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John Nunn
Number of games in database: 1,571
Years covered: 1963 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2597 (2581 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2630
Overall record: +597 -236 =677 (62.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      61 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (298) 
    B90 B33 B81 B89 B32
 French Defense (124) 
    C11 C19 C10 C16 C09
 Ruy Lopez (101) 
    C84 C92 C80 C73 C67
 Caro-Kann (77) 
    B12 B10 B17 B14 B15
 Sicilian Najdorf (61) 
    B90 B93 B97 B99 B96
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (53) 
    C84 C92 C93 C95 C90
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (241) 
    E97 E60 E92 E81 E84
 Sicilian (130) 
    B33 B40 B97 B92 B45
 Ruy Lopez (79) 
    C89 C84 C85 C68 C70
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (60) 
    C89 C84 C85 C86 C88
 Modern Benoni (46) 
    A65 A67 A77 A61 A62
 Sicilian Najdorf (42) 
    B97 B92 B90 B93 B95
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Beliavsky vs Nunn, 1985 0-1
   J Ost-Hansen vs Nunn, 1974 0-1
   Hsu Li Yang vs Nunn, 1992 0-1
   J Augustin vs Nunn, 1977 0-1
   Nunn vs Kiril D Georgiev, 1988 1-0
   Nunn vs Fedorowicz, 1991 1-0
   Nunn vs Sosonko, 1982 1-0
   Nunn vs G Anthony, 1981 1-0
   Nunn vs E Bhend, 1978 1-0
   R Reynolds vs Nunn, 1987 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Pan Pacific International (1995)
   Brussels World Cup (1988)
   London (1975)
   World Senior Teams +50 (2015)
   Toluca Interzonal (1982)
   Hastings 1977/78 (1977)
   Amsterdam (1995)
   Phillips & Drew Kings (1982)
   Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Nunn & Griffiths: Secrets of Grandmaster Play by pawn to QB4
   Skelleftea World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147
   Rotterdam World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1992/93 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1991 by suenteus po 147
   Toluca Interzonal 1982 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee 1983 by EmperorAtahualpa
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1990 by suenteus po 147

GAMES ANNOTATED BY NUNN: [what is this?]
   Short vs Miles, 1984
   Nunn vs Sadler, 1993
   J M Hodgson vs S Agdestein, 1986
   Najdorf vs Mecking, 1978
   Musaiev vs M Karmov, 1979

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FIDE player card for John Nunn

(born Apr-25-1955, 61 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Dr. John Denis Martin Nunn was born in London, England. Awarded the IM title in 1975 and the GM title in 1978 he has the distinction along with Ram Soffer and Andrew Jonathan Mestel of also holding both over the board and problem solving GM titles. He won the European Junior Championship in 1974-75, was British Champion in 1980 and was a triple gold medalist in the Thessaloniki Olympiad in 1984. In 2004 he won the World Problem Solving Championship. He won it again in 2007 and 2010. He is also a well respected chess author with a number of best selling works on endgames and the openings to his credit.

His doctorate awarded from Oxford University is in Mathematics, with a dissertation on finite H-spaces.

Wikipedia article: John Nunn

 page 1 of 63; games 1-25 of 1,571  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Keene vs Nunn 1-022 1963 Surrey Junior ChampsA04 Reti Opening
2. R Emerson vs Nunn  ½-½54 1969 Hammersmith OpenC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
3. Keene vs Nunn 1-028 1969 HammersmithA09 Reti Opening
4. Miles vs Nunn 1-020 1969 British U-18 chC55 Two Knights Defense
5. R O'Kelly vs Nunn 1-024 1970 Islington Junior AD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
6. Keene vs Nunn  1-047 1970 HammersmithA08 King's Indian Attack
7. Nunn vs R W L Moberly  ½-½52 1970 Islington Junior AC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
8. Nunn vs M Stean  0-123 1970 Islington Junior AB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
9. Nunn vs R Johannes 1-032 1970 Islington Junior AB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
10. R Bellin vs Nunn  ½-½23 1970 Islington Junior AC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
11. S Mariotti vs Nunn 1-020 1970 Islington Junior AC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
12. Nunn vs R R Smith 1-016 1970 Islington Junior AB10 Caro-Kann
13. Miles vs Nunn 0-149 1970 Islington Junior AC21 Center Game
14. Kurajica vs Nunn 0-121 1971 IslingtonC88 Ruy Lopez
15. Nunn vs Keene 0-122 1971 HammersmithB06 Robatsch
16. Nunn vs D Cox  0-119 1972 Norwich JuniorB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
17. O Moen vs Nunn  0-125 1972 Norwich U18A75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
18. S Ivarsson vs Nunn  1-056 1972 Norwich U18A00 Uncommon Opening
19. B Kernan vs Nunn 1-027 1972 Glorney CupA00 Uncommon Opening
20. S Bailloux vs Nunn  0-133 1972 Norwich U18C56 Two Knights
21. Nunn vs Tarjan 1-021 1972 NorwichB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. P Mack vs Nunn  0-146 1972 Norwich U18A28 English
23. Nunn vs T Rosenlund  ½-½31 1972 NorwichB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
24. Sax vs Nunn  1-025 1972 Norwich U18C57 Two Knights
25. Nunn vs A Pope 0-128 1972 Islington opB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
 page 1 of 63; games 1-25 of 1,571  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nunn wins | Nunn loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The only thing that should be played during a skittles game is skittles.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> Ah don't play Skittles-Ah eat 'em!!
Apr-09-14  Conrad93: The skittles rooms I go to usually have Skittles, so you can do both.
Apr-09-14  Conrad93: Yeah, and that Short game is pretty good.

For me it's the lead up to the march, and not the march itself that's impressive.

Apr-25-14  Marmot PFL: Evidently I share a birthday with a few notable players-

Bertram Claude Jenkines, Stefan Levitsky, Charles Jaffe, Max Lange, Gyorgy Schiffert, Ferruccio Castiglioni, Albert Sandrin, Egon Joppen, Grigory Grigorievich Krupsky, Robert Gary Cross, Antonas A Cesnauskas, Lisa Lane, Raymond Allen Weinstein, Sven-Goran Malmgren, <John Nunn>, Viktor Komliakov, Jayshree Khadilkar, Luis Galego, Petar Drenchev, Sergei Mihajlovskij, Hoang Thanh Trang, and Sinisa Saric!

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: <As far as I am aware, Short didn't take as many risks >

Full stop. Try playing over the Short vs. Kasparov match sometime and tell us that Short didn't take risks.

Nov-14-14  sonia91: Top seed and 3rd at World Senior Championship 2014 (50+ section), held in Katerini, Greece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Dr Nunn's most recent book is his Chess Course. It is based entirely on the games of that other mathematical/chess brainiac Emanuel Lasker. It shows how little Dr Lasker's star has faded!
Mar-27-15  The Rocket: I am surprised our great mathematican and problem solver didn't amount to more in chess. He was, after all, european junior champion. The truth is that though top level chess involves heavy calculations, it's not the only factor in determining the very best. Nunn did not evaluate positions well enough. Having gone through some of his more noteable games, I do find his style of play quite appealing. I wouldn't say it was out of the question thath he could have been a top 3 player under optimal conditions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: John Nunn interview on all and sundry (maths, chess, computers and Lasker...)
Apr-06-15  The Rocket: <whiteshark> Interesting. So Nunn actually rejects a meaningful connection between Chess and mathematics. I wonder then why the math prodigy was also world champion in <problem solving-chess championships> (coincidence?...).. If such problems were based on pattern recognition <only>, I doubt Nunn would be any better than your average 2600. You cannot excel at insane tactics, without advanced calculations.
Apr-06-15  zanzibar: From the interview <whiteshark> ref'ed:

<In fact Magnus Carlsen, the current World Champion, told me that he doesn’t actually have a chess set at home. He does everything on the computer screen.>

Apr-28-15  HeMateMe: Nunn turns 60! A blitz tourney at a fine club, w/birthday cake. I recognize three of the people here:


Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <whiteshark: John Nunn interview on all and sundry (maths, chess, computers and Lasker...)>

Highly recommended.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <The main line of the Yugoslav Attack has become just too vast for most players to study in depth, and anyone intending to venture into such tricky waters needs to have an intimate knowledge of all the hidden reefs> - John Nunn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congrats to John Nunn for his performance at the European (50+) Championship. He finished with 6.5/9, and sole 2nd place (as the 1st seed), finishing only behind 2nd seed Zurab Sturua (7.5/9), who placed 1st.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Surprising your opponent can be effective but there is a danger. Every player develops a "feel" for the positions resulting from his regular openings; memorizing the theory of a new opening is not the same as having a close familiarity with the resulting positions> - John Nunn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Chess is all about making decisions. Postponing a decision doesn't necessarily improve it> - John Nunn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Of all the personal qualities which are important at the board, determination is perhaps the most significant. Some players…see the gloom ahead of them, with only the distant prospect of at most half a point, and become despondent> - John Nunn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Chess is to a considerable extent about pattern recognition. The more patterns you have firmly fixed in your memory, the more effective you are likely to be at the chessboard. Nunn >

Excelling at the game certainly is, as is also true of poker, which goes a long way towards explaining why a number of strong chess players are adept at poker.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I always felt Nunn was one of those truly powerful and brilliant players that somehow came up short. I don't know if it was lack of nerve, but for some reason, when the issue(s) reached critical-mass, he just didn't come through. A real pity as I think he 'had-it' but just couldn't capitalize for some murky reason(s)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Nunn had an excellent career - in his prime he was one of the best players in the world.

On what basis did he "come up short"?

Because he did not achieve what Kasparov, Karpov, Korchnoi, Timman, Portisch did?

Not everyone can become World Champion - I doubt that Nunn sees his career as anything but a success.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <plang> Of course, Nunn is well established..."coming up short" is too harsh

But there are times when I'm perusing and wondering and I drift off and I think "Doggone it, Nunn was strong enough, what happened?"

And then I wake up, and my mind thinks about Nunn for awhile, then it drifts off to Tal or Super Nez


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Rocket: I am surprised our great mathematican and problem solver didn't amount to more in chess....>

Being a top ten player at one's peak is nothing to write home about, I suppose.

Twenty years on, we can return to this website and peruse the careers of certain players who are now--as Nunn was in the 1980s and 1990s--strong GMs, but not quite of world title calibre, same as Judit Polgar, someone who was clearly no more than a marginal top ten at her peak and would scarcely have attracted notice, but for one attribute.

Perhaps somewhat fewer quick draws would have improved Nunn's results: there were quite a number of them for a player of his experience and erudition, to wit:

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, John Nunn.
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