Aroshidze wins Banyoles, Nigel Short talks about chess

by ChessBase
9/6/2007 – It was Georgian GM Levan Aroshidze who took first prize at the Tenth Banyoles Chess Festival, which ended in late August. Top seed Nigel Short had to retire from the event after five rounds (having scored 4½ points) due to an acute back ailment. But not before he gave fans a highly entertaining two-hour lecture on his chess career. We have videos thereof.

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The Tenth Festival of Chess in Banyoles, which finished at the end of August, consisted of two tournaments. First there was a Rapid Chess (15'+5") tournament in memory Lluís Muratet, the founder of the International Tournament. The second was the International Tournament, with a number of grandmasters and, as a special celebrity, Nigel Short, easily the highest ranked participant.

Banyoles is a beautiful city in the North of Catalonia, between Barcelona (100 kms) and France (40 kms), and to some 50 kms to the Costa Brava. The venue was the four-star Hotel Mirallac, near the Lake of Banyoles. This is the largest lake in Catalonia and one of the largest on the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Banyoles was an Olympic centre for rowing during the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and hosted the World Rowing Championships in 2004.

The venue, Hotel Mirallac, right next to the lake

The famous Lake of Banyoles, venue for Olympic and World contests

Statistics of the participants

Titled players


Gender (Groups A and B)
Gr A
Gr B

Playing strength (both groups)
Rating No.  
2500-2599 4
2400-2499 10
2300-2399 14
2200-2299 13
2100-2199 28
2000-2099 31
1900-1999 28
1800-1899 25
1700-1799 27
-1700 24

Unfortunatel the star of the tournament, Nigel Short, had to leave after five rounds (from which he had scored 4.5 points), due to a severe back problem.

Suffering: Nigel Short in his game against FM Wojciech Przybylski of Poland

The five-way tie for first was resolved by a tie-break system using the Bucholz Medium, which counts the points of the opponents, excluding the worst and the best opponents. This gave the overall victory to GM Levan Aroshidze of Georgia, who scored 7.0/9 points. The same score produced the final GM norm for IM Gonzalez Renier.

The three winners: Viktor Moskalenko, Levan Aroshidze and Renier Gonzalez

Co-winner of the event, with 7.0/9: GM Mihail Marin, who will be commentating the World Championship in Mexico on our news pages

Final standings of the International Tournament

Rk. Nombre FED FIDE Pts.  TB1 
1 GM Aroshidze Levan GEO 2470 7.0 42.0
2 GM Moskalenko Viktor UKR 2560 7.0 40.0
3 IM Gonzalez Renier USA 2456 7.0 39.5
4 GM Marin Mihail ROM 2533 7.0 39.5
5 GM Gonzalez Garcia Jose MEX 2540 7.0 37.0
6 IM Sengupta Deep IND 2435 6.5 42.5
7 IM Fluvia Jordi ESP 2497 6.5 39.5
8 IM Feller Sebastien FRA 2476 6.5 39.5
9 GM Campos Moreno Javier B CHI 2482 6.5 37.5
10 FM Aloma Vidal Robert ESP 2341 6.5 37.0
11 IM Matnadze Ana GEO 2409 6.5 35.0
12 Gavilan Diaz Mario ESP 2269 6.5 32.5
13 Ashwin Jayaram IND 2399 6.0 39.5
14 IM Lapshun Yury USA 2479 6.0 36.0
15 IM Fluvia Poyatos Joan ESP 2480 6.0 35.5
16 Lillo Ferrer J M ESP 2191 6.0 31.0

The best woman player was Ana Matnadze, who received a 300 Euro prize. The B Group was won by the Italian player Andrea Dini, who led the field from start to finish. The Lluís Muratet Rapid Chess tournament was won by Viktor Moskalenko Viktor and Nigel Short, both of whom scored 8.0/9 points.

Video lecture by Nigel Short

Before the start of the event there were speeches by GMs Short, Moskalenko, Marin and Gonzalez Garcia. Nigel Short's lecture, which went to almost two hours and ended shortly before midnight, was the clearly the most entertaining. He spoke about his experiences in chess, from his early childhood day to his world championship match against Garry Kasparov. Fabrice Wantiez, a participant in the A group of the event, took some video footage of the talk. We present it to you in three section. Note that Nigel does not lisp – the audio bandwidth set for the video compression tends to cut off the certain "s" sounds.

"The chess world has changed a great deal over the years, and this has been mainly due to computers. Nowadays everybody has a laptop with Fritz or Rybka, and this is like having a very strong analyst at his disposal." Nigel also talks about his very earliest experiences with chess. [5 min 18 sec]

Nigel talks about following the Fischer-Spassky match at the age of seven, and how the first attempts of his family to get him in the local chess club failed because the secretary though he should be in bed when the club members convened. "Attitudes have changed," says Nigel. "Nowadays it is common to see very young players. You have these championships – world under ten, world under four, they'll be in the womb next. But at the time it was a game that was not very friendly towards younger players." [3 min 4 sec]

Nigel shows a game he played against Garry Kasparov in Brussels, achieving "for one brief moment in my career, a moment that did not last, a plus score against Kasparov." Nigel relates that he first met Garry Kasparov in 1977, "which gives you an idea that I am extremely old." [4 min 05 sec]


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