Nigel Short wins 7th Edmonton International

7/3/2012 – This ten-player round robin took place from June 27 to July 2nd at the Edmonton Chess Club in Alberta, Canada. It started with a shock: top seed Nigel Short lost his first game against Israeli GM GM Victor Mikhalevski, 200 points below him on the rating scale. However the British GM went on to win six games and draw two. Our report contains two challenge questions for our readers.

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The seventh edition of the Edmonton International Chess Festival is one of only two annual competitions in Western Canada that offers international norms opportunities. The competition took in the Edmonton Chess Club and consisted of round robin with ten players, including one celebrity, former world championship finalist Nigel Short.

Besides playing in the tournament GM Short also conducted an open-to-all lecture
at the ECC on the day before the tournament started

We challenge our readers to identify the game Nigel is discussing, and tell us how they
found it (hint: it's a game from 1990, and was between two world champion challengers)

The Short lecture was followed by a simul by US Women's Champion IM Irina Krush

Players of the main event: IM Leon Piasetski, GM Anton Kovalyov, FM Vladimir Pechenkin,
GM Nigel Short, IM Irina Krush, GM Victor Mikhalevski, NM Robert Gardner, IM Edward Porper

The first round started with a shocker: the top seed played a brave attacking game against a player almost 200 points his junior on the Elo scale, but missed the correct continuation and lost.

GM Victor Mikhalevski of Israel pondering his 22nd move against Nigel Short in round one

[Event "7th Edmonton International"] [Site "Edmonton CAN"] [Date "2012.06.27"] [Round "1"] [White "Mikhalevski, Victor"] [Black "Short, Nigel D"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2705"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2012.06.26"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 d6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nge2 f5 7. d3 Nf6 8. O-O O-O 9. Nd5 h6 10. Be3 Kh7 11. Rc1 g5 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. d4 Ng4 14. dxe5 Bxe5 15. b4 Bg6 16. Bd4 Qd7 17. Bxe5 Ncxe5 18. f4 c6 19. fxe5 Rxf1+ 20. Qxf1 cxd5 21. Nc3 Qg7 22. Qe2 Nxe5 23. Nxd5 Re8 24. Qf2 Ng4 25. Qxa7 h5 $2 ({After} 25... Qb2 26. Rf1 Kg8 {Black had good winning chances.}) 26. h3 Qb2 27. Rf1 Re2 28. Qxb7+ Kh6 29. Ne7 Rxg2+ 30. Qxg2 Qd4+ 31. Kh1 Ne3 32. Qf2 Qe4+ 33. Kg1 Qxe7 34. Re1 d5 35. Rxe3 Qxb4 36. cxd5 Qc5 37. Re6 1-0

After this disaster Nigel won his next four games, and then drew with white against the talented Ms Krush. After one more draw in round eight the top seed finished the tournament two points ahead of the field.

Actually, since the 3-1-0 soccer scoring system was employed, the final table shows him three points ahead of his nearest rival in the official standings:

Which brings us to our second challenge question: in how many different countries has
Nigel Short won a tournament (hint: the British GM is going after a Guinness record)

You can win a copy of Fritz 13 signed by Garry Kasparov if you correctly answer the two questions: which game is Nigel commenting, in how many different countries has he won a tournament (first, equal first, including weekends). Use the feedback button on the left of the page and make the subject of your message "Nigel Short quiz". If there are multiple correct solutions the winner will be determined by lots. Incidentally the answer to the second question was given to us by Garry, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of these things.

Photos by Vlad Rekhson/Ali Razzaq


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