Isle of Man: Nigel Short wins brilliancy

by Johannes Fischer
10/8/2015 – Nigel Short, born 1. June 1965, is the oldest player in the World's top 100. And he is still tactically alert. Which he proved in round 5 of the Isle of Man PokerStars Open when he countered a dangerous piece sacrifice by Alon Greenfeld with a countersacrifice, which brought him a quick win. With 4.0/5 Short now shares the lead with ten other players.

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Douglas, the capitol of the Isle of Man

The new venue. The chess players moved into a bigger one. When
the open started the poker players still occupied the hall.

Sergey Movsesian

Sergey Tiviakov inspects the new surrounding

In round five Nigel Short played a brilliancy against Alon Greenfeld. On the black side of the Réti he came up with a novelty (4...f6) - after only four moves. Both sides continued to play aggressively, which soon led to complications. White sacrificed a piece to keep Black's king in the center and exploit Black's lack in development. But with 16...Bc5!! Short found a surprising rejoinder that threw White off balance. Though his position was objectively still promising Greenfeld failed to find the best continuation and lost quickly.




Pentala Harikrishna has the best tiebreak
and "officially" leads the field.

Laurent Fressinet is second on tiebreak.

Best women: Harika Dronavalli

Standings after five rounds:

Rank Name Score Fed.
1 GM Harikrishna, P. 4.0 IND
2 GM Fressinet, Laurent 4.0 FRA
3 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij 4.0 AZE
4 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 4.0 ARM
5 GM Short, Nigel D 4.0 ENG
6 GM Granda Zuniga, Julio E 4.0 PER
7 GM Movsesian, Sergei 4.0 ARM
8 GM Grandelius, Nils 4.0 SWE
9 GM Melkumyan, Hrant 4.0 ARM
10 GM Tiviakov, Sergei 4.0 NED
11 IM Zumsande, Martin 4.0 GER
12 GM Adams, Michael 3.5 ENG
13 GM Howell, David W L 3.5 ENG
14 GM Kuzubov, Yuriy 3.5 UKR
15 GM Sengupta, Deep 3.5 IND
16 GM Donchenko, Alexander 3.5 GER
17 IM Rambaldi, Francesco 3.5 ITA
18 GM Hillarp Persson, Tiger 3.5 SWE
19 GM Boruchovsky, Avital 3.5 ISR
20 GM Harika, Dronavalli 3.5 IND
21 GM Sundararajan, Kidambi 3.5 IND
22 IM Lampert, Jonas 3.5 GER
23 IM Swayams, Mishra 3.5 IND
24 IM Houska, Jovanka 3.5 ENG
25 IM Afek, Yochanan 3.5 ISR


Jan Timman





Sunset at the sea

Photos: Alina l'Ami



The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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th v s th v s 10/10/2015 11:29
Great game by the one and only Nigel Short. Comments based on computer analysis is not fair.

Pay some respect for the olive farmer. The gentle giant
PurpleUnicorns PurpleUnicorns 10/8/2015 10:21
The only player that really played brilliant moves in that game was white in my opinion...
gmwdim gmwdim 10/8/2015 10:07
Agree with John S. Just because a move confused the opponent causing him to blunder, doesn't make it brilliant. A bad move is a bad move, regardless of result.
snosko snosko 10/8/2015 08:36
16...Ac5? Botvinnik
16...Ac5?! Kasparov (remember 1993)
16...Ac5!? Malcolm Pein (british fellow)
16...Ac5! (Nigel enjoyed playing it)
16...Ac5!! (Mr Fischer, Johannes off course)
John S John S 10/8/2015 06:07
According to our oracles (computers much stronger than humans), Nigel's ...Bc5 is simply a bad move. It takes a position that is near equality (after for example ...Ra3) and turns it into one in which white is probably winning (after Bd5!, as you acknowledge). It hardly makes sense to reward such a move with two exclamation points. How about a question mark?