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The Unpublished Games of Nigel Short

by Shahid Ahmed - 31/03/2020

Before the era of digital board and computers, the only way to keep a game safe was to save the physical score sheet. While most of the games are available on Mega Database, there are a few games of strong players which are not published anywhere. Some of the games of Nigel Short were discovered by the man himself. We decided to compile all games of former World Championship finalist and current FIDE vice President, which are unpublished in Mega Database along with a few photos of his score sheets and some of the literature he possessed all these years. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

'The missing games' of the British Legend

It goes without saying that we are all quite familiar with the 'Greatest British Chess Player of the 20th century' GM Nigel Short. For those who are unaware, let me tell you why the moniker of 'Greatest British Chess Player of the 20th century' seems apropos. He is the first British player to become a World Championship Candidate, the only Grandmaster to have won a tournament in six continents of the world. He has done everything there is to do, from being a Columnist to various leading newspapers, journals to a Commentator. His last role as a Commentator was in the Women's World Championship held in January this year.

Nigel Short at 19th BCC Open last year | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

This article is not about all the accomplishments of the legend, it is about the missing games, the unpublished games of his career.

13-year-old Nigel Short beat World Champion Tigran Petrosian in a Simultaneous Exhibition Match in 1978 | Photo: Ottawa Chess Club

Short has played and beaten a plethora of World Champions - Tigran Petrosian (Simul), Boris Spassky (Rapid), Vassily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov, Vladimir Kramnik, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Magnus Carlsen (Blitz) and more.

Short's short work

Here is a 17-move miniature by Short against B Kimber in 1975

He did not always have it easy

9-year old Short as a boy got thrashed by Michael Conroy in just 23 moves.

Sharpshooter Short

18-year old Short showed his sharpness in a Merseyside vs Lancashire match against John Carleton.

Carleton - Short, 1983

Position after 17.Qxf7

Find out how black finished off the game after 17.Qxf7

In 1986, Short had a pretty finish against G Pieterse

Pieterse - Short, Lugano Open 1986

Position after 38.Ndc4

Can you find the pretty finish for black here after 38.Ndc4 ?

Against N Smith at Manchester Open, Short invaded his opponent's territory and finished the game with a simple tactical shot.

Short - Smith

Find out the finish after 32...Nc8

The lore with the legends

Bronstein signed his 200 Open Games to Nigel Short in 1976 | Photo: Nigel Short

Nigel Short has not only faced a multitude of World Champions but he has also faced various legends of the game. In 1983, the former British no.1 faced Pia Cramling who became World no.1 in January 1984 FIDE Rating list. Pia Cramling is the only other GM apart from Judit Polgar who has never competed for the Women's World Championship. The unpublished encounter between Short and Cramling ended up in a draw.

If you have ever made a quick draw with someone, then don't regret it, well unless it's against John Nunn - then you will always look back at it as a good memory.

It is quite surprising that a game against Samuel Reshevsky went under the radar for all these years. Reshevsky has played against Akiba Rubinstein, Bobby Fischer, Emmanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, Miguel Najdorf, Mikhail Botvinnik, Tigran Petrosian and Vlastimil Hort among the legendary players.

The scoresheet of Short vs Reshevsky game from 10th Lugano Open in 1985 | Photo: Nigel Short

15-year old Short faced the legendary Viktor Korchnoi in 1980 | Photo: Nigel Short

Pawn Power

The Power of Pawns by Jorg Hickl is quite a popular book in chess literature. Short showcased the power of pawns against R Erikson in CUCA Open 2011 at Luanda, Angola.

Viktor Korchnoi on Short beating him in a simultaneous match | Photo: Nigel Short

Exchange Sacrifice and Exploiting Color Weakness

Short has a versatile style. He can play very sharp or take sound positional decisions if and when required. Here is a game between Oliver Jackson and Nigel Short from an unknown tournament and timeline.

Jackson - Short

Find out how black should continue after 20.Bd6

Queen trap

It is always fun to trap your opponent's queen. Here are a couple of unpublished games where Short managed to trap his opponent's queen.

King Hunt

We all love a good king hunt, chasing our opponent's king from one side to the another never seems to cease to amuse us.

Endgame Magic

Short is quite enterprising in the endgame too. Here is a game against Keith Arkell in ARC Masters 1983.

Photo Gallery

A couple of scoresheets from the bygone era | Photo: Nigel Short

Books on 1993 World Championship Match between Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short | Photo: Nigel Short

Books on Short | Photo: Nigel Short

Edward Winter, the historian sent Nigel these five books | Photo: Nigel Short

Replay Short's all unpublished games


Nigel Short on twitter

Nigel Short on facebook

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