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.
<Age> Short was =1st in the World U16 Youth Championship held in Belfort in 1979 and 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 Mikhail 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 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.
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.
<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 and 2011, playing second board on both occasions.
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, he helped his team Guildford win the 4NCL.
<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.
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.
Rating and ranking
<Classical> 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 to the present time. 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)*. Currently (May 2013) with a rating of 2681, Short is the UK's third ranked player behind Adams and Luke McShane, and number 64 in the world; he is also the oldest player in the top 100.
<Rapid> 2711 (world #31); and
<Blitz> 2678 (world #59).
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 chessgames.com, and a live commentator for the World Championship Candidates (2013). He is also a member of chessgames.com 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.****
Short has been embroiled in some controversies, some of which are detailed in the Wikipedia article about him linked below.
He is married to Rhea Argyro Karageorgiou, a drama-therapist, and they have two children: Kyveli Aliki (b. 7 July 1991) and Nicholas Darwin (b. 18 December 1998). He is currently residing in Greece.
World Championship Index: http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/wcc.... live rating: http://www.2700chess.com; ; Nigel Short Turns 40: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...; FIDE database: http://ratings.fide.com/hist.phtml?...; The Encyclopedia of Team Chess: http://www.olimpbase.org/; * Historical ratings and rankings: http://www.schachchronik.de/ranglis...; ** The first chessbase article is: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... with the other rounds reported by Short included round by round at the following link: http://www.chessbase.com/eventlist.... *** MBE: Wikipedia article: Order of the British Empire **** http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...
Wikipedia article: Nigel Short