books ... like "The Chess Addict" ... consider this to be GM Nigel Short's best game. (See my web page,

Although, I will admit, I thnk their list is a little dated, Short has played many fine games since this one was played.

Feb-13-10  piroflip:
Feb-14-10  piroflip: Anybody want to watch this game?

Follow the above link to an ancient VHS recording of mine.

Mar-06-10  ToTheDeath: awesome piro, thanks!!
Aug-15-10  sevenseaman: Ungracious reaction from K. You lose some.
Nov-20-10  laskereshevsky: <...Kasparov called Short's win here a fluk...>

maybe the real reason of Kasparov's malevolence was another:

In every round the tournament refrigerator was filled of drinks and snacks for all the players, .

The Gazza's staff PRETENDED an exceptions of 12 bottle of tonic water and a certain quantity of Swiss chocolate only (!) at Garry's disposal...

Same rounds after this, Gazza moved for a break-snack during his game; "horrorly" realized that the last bar of chocolate vanished under his nose, a long and loud complain erupted by him....

A successive enquiry proved that a hungry Short devoured it...

A rueful Kaspa exclamed:


May-22-11  SMCB1997: 38.Nf8? Surely a blunder from Kasparov. Short said himself he was expecting something else. I think Garry completely lost his concentration after that move. Very nice play from Nigel though, he deserved that.
Jan-04-14  wordfunph: from the book The Brussels Encounter..

<Off the Board

A world champion is allowed by tournament organisers certain minor eccentricities denied to lessor mortals.

Before each round, the tournament refrigerator was checked for the mandatory 12 bottles of tonic water (Kasparov, Gary, for the use of) and a quantity of Swiss chocolate. In each case, a particular proprietory brand was specified.

Kasparov was sufficiently particular that, when his last bar of chocolate vanished from under his nose, he complained loud and long. On enquiry, it proved that a hungry Nigel Short had seen the chocolate en pris and devoured it en passant.

"Whatever next?" said the rueful Kasparov. "First he beats me, then he scoffs my chocolate".>


Oct-01-16  dinulipatti: Was this game played at a normal time limit?
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <dinulipatti: Was this game played at a normal time limit?>

What is normal?

Aug-07-17  Albion 1959: Not even Kasparov's box of tricks could get him out of this one. Not sure why GK played 38.Nf8? instead of Kh7, which to me was the obvious and reflex response. It is never good to willingly submit to a pin unless it is a forced move:

Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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