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Nigel Short
Photo by Frederic Friedel.  
Number of games in database: 2,703
Years covered: 1974 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2678 (2709 rapid, 2617 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2712

Overall record: +903 -425 =987 (60.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 388 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (527) 
    B90 B23 B40 B33 B32
 Ruy Lopez (202) 
    C84 C92 C78 C86 C65
 French Defense (145) 
    C11 C18 C10 C19 C01
 Caro-Kann (108) 
    B12 B10 B17 B11 B18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (100) 
    C84 C92 C86 C90 C95
 Sicilian Najdorf (94) 
    B90 B92 B93 B97 B91
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (202) 
    C11 C05 C18 C03 C02
 Ruy Lopez (143) 
    C92 C76 C69 C77 C72
 Queen's Pawn Game (115) 
    E00 A40 D02 A46 A45
 Queen's Gambit Declined (97) 
    D37 D35 D36 D30 D31
 Nimzo Indian (90) 
    E34 E21 E20 E32 E41
 French Tarrasch (79) 
    C05 C03 C07 C09 C04
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Short vs Timman, 1991 1-0
   Short vs R J Miles, 1976 1-0
   Short vs Kasparov, 1993 1-0
   Short vs Kasparov, 1993 1/2-1/2
   Short vs Gelfand, 1991 1-0
   Short vs Kasparov, 1993 1-0
   Short vs I Cheparinov, 2008 1-0
   Short vs R Pogorelov, 2004 1-0
   Short vs J Ye, 2004 1-0
   M Gurevich vs Short, 1990 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Kasparov - Short World Championship Match (1993)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2012)
   Gibraltar Masters (2004)
   Edmonton International (2012)
   Bangkok Chess Club Open (2015)
   Commonwealth Championship (2008)
   11th BCC Thailand Open (2011)
   European Union Championships (2008)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2011)
   Commonwealth and South African Open (2011)
   World Senior Teams Championship (50+) (2017)
   Biel Interzonal (1985)
   Manila Interzonal (1990)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2013)
   New Zealand Open (2016)
   Xtracon Chess Open (2017)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Short! by amadeus
   Some S-upermen by fredthebear
   Biel Interzonal 1985 by suenteus po 147
   Brussels Blitz 1987 by KingG
   Would Like to Study these games by FLAWLESSWIN64
   Belfort World Cup 1988 by suenteus po 147
   Skelleftea World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147
   Rotterdam World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147

   🏆 British Knockout Championship
   McShane vs Short (Dec-03-17) 1/2-1/2
   Short vs McShane (Dec-03-17) 1/2-1/2
   McShane vs Short (Dec-03-17) 1/2-1/2
   McShane vs Short (Dec-03-17) 1-0
   Short vs McShane (Dec-02-17) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Nigel Short
Search Google for Nigel Short
FIDE player card for Nigel Short

(born Jun-01-1965, 52 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

IM (1979); GM (1984); British Champion (1984, 1987, 1998); English Champion (1991); European Union Champion (2001); Commonwealth Champion (2006 & 2008); Candidate (1985, 1988, 1991, 1994 (PCA)); World Championship Challenger (PCA) (1993).


Nigel David Short was born in Leigh in Lancashire, the second son of Jean and David Short. A bona fide chess prodigy, Short defeated Viktor Korchnoi in a simul at the age of 10 and was the youngest ever qualifier for the British Championships at the age of 11. When he earned his International Master title at the age of 14, he was at that time the youngest ever to earn that title. When he won the Grandmaster title at the age of 19, he was the youngest GM in the world at the time. He subsequently rose to dominate English chess in the 80s and 90s following in the wake of Anthony Miles, culminating in a challenge for the World Championship in 1993.


<Youth> Short was =1st in the World U16 Youth Championship held in Belfort in 1979.

<Junior> He participated in four World Junior Championships from 1980 to 1983. He achieved his best result during his first attempt in which he placed second to Garry Kasparov in 1980 at Dortmund.

<National> In 1977 he became the youngest ever participant in the British Chess Championship by qualifying three days before his twelfth birthday. When Nigel was 14, he tied for 1st place in the British Championship of 1979 with John Nunn and Robert Bellin, earning his first IM norm. Short won the British Chess Championship in 1984, 1987, and 1998, and the English Championship in 1991. He came =1st in the British Championships (2011) at the age of 46, but lost the tie breaker to Michael Adams.

<Commonwealth and Continental> He won the Commonwealth Championships in 2004 (7.5/9) and 2006 (9/10), the Commonwealth Championship (2008) (9.5/11) and came =1st in the Commonwealth and South African Open (2011) (7.5/9). He scored 7.5/13 in the 2nd European Individual Championship held in Ohrid in the FYROM in 2001, won the European Union Individual Championships (2006) held in Liverpool with 7.5/10, and took a share of second place in the European Individual Championship (2008).

<World> Short qualified to play in the Biel Interzonal when he placed =1st alongside Jonathan Speelman in European Zonal 1A held in Brighton in December 1984. Subsequently, in July 1985, he placed =4th at the Biel Interzonal with 10.5/18 (+6 =9 -2), holding off John van der Wiel and Eugenio Torre in a play off for the fourth qualifying position to the Montpellier Candidates, thereby becoming Britain's first-ever candidate. Short did not win through to the semi-final Candidate Matches from the preliminary Candidates Tournament, scoring 7/15 to finish in equal tenth place, and exited the World Championship challenge at this stage. However, his participation in the Montpellier Candidates Tournament qualified Short to compete in the 1987 Subotica Interzonal in which he scored 10.5/16 to place equal first with Speelman and Gyula Sax. In the preliminary match held in Saint John in Canada in 1988, Short defeated Sax (+2=3), but then lost by 3.5-1.5 (−2=3) to Speelman in London later that year. This cycle was the last full undisputed FIDE controlled World Championship cycle until the Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006) Unification Match. During the next World Championship cycle, a last round victory over Mikhail Gurevich enabled Short to finish equal third with Viswanathan Anand, behind Vassily Ivanchuk and Boris Gelfand at the Manila Interzonal in July 1990, thereby qualifying as a Candidate for the third successive time.

In London in February 1991, he bested Speelman in the tiebreaker by 1.5-0.5 after drawing the preliminary best-of-8 match 4-4 (+2 =4 -2). He then proceeded to defeat Gelfand (+4=2–2) in the best-of-8 quarter final match played in Brussels in August 1991, and then overcame the former World Champion Anatoly Karpov by 6-4 (+4=4–2) in the best-of-10 semi-final match played in Linares in April 1992. In the best-of-14 match final held in San Lorenzo de El Escorial in January 1993, Short defeated Dutchman Jan Timman by 7.5-5.5 (+5=5–3) to earn the right to meet defending World Champion Garry Kasparov, who had successfully defended his crown three times against Karpov. According to Short and Kasparov, FIDE President Florencio Campomanes breached FIDE rules by deciding to stage the match in Manchester and to determine the prize fund without consulting them. Short and Kasparov responded by forming the Professional Chess Association (PCA) and the resulting match—sponsored by The Times newspaper—was held under the auspices of the PCA in London, from September to October 1993. Kasparov won by 12.5-7.5 (+6−1=13) in the best-of-24 match, the largest margin of victory in a world title contest since the Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Return Match (1961).

Short’s next attempt at the title remained under the auspices of the PCA. Qualifying directly for the PCA Candidates match by virtue of being the losing challenger in the match against Kasparov, Short tied 4-4 (+1 =6 -1) with Boris Gulko in the best-of-8 quarterfinal match held at the Trump Tower in New York City in July 1994, before winning 1.5-0.5 in the classically-timed tiebreaker. He then bowed out to Gata Kamsky 5.5-1.5 (+1 =1 -5) in the best-of-10 quarter final match held at the same venue. Rejoining the FIDE cycle, Short competed in its 1997 Knockout contest to determine the challenger to Karpov, the winner of the last FIDE cycle. He defeated Korchnoi 3.5-2.5 in round 2 (into which he had been directly seeded), Andrei Sokolov 2-0 in round 3, Alexander Beliavsky 3-1 in round 4 and Michal Krasenkow 2-0 in the quarter final before losing to Adams in the semi-final 4-3 in the sudden death tiebreaker. In the 1999 FIDE Knockout contest for the World Championship, Short, again seeded directly into round 2, beat Daniel Fridman 1.5-0.5, Beliavsky in round 3 by 1.5-0.5, before succumbing to Alexey Shirov by 1.5-0.5 in round 4. In the 2000 event, Short was unexpectedly beaten 3.5-2.5 in the tiebreaker of round 2, where he had been directly seeded, by Frenchmen Igor Alexandre Nataf. In the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001), Short was knocked out of the competition in round 1 when he was again unexpectedly defeated 1.5-0.5 by Argentinian GM Daniel Hugo Campora. In FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), Short defeated Yemeni IM Hameed Mansour Ali Kadhi 2-0 in round 1, but lost in the 2nd round to Krasenkow 1.5-0.5. Short did not contest the FIDE World Cup (2005) but participated in the World Chess Cup (2007) where he was defeated in the first round tiebreaker by David Baramidze, the last time Short contested the World Championship cycle.

Classical Tournaments

Short became the then youngest International Master in chess history, by scoring 8/15 in the Hastings Premier in 1979/80. He has finished outright first, or tied for first, in many international tournaments including Geneva (1979), the BBC Master Game (1981), Amsterdam OHRA (1982), Baku (1983), Esbjerg (1984), Wijk aan Zee (1986 and 1987), Reykjavík (1987), Amsterdam VSB (1988, 1991, 1992, and 1993), Hastings (1987/88 and 1988/89), Pärnu (1996), Groningen (1996), Tallinn/Pärnu (1998), Dhaka United Insurance (1999), Shymkent (1999), Pamplona (1999/2000), the Tan Chin Nam Cup in Beijing (2000), Sigeman and Co. Malmö (2002), Gibraltar (2003), Gibraltar Masters (2004), Hunguest Hotels Super Chess Tournament (2003), Samba Cup (2003), Skanderborg (2003), Taiyuan (2004), Politiken Cup (2006), Baku 2008, Bazna King's Tournament (2008), Sigeman & Co (2009), 11th BCC Thailand Open (2011), Thailand Open 2012 and Luanda (2011). In 2012, he came =1st with Women's World Champion Yifan Hou at Tradewise Gibraltar (2012) but won the blitz tiebreak match to take first prize. He then won the 12th Bangkok Open (2012) with a score of 8/9 and came equal 1st with Adams in the unrated Bunratty Masters (2012) however he lost to Adams in the tiebreak. Another good result was =2nd at Corus Group B (2009) after losing the last round game to Fabiano Caruana, who won the event by half a point. In July 2012, Short won the Edmonton International (2012) outright with 7/9 (+6 -1 =2).

In January 2013, Short again appeared on the leader board at Gibraltar, placing =1st with a score of 8/10 alongside with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Chanda Sandipan and Nikita Vitiugov at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013). This time the tiebreak was a knockout blitz contest between the four players, the Tradewise Gibraltar (Tiebreaks) (2013) Short eliminated Vachier-Lagrave 1.5-0.5, and then lost to Vitiugov in an epic 2-game mini match to become runner-up in the event. A few months later in April 2013, Short participated in the 13th Bangkok Chess Club Open, placing =8th (11th on tiebreak) with a score of 6.5/9 and shedding 12 ratings points. The following month in May 2013, Short came =1st (2nd on tiebreak behind Richard Rapport), with 4.5/7 at the category 15 21st Sigeman & Co (2013) in Sweden and then in June 2013 he won with 6/6 at the Tanzanian Open and came 2nd behind Lazaro Bruzon Batista in the 8th Edmonton International (2013). In July 2013, he won the Canadian Open with 7.5/9 and in October 2013 he placed =2nd (3rd on tiebreak) alongside Alexander Moiseenko at the Indonesian Open after defeating him in the final round, a point behind the outright winner, Alexey Dreev.

In October 2014, Short returned to form after a prolonged slump during which he briefly left the world's top 100. At the Isle of Man, he won the PokerStars IoM Masters (2014) with 7.5/9, a clear point ahead of a strong field that included runners-up Laurent Fressinet, Sergei Tiviakov, David Howell (whom he defeated in the final round to clinch first prize) and Gil Popilski as well as lower placed super-GMs such as countryman Adams and others such as world #13 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Armenian #2 Gabriel Sargissian. Short also returned to the world's top 100 in the November 2014 FIDE rating list. In November 2014, Short travelled to Burma to win the GM Zaw Win Lay Memorial International Open with 6.5/8. A few months later in April 2015, Short won the Bangkok Chess Club Open (2015) with 7.5/9, on tiebreak, ahead of co-leader Surya Shekhar Ganguly. In July 2015, he won the South African Open with 9/11, after the tiebreak placed him ahead of fellow co-leaders Aleksa Strikovic and Abhijit Kunte.

Team play

<Club tournaments> Short’s inaugural experience in the European Club Cup was in 1988, playing for SG Solingen (Germany) which came 4th that year. He again played for that club in 1990 and 1992 winning team gold and bronze respectively. He played top board for Peristeri Athens in 1996, and board 4 in 1999 for the silver-medal winning team Agrouniverzal Zemun (Yugoslavia) that also contained Anand, Kramnik and Gelfand. In 2004, he won individual and team silver playing on board 2 for ŠK Bosna Sarajevo and again played for that team in 2007, playing board 5. He has played a total of 37 games during this period of participation in the European Club Cup, scoring +12 =21 -4 for a winning percentage of 60.8%.

<Team championships> Short played top board for the England team in the First World U16 Team Chess Championship held in Viborg in 1979, winning individual gold and leading his team to victory to take team gold. The 14 year-old won six games and drew one, pulling a performance rating of 2632 while his FIDE rating was 2210. He then went on to participate in the European and World Team Championships. His first taste of playing in the European Team Championships came in 1983 when 18 year-old IM Short played board 7 in the event held in Plovdiv, winning individual silver while his team came fourth. He played board one in 1992, 1997 and 1999, winning team and individual bronze medals in 1992 during the Debrecen event, and an individual gold in 1997 in Pula. He again played for England in 2001, 2011 and 2013, playing second board in 2001 and 2011, and board 3 in 2013.

Still playing for England during the World Team Championships of 1985 (on board 4), 1989 (board 1) and 1997 (board 1), each of which were played in Lucerne in Switzerland, he won individual silver in 1989 and two team bronzes in 1985 and 1989.

Short scored 8/10 in the Howard Staunton Memorial (Scheveningen Match) (2009) played between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to help his team win the contest. He also won the Queens and Kings Match (2003) with his team mate Zhao Xue.

He also played top board for London in the World Cities Team Championship (2012) held in December 2012 in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Despite his personal tally of two wins and a draw, London failed to make the cut to the round of 16.

Short has also participated in the Spanish Teams Championship, the French Top 16 League, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Team Championships, the Attica team Championship in Greece, the Chinese Premier League, and in the 4 Nations Chess League held in the UK. In 2013 and 2014, he helped his team Guildford 1 win the 4NCL. He is again playing for Guildford 1 in 2015.

<Olympiads> Short has represented England at every Olympiad since 1984, winning individual gold in Dubai in 1986, three team silvers (Thessaloniki 1984, Dubai 1986 and Thessaloniki 1988) and a team bronze medal (Novi Sad 1990). In his first appearance at the Thessaloniki Olympiad in 1984, Short played 2nd reserve for the silver medal-winning England team. In 1986, he played board 3, winning individual gold and team silver. He played top board for his country from 1988 until 1996, and board 2 from 1998 until 2010. He played his 15th consecutive Olympiad in Istanbul at the Chess Olympiad (2012) in August-September 2012, scoring 7.5/10 and placing 5th on board 3 overall and lifting his rating back into the 2700 group. He also played board 3 for England at the Chess Olympiad (2014).


Short has enjoyed considerable success as a match player outside of the World Championship cycle, defeating US Champion Lev Alburt in Foxboro in 1985 by 7–1 (+6=2), Utut Adianto 4.5-1.5 (+3=3) in Jakarta in 1995, Etienne Bacrot in Albert in 2000 by 4-2 (+3=2–1), Hannes Stefansson in Reykjavík in 2002 by 4.5-1.5 (+4=1–1), Ehsan Ghaem Maghami in Tehran in 2003 by 4-2 (+2=4) and won by 3.5-2.5 (+2=3–1) in the Short - Efimenko Match (2009) held in Mukachevo in 2009. Short lost to Joel Benjamin by 2.5–1.5 at London 1983, drew with Eugenio Torre 3-3 (+1=4–1) in Manila 1988, drew with Timman (3–3) in an exhibition match at Hilversum in 1989 and drew with Anish Giri in Amsterdam in 2010 by 2-2 (+1 =2 -1). The younger generation prevailed in the Karjakin - Short Rapid match (2008) by 7.5-2.5 (Short: +2 -7 =1) played in Kiev. He narrowly lost the Kasparov - Short Blitz Match (2011) played in Belgium by 4.5-3.5 when he lost the final game. In 2012, he won the Short - Granda Match (2012) by 3.5-2.5 (+2 =2) in a rapid game exhibition match played in Lima, Peru.


Short took first place at the Estonian Pühajärve 13. kiirmaleturniir (13th Sacred Lake Rapid Chess Tournament) in November 2012, scoring 28.5/31, 4 points clear of 2nd placed 7 times Estonian Champion GM Kaido Kulaots. In November 2014, he placed 2nd at the BCC November 2014 Blitz behind FYROM's Riste Menkinoski. In December 2014 he placed =3rd at the London Chess Classic 2014 Super Rapidplay Open with 8/10.

Ratings and rankings

Nigel Short has been in the world's top 100 for most of his life. He entered the top 100 in January 1983, and after briefly exiting the list in July 1983, re-entered the top 100 in January 1984, remaining there until September 2014 and October 2014, before his second re-entry to the top 100 elite in November 2014. He was in the top ten for most of the period from July 1986 until January 1997. His peak ranking was 3rd behind Karpov and Kasparov from July 1988 to July 1989 inclusive. His highest rating numerically was 2712 in April 2004 (when he was ranked 15th in the world)*.

He is also the oldest player in the top 100.

Other achievements and activities

Short has written chess columns and book reviews for the British newspapers The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Spectator and The Guardian. He reported on the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005) in San Luis, Argentina, for the ChessBase website**. He began a new column "Short Stories" for New in Chess magazine in January 2011. He has coached Pentala Harikrishna, Sergey Karjakin, David Howell and Parimarjan Negi. He worked as national coach of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 2006–2007. His first assignment led to them unexpectedly capturing a team bronze medal at the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, in 2006. In the nine chess events at the Asian Indoor Games in Macau 2007, Iran took a silver and two bronze medals. He has also been on numerous webcasts, a guest commentator with, and a live commentator for the World Championship Candidates (2013). He is also a member of using his own name as his userid: User: Nigel Short. In recognition of his chess accomplishments, Short was appointed MBE (Member of the British Empire)*** in 1999. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the then Bolton Institute of Higher Education in 1993 and was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Bolton in 2010. In August 2005, he was unanimously elected Secretary General of the Commonwealth Chess Association. In June 2006 he became its President, until stepping down in January 2008. Finally, he has won tournaments in 29 different countries.****


He lives in Greece with his wife Rhea Argyro Karageorgiou and their two children.


World Championship Index: live rating:; Nigel Short Turns 40:; FIDE database:; The Encyclopedia of Team Chess:; * Historical ratings and rankings:; ** The first chessbase article is: with the other rounds reported by Short included round by round at the following link: *** MBE: Wikipedia article: Order of the British Empire ****

Wikipedia article: Nigel Short

Last updated: 2017-11-24 04:10:16

 page 1 of 109; games 1-25 of 2,703  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Short vs H Wright 1-0301974AthertonC30 King's Gambit Declined
2. Short vs I D Wells 1-0321975Morecambe jrD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
3. S J Hooker vs Short 0-1251975Enfield OpenC18 French, Winawer
4. Short vs J Cox 1-0211975LondonB07 Pirc
5. Short vs P Fenton 1-0401975SCCU Junior Championships U-14C78 Ruy Lopez
6. Short vs J Evans  1-0721975Staffordshire opB01 Scandinavian
7. Short vs B Kimber 1-0171975ENGC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
8. Portisch vs Short ½-½371975Simultaneous exhibitionB30 Sicilian
9. C Frostick vs Short  0-1161975SCCU Junior Championships U-14C18 French, Winawer
10. Miles vs Short 1-0381976Charlton OpenA44 Old Benoni Defense
11. Hambrook vs Short 0-1211976ENGC17 French, Winawer, Advance
12. Short vs Joel Benjamin 1-0441976London txB41 Sicilian, Kan
13. Short vs G Knapton 1-0151976Lancashire vs Durham County MatchC77 Ruy Lopez
14. Short vs J T Farrand 1-0221976ManchesterD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
15. Short vs Hartston 0-1191976BBC TV Master GameA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
16. Short vs M Macdonald-Ross 1-0271976Charlton OpenC12 French, McCutcheon
17. Short vs R J Miles 1-0251976LondonB07 Pirc
18. Korchnoi vs Short 0-1471976London smC05 French, Tarrasch
19. Short vs K James 1-0421976Dundrum International openB22 Sicilian, Alapin
20. Short vs A Sendur 1-0321977World Cadet ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
21. Compx Chess 46 vs Short 0-1111977London m/7C32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
22. Short vs A Ludgate  1-0371977NW Zonal play-offB06 Robatsch
23. Short vs M Fuller 1-0201977London, EnglandB30 Sicilian
24. Short vs N Littlewood 1-0221977ManchesterB06 Robatsch
25. D Lees vs Short  0-1211977BCF-chC17 French, Winawer, Advance
 page 1 of 109; games 1-25 of 2,703  PGN Download
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Greatest Hits Vol 1

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 349 OF 422 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-07-12  Shams: <GM Short> Which of your games from Gibraltar are you most pleased with?
Feb-07-12  Ezzy: <Nigel Short: Except that I lost to David Howell in January's 4NCL.>

Ah yes, The pawn chain game. Well you did hit back in style :-)

Feb-08-12  Paint My Dragon: Nigel, before I forget ... please volunteer for one of the Master Class presentations at Gibraltar next year. Sadly, this year's batch were all dull apart from Anna Zatonskih's.

And Stuart, if you're reading this, tell them just going through an old game isn't near good enough. We want dazzling trinkets culled from chess history and anecdotes aplenty. Okay, I ask a lot. Rant over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Octavia: Judith went on a lot in her masterclass about complicating things when her opponent was short of time. So I tried it & it worked : ) & she was talking about a Gib game, not <an old game>
Feb-10-12  Bratek: <The other revelation in NIC 2012/1 came from the ever-frank and outspoken Nigel Short. Discussing his recent results, notably the London Classic, and the general issue of aging, he candidly confesses that he finds it really difficult to face extremely strong opposition these days, and that “these anxieties produce in me a chronic paralysis of action…Whereas a young enthusiast would relish the opportunity to cross swords with the world elite, for me it is the exact opposite”.Never one to back down from confronting reality, he reveals that at the end of the last London Classic, “…I proposed to the director, Malcolm Pein, that perhaps he could invite me back in another capacity next year”. Thankfully, Malcolm is said to have “responded warmly” to this suggestion, and it looks as though next year, Nigel will be moving to the commentary box for the duration of the event. Those who have heard his immensely entertaining contributions to the commentary room over the past three years of the event will be delighted, although older hands, such as myself, cannot help feeling a tinge of regret at seeing one of England’s greatest players calling time on elite events. Anno domini, ’tis a cruel beast>http://stevegiddinschessblog.wordpr...
Feb-10-12  Ezzy: <Bratek:>

A few more performances like Gibralter, and I'm sure he'll be back as a player at the London Classic.

Feb-11-12  theagenbiteofinwit: With all due respect, Mr. Short your NIC colum was crap this month. Tradewise didn't consist of a "smattering of GM's and plenty of patzers," and you did just fine there. Maybe you don't do so well at London because of added pressure on the local players to be ambassadors for the realm, but you have proven that your skill hasn't faded with age.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: When a young player plays a bad tournament, nobody cares. When an aging player plays a bad tournament, everybody shouts "oh, that's age!". But that's just not true - it's becoming self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's like age and memory. Go into a primary school class afetr the classes and ask the teacher to show you everything the kids have forgotten in the class. You'll be amazed how much they forget. Not less than aged people. The difference between the two is that the primary school student doesn't keep complaining "Oh God, I'm only seven years old and my memory is so bad! I'm aging and it gets worse" :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Korchnoi's example shows that age-related decline, if the motivation is kept, is much slower than many assume. And don't tell me he is an exception - while he holds most (age-related) records, there were players who came close to those records. Playing for WC at 50? How about Geller winning Soviet chship at 57? Remaining top-100 at 70+? Well, Najdorf was top-100 at 74, Smyslov at 69. Both players in the upcoming WC match are over 40.
Feb-11-12  TiburcioTinio: But those were the times when chess were considered a game only for old men. Fischer later made it a respectable sport and attractive to the young. After that you don't see any old men winning strong tournaments anymore because of too many strong young players
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: At the <very> top chess is still fairly old. How many juniors are there in the top-10? None (one, turning 20 this year, in the live list). Chess was at its "oldest" in late 70s, but it was younger both before and after. Late 70s just saw some weird lack of a new generation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Also, you say "chess was viewed as a game of old men". That doesn't add up, since those "old men" started playing just as today's "young men", in the early childhood.
Feb-11-12  TiburcioTinio: But I just noticed that all the examples you gave like Geller, Smyslov, Najdorf, were great players before Fischer. How about NOW can you cite examples of old men like them still in respectable world rankings like they were then?
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <But I just noticed that all the examples you gave like Geller, Smyslov, Najdorf, were great players before Fischer.>

But they held on on (relative) top long after Fischer. Smyslov was in Candidates final in 1983, at the age of 62. Geller's triumph at the Soviet championship was in 1979 (at 54, not 57, there I messed up), 1980 he won Olympic gold with the team. Korchnoi himself is another post-Fischer occurence (last Candidate appearance: 1993, at 62. At 71 he still played in the FIDE KO championship). Excpetions? Depends how you define them. To me they are just players who didn't lose motivation, no matter the age and occasional bad results.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <At 71 he still played in the FIDE KO championship>

And it's not even a record: Smyslov played a FIDE KO at 76 (unlike Korchnoi at 71, he lost in the 1st round though), and played in a Candidate tournament at 64.

Feb-11-12  TiburcioTinio: Of course the strong young players didn't just sprout like mushrooms immediately after Fischer became world champ. After all, they still needed to learn the game, develop, play in tournaments. I'd say they needed about ten years after that. Then old players could no longer dominate like before. As Wesley So once said, competitive chess is now for the young.
Feb-11-12  TiburcioTinio: Before, old men with long beards can become world champs. After Fischer and the young took on the game seriously, no more. So in 1991 fide came up with world chess championship for old men
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: Best over-65 performance I can find in history is Korchnoi at Sarajevo 1998.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Anand and Gelfand are both over forty years old. Lets hear if for experience and dedication!

I suppose if Korchnoi could give a lucid interview, he would have something quite relavant to say on the subject. But, if asked, it would probably sound something like: "Chess is for DISCOVERING the right moves, not for loyal party boys like Karpov and wrong children like Grischuk!"

Maybe Vic is the Jack Nicholson of chess. And, thats not such a bad thing.

Feb-11-12  quantum.conscious: <alexmagnus:It's like age and memory. Go into a primary school class afetr the classes and ask the teacher to show you everything the kids have forgotten in the class. You'll be amazed how much they forget. Not less than aged people. The difference between the two is that the primary school student doesn't keep complaining "Oh God, I'm only seven years old and my memory is so bad! I'm aging and it gets worse" :D >

< alexmagnus: Korchnoi's example shows that age-related decline, if the motivation is kept, is much slower than many assume. And don't tell me he is an exception ... >

very interesting posts, <alexmagnus>

Feb-11-12  bronkenstein: <quantum.conscious> , in addition to somewhat abstract stories about the wonders of willpower , Korchnoi also eats <oatmeal> regularly.
Feb-11-12  quantum.conscious: <bronkenstein: <quantum.conscious> , in addition to somewhat abstract stories about the wonders of willpower , Korchnoi also eats <oatmeal> regularly.>

nutrition is important. however, the point <alexmagnus> seems to be making is that memory (and mental activites) in healthy adults are not affected by age ; psychology instead of biology affects.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <quantum> Not completely unaffected, but the decline is slow. Quick declines (like that of Karpov) are really psychological (in Karpov's case the "breaking point" being probably the 1999 FIDE KO he didn't take part in).
Feb-11-12  bronkenstein: Psychology matters OFC, just the example could be better. Tolya had health (physical that is) problems from his young age , and I am not talking his weak stamina or speculations on drugs being given to him during the 1984 match only . For example his (too) soft voice is consequence of the illness he had as a kid.

BTW speaking of fast declines , Khalifman also had(has?) some health issues it seems. He had to leave last year`s Russian Higher League suddenly for mysterious health reasons.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Octavia: I like the example of prim school kids!

~30 years ago I started collecting women's chess success stories. I cheerfully threw them out recently because its obvious that women can play.

Then I started collecting negative agist remarks but that was too distressing. Now it seems that we'll get the 'older' chess players to stand up for themselves & show the youngsters how to play : ) I'll be able to throw those remarks out soon.

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