Tag Archives: Short

Short – Kasparov, Bishop’s Gambit

The blitz match between Gary Kasparov and Nigel Short produced some entertaining chess. Kasparov probably chose the Black openings he did (1.e4 e5 plus the Modern Defence) because he hasn’t been playing much lately and no doubt wanted to avoid things that are too topical.

Nigel Short’s response was to play some old fashioned lines that probably aren’t too well known by Kasparov. The Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4) was his choice in game 4 and then the Bishops Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4) in game 6. Nineteenth century stuff and probably a good choice against former Soviet players in general.

Here’s a nice video commentary on the 6th game by IM Andrew Martin:

Gruenfeld, Job And Family

In the Huffington Post Lubosh Kavalek has been describing how he taught Nigel Short to play the Gruenfeld Defence which then helped him beat Jon Speelman. But I feel duty bound to issue a warning lest anybody with a job and family think this could be their own dream defence.

It’s one of those openings that is such high maintenance that for an amateur (or even a professional with a life) it just doesn’t make sense. Kavalek mentions a two volume work by Boris Avrukh, weighing in at a mere 600 pages of tightly packed analysis, none of which does very much for one’s overall chess understanding. And who needs such a sharp opening anyway when some perfectly good systems are available in which the basics can be learned in an afternoon.

Where I agree is that it was a good idea for Short to play it against Speelman, but neither Short nor Kavalek came up with this idea. Short was in Hastings that year so on seeing this game he would have been well aware of Speelman’s troubles against the Gruenfeld:

The Master Game: Short – Byrne

Here’s Robert Byrne defending against a dangerous attack by his (then) young opponent. I love the bit when Robert Byrne says: “He would do that right in my time pressure. What a brat.”

This kind of thing often happens to the more mature Grandmaster…

The Master Game: Short – Miles

Here’s an early game from this great British rivalry in which Nigel Short breaks through using some classic pawn play. It’s interesting how players who started playing the French early on (Sergei Dolmatov is another one)  have a great understanding of these structures. They often play h2-h4-h5 before pushing forward with the f-pawn and this strategy was also covered by Hans Kmoch in his Pawn Power In Chess.

Here’s the second part of the game: