Bunratty Masters Winner Short Beats Hort In Miniature
Short vs. Hort. Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni.

Bunratty Masters Winner Short Beats Hort In Miniature

| 46 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Nigel Short won the Bunratty Chess Festival's Masters, held over the weekend in Bunratty, Ireland. The English grandmaster finished in clear first place with 5/6 and scored a nice, quick victory against the 76-year-old Czech legend GM Vlastimil Hort.

The Bunratty weekender has a long tradition—this year it was held for the 27th time—and an excellent reputation. This author experienced for himself the splendid, friendly atmosphere there when he participated in the 25th-anniversary edition.

Short won the tournament for the third time, after his victories in 2016 and 2017. The tournament has attracted several top grandmasters in the past, who took first prizes, including Peter Svidler (twice!) and Wesley So.

Bunratty Castle Hotel
The Bunratty Castle Hotel, where the tournament takes place. Photo: Peter Doggers/

One game, in particular, attracted the attention: the round three clash between Short and Hort (and not just because of that jolly collision of surnames). For starters, it was surprisingly pleasant to see the grand maître of Czech chess participate in this small tournament, where liquid courage is as abundant as tactical wit.

Furthermore, Hort has decades of experience in this particular variation in the Ruy Lopez but still found himself lost as early as move 11. A series of tactical shots demonstrated that in the game.

Short's comment, as he posted the photo (taken by WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni) on Facebook: "130 years of experience faces off across the board in Bunratty, Ireland. Short-Hort turned out to be a triumph of youth, with the younger man delivering checkmate in just 20 moves."

Short won four and drew two games, with IM Elisabeth Paehtz and GM Simon Williams, but still ended half a point ahead of a group of four players, among them Paehtz.

A total of eight grandmasters played, seven international masters and six FIDE Masters among 52 participants, including the two former World Championship candidates, Short and Hort.

2020 Bunratty Masters | Final Standings (Top 10)

# Fed Name Rtg Pts
1 Short,Nigel D 2626 5.0/6
2 Paehtz,Elisabeth 2472 4.5/6
3 Fitzsimons,David 2328 4.5/6
4 Arkell,Keith C 2454 4.5/6
5 Bates,Richard A 2366 4.5/6
6 Williams,Simon K 2473 4.0/6
7 Astaneh Lopez,Alex 2441 4.0/6
8 Turner,Matthew J 2516 4.0/6
9 Lalic,Bogdan 2400 4.0/6
10 Brady,Stephen 2288 3.5/6

Selection of games

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Short had been absent for two years but he played in 2019.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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