Are Simuls Bad For Chess?

In this fascinating video clip the legendary Victor Korchnoi wonders about Nigel Short’s play in London. I suspect that his criticism of Short’s 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 h6 may have something to do with Korchnoi’s long standing contempt for the pushing of rook’s pawns in the opening; he has also been highly critical of 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 for example. But then there’s his King’s Gambit against Luke McShane in which Short appeared to be poorly prepared.

Why did this happen? Well my personal theory is that Short’s recent simultaneous display tour of the UK may be partly responsible. The habit of playing against weaker players is dangerous for someone’s chess strength because you become accustomed to weaker replies coming back at you. But this is something that is better known to coaches than it is to players, no matter how strong.



Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: