Prague: Nguyen wins match against Short

by André Schulz
10/14/2020 – Before the last day of his match against Nigel Short, the 18-year old Czech Grandmaster Dai Van Nguyen was trailing in the match, but a strong finish and two wins helped him to decide the match in his favour. The event was organised by the Prague Chess Society.

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Dai Van Nguyen vs Nigel Short

Dai Van Ngyuen is currently the greatest talent in the Czech Republic - he is only 18 years old but already a Grandmaster. Nigel Short, who in 1993 played for the World Championship against Garry Kasparov, now works for FIDE but still plays occasionally.

Pavel Matocha organised the match. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organisers to exclude spectators from the match.

In three days Dai Van Nguyen and Nigel Short played ten rapid games, and after day two Short led with 3½-2½.

Short and Nguyen

But on last day the 18-year old Czech equalised by winning the first game of the day.


56.Ra5+ Rb5 57.Rxa6? Regaining the pawn leads to a lost ending. White had to play 57.R5a4.

57...Rxa6 58.Rxa6 Rb3+ 59.Kf2 Kg4 Black captures all the pawns.

60.Rf6 Rf3+ 61.Ke2 Kxg3 62.Rxf7 Rxf4 63.Rg7 Rf6 0–1

In the following game, the eighth in the match, Nguyen scored his second win in a row and took the lead.


Black is fighting an uphill battle.

41...g5 White threatened 42.d5 exd5+ 43.Kd4! with an exchange of queens that favours White.

42.hxg5 b5+? The only chance was 42...f4! 43.gxf4 h4 44.Kd3 (44.Qb7+ Qd7 45.Dxd7+ Kxd7 leads to a probably equal tricky pawn ending with many finesses that only Karsten Müller will be able untangle.) 44...h3 45.Ke3 h2 46.f5 Qd5 47.f6+ Kd8 48.f7 Qxc6 49.f8Q+ Qe8 50.Qf6+ with a draw.

43.axb5 axb5+ 44.Kd3 Kf7 45.g6+ Kxg6 46.Qxe6+ Kg5 47.d5 Qf8 48.d6 Kg4 49.Qg6+ Kf3 50.d7 Kf2 51.Qb6+ 1–0

In the last two games of the match Short could not strike back, and both ended with a draw. In the end Dai Van Nguyen won the match 5½:4½. 

Final result



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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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