Sunday, June 08, 2014


Fast forward to 1.43 if your Norwegian is no better than mine.

[Nigel Short index]


Jonathan B said...

The crease on that newspaper cutting looks familiar.

chesspresso said...

what a guy

Martin Smith said...

Could any of our Norwegian followers (if there are any) please give us the gist of the conversation among the panel before and after the Short extract, in so far as it comments on his dismal confession. Thanks.

Dewi said...

What's the Norwegian for "what a prick"?

Jon H said...

I have just seen the commentary on the day's play (round 7) at the "No Logo" Norway Chess Tournament. The commentators were the excellent, intelligent, calm and polite Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam and Nigel Short. Here I shall not dwell on Short's annoying mannerisms and stilted style (nor indeed his perceptive chess analysis). However, during the course of the round's commentary one gets an insight as to Short's true personality.

Firstly, there were Short's views on Fischer. All black and white in his mind - Short stated on several occasions that "Fischer was a complete nutter". (A complaint was received immediately about his choice of words and Short was forced into a reluctant "yup, yup, apologies").

Next, we were subjected to Short's opinion on stalemate. Verdict: the rule was totally wrong and old-fashioned ("we shouldn't be living in the past") and the stalemated player should be given a loss. Again, all black and white in Short's conceited mind. Short proudly boasted that he has even put this to the FIDE general assembly (I wonder if the ECF endorsed this position). Despite Short saying (only once) "I'm only joking of course, but..." one could tell that he really meant it. He seemed unaware of the many counter-arguments. A most farcical example was proffered by Short since the game Carlson - Grischuk had reached an ending where a king and rook's pawn against king could transpire. Short showed a variation ending in WK b6, WP a7, BK a8 and concluded that White should win since on the next move he could take the black king. Just reward for playing so well and reaching a position with a pawn up etc etc. Of course, Short forgot in his cloud of indignant hubris that the ending could easily have reached the position of WK a8, WP a7, BK c8. Then black would be the winner since he could take the white king on the next move. Just reward for managing to lose a pawn?

Finally and hilariously, we were subjected to an execrable David Brent moment. With no hint of irony Short appeared at the final stint of the commentary with his guitar. Poor Dirk Jan tried to keep a straight face but was clearly squirming as Short strummed his instrument. I suppose we should be grateful that Short didn't do some improvised dance moves too...

An insight into his pompous, opinionated and unpleasant little mind, then. The video clip in the blog post is shocking in its blase attempt to defend the indefensible, but is really just a reflection of his personality. Leopards, spots.

Anonymous said...

Jon H sums it up perfectly. Yesterday's commentary was especially excrutiating to watch even by the usual Short standards. There were several occasions where you could tell Dirk really wanted to tell him to shut up. I don't know why anyone would use him as a commentator.


Anonymous said...

The really strange thing about yesterday's commentary was the decision to finish for the day, just before the Giri-Karjakin game exploded into life. I would have thought the organisers would be livid that the web audience missed the most exciting finish to a game in the tournament so far.

Andrew B. said...

If stalemate were a loss, how would you ever get into the position WK a8, WP a7, BK c8, without a ridiculous blunder by White?

Anonymous said...

Well the position could arise of course.

Eg: WR a8, WP a7, WK b8; BK d7, BR h7 Black to play.

1...Rh8+ 2.Kb7 Rxa8 3.Kxa8 Kc8 stalemate.

Anyway it doesn't really matter. The whole idea of changing the stalemate rule is very silly.

Anonymous said...

If you change the stalemate rule, you have to rebuild all the endgame tablebases and reprogram all the chess engines.

You might also find that as a consequence, White had a serious advantage in the initial position say 60% to 65% as many of "the sacrifice a pawn to draw" ideas such as the Marshall would no longer work.

In any case, as the example shows, it can be the player seeking to win who gets stalemated, with stalemate being used as the method of forcing a draw.