Review of:  "Greatest Hits Volume 1" by Nigel Short

Review of: "Greatest Hits Volume 1" by Nigel Short

FM CharlieDroids
Jun 18, 2011, 5:58 AM |


Review:  "Greatest Hits Volume 1" by Nigel Short


Nigel Short is certainly a recognized figure in the chess community. He has  many times found himself in the headlines, and most importantly not only for his chess. The latest biggest dispute that made its self public was his encounter with Ivan Cheparinov in his match at Corus. you can see it here:

Apparently, as Nigel puts it in the DVD, Silvio Danailov, Cheparinov's agent had suggested not to shake his hand, and as you can see in the video Short summoned the tournament directors and Cheparinov was forfeited. Short talks in detail about the incident in the DVD and clearly states the rules behind Ivan being forfeited. He also mentions that a group of chess-players were in charge of a committee, one of the players being Vladimir Kramnik, and they were involved in the decision of turning over the forfeit and making Ivan apologize and later make the players  play the game the following morning.

If you are not a fan of Short's, here are some facts that everyone should know about, concerning this legendary figure:

  • regarded as the strongest English chess player of the 20th century
  • became (at the time) the youngestInternational Master in chess history, by scoring 8/15 in the Hastings Premier in 1979/80 and thus breaking Bobby Fischer's record of 1958
  • became a Grandmaster at age 19
  • ranked third in the world, from January 1988 – July 1989
  • overcame the legendary Russian Anatoly Karpov (+4=4–2) in a match
  • 1993, he challenged Garry Kasparov for the World Chess Championship


In his "Greatest Hits Volume 1" Short shares with the viewers 14 games, which he also charismatically nicknames for the viewers, more than likely, this is what they will be titled in his book. Here is the selection:

GM Nigel Short - Greatest Hits Vol.1

01: Short,N - Lein,A: "Hastings brilliancy"

02: Short,N - Timman,J: "Daring king march"

03: Short,N - Kasparov,G: "First victory over the champ"

04: Short,N - Ponomariov,R: "Wild, weird and previously unknown"

05: Short,N - Anand,V: "Last round triumph"

06: Short,N - Ljubojevic,L: "Ripping sacrifices"

07: Short,N - Karpov,A: "With a little help from my friend"

08: Short,N - Mchedlishvili,M: "Georgia's always on my mind"

09: Short,N - Cheparinov,I: "You've got to hand it to him"

10: Kramnik,V - Short,N: "Kremlin blues"

11: Topalov,V - Short,N: "Better than Garry?"

12: Mamedyarov,S - Short,N: "Short and sweet"

13: Short,N - Smyslov,V: "Endgame virtuouso"

14: Short,N - Akopian,V: "King's Gambiteer"


Personally, I always rate this type of content highly instructive, and what I mean by material is annotated games by the players themselves. If you do this long enough you notice that it is the easiest way to find yourself learning something new about the game and many times it can be in a very non-academic manner.

I rate this DVD highly, I had to watch it because it was Nigel Short. I think that Short's delivery is great, every game is on average 20 minutes long and you never feel like Short was in a rush, he genuinely wants to share his games with you.  Once again this is they type of material that the player owes to himself. From the games, I guess you can state that its rather odd that the collection would start with a game versus Anatoly Lein (GM), but if I recall correctly, Short states that its his first win versus a GM.  The opening from white, is memorable, and a line you will find curious: 1.e4 c6 2. Ne2!?.

Game 4, his game versus Ponomariov, you will not find in your databases, it was a training game helping Ponomariov prepare versus Kasparov. Incredible game, by far you get to experience and hear Short at his best, or in his element. If I could pinpoint what I think is most instructive from watching the collection ( for players 2200 and above) is Shorts understanding of materially imbalanced positions. When he is on the attack, or has an initiative to watch him verbally break down the positions, being a pawn down, a piece down etc is very instructive. You end up feeling like you have to go over his games and choose these instances when he is on the attack to draw from his talent.

Hopefully, we get to see more of Short on Chessbase. Great chess.

Nigel Short's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 - Chess Software DVD