On November 25th, Nigel Short was crowned the champion of the 12th Puhajarve Rapid amid the dramatic snowy landscapes of Estonia. This event is characterised by an interesting and different setup, whereby each player is given a handicap based on their ratings.
And Short’s ratings are considerably high. He is currently considered the 45th best player in the world, and, in his 40s, he is one of the oldest top-ranking players in chess. He is also an ardent chess theorist and commentator, always happy frankly to analyse his own games, as well as to write more abstractly about chess theory. Short is arguably best known for his use of the French Defence and the Ruy Lopez opening. His rich theoretical knowledge and his mastery of these two quite different openings certainly helped him in Puhajarve this ywar, where he won by four points.
This fantastic win at Puhajarve rounds off what has been a great year for Nigel Short. He won the 7th Bangkok Chess Club Open in April 2012, as well as beating the then Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan.
Short appears to have been taking it relatively easy since Puhajarve. He has appeared at the London Chess Classic in the last few days, in order to play some simultaneous displays. This was a fantastic event, with many players excited to be challenging the Grandmaster.
In fact, one might say that simultaneous displays are becoming more and more Short’s thing. He is also set to be giving some simultaneous exhibitions in Belfast on Tuesday February 26th 2013 at the Ulster Chess Union’s event. If you would like to challenge this Grandmaster as part of this event, the fee is £30 and only a small number of places are available, so make sure you get your ticket now!
As well as these simultaneous displays, Short also has a few relatively low key games set up for the next few months. For instance, chess fans may be interested to know that he will be playing at the 2013 Tradewise Masters in Gibraltar. This event runs from January 21 to January 31, and is going to be an exiting event, with distinguished players such as this year’s winner of the FIDE World Chess Championship Radoslaw Wojtaszek and French Gransmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also thrown into the mix.