Efimenko-Short match starts today

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Efimenko-ShortNigel Short, England, former world championship contender, currently rated 2706, the world's number 29. Zahar Efimenko, Ukraine, second of Pavel Eljanov, rated 2654, the world's number 83. The two play a six-game match in Mukachevo (Ukraine), which starts today.

Last year Nigel Short played a 12-game rapid match against Sergei Karjakin and this year he takes on Zahar Efimenko in a classical format match of 6 games. The location is the West-Ukrainian town of Mukachevo; the rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting with the first move. Besides the main event, an Open tournament with 30 participants started on Saturday in the Mukachevo Chess Club. The rating favourite of the Open is Yaroslav Zherebukh, a young grandmaster from Lviv.

The organization is in the hands of Universal Event Promotions, who were responsible for the Anand-Kramnik World Championship match in Bonn last year. The same organisation made a bid for the 2010 Candidates event but later withdrew, failing to reach an agreement with FIDE. Back then UEP President Joseph Resch promised to continue organizing chess events, and after the Ivanchuk-Leko rapid match in January this year we already have a new match this week.

The UEP press release goes like this:

UEP logoThe 44-year-old Nigel Short belongs to the greatest of his craft. He caused a stir with numerous successes in his early years and was considered a prodigy. In the World Junior Championship 1980 he won the silver medal behind Garry Kasparov and very soon he became a chess grandmaster at the age of 19, the youngest in the world at that time.

After winning several tournaments and his victory against Jan Timman in the Candidates final 1993 he got the opportunity to fight for the highest chess crown. In the match against Garry Kasparov, which took place detached from the World Chess Federation under the aegis of the Professional Chess Association (PCA) and can be considered as the climax in his career, he lost against the mighty Russian 12,5 – 7,5.

Although Short temporarily disappeared from the scene after this defeat he still plays at the highest level to this day and is always a most welcome guest especially because of his dynamic and aggressive play. His current Elo is 2706 whereby he captures the 29th rank in the world.

The 24-year-old Zahar Efimenko belongs to a group of young and talented Ukrainian players. As a youngster, his biggest success was a victory in the World Junior Chess Championship U-14 in Oropesa del Mar. In spite of some strong rivals he plays in the national team and won the Ukrainian championship in 2006. In Germany he is known for his engagement with the Bundesliga team of Werder Bremen. The young Ukrainian, like Short, is known for his constant search for the initiative and for the fact that he has no fear of big names. He is supported by the president of the Universal Event Promotion, JosefResch, and lives in Mukachevo. His current Elo is 2654 whereby he captures the 83rd rank in the world.

The match between Short and Efimenko promises six high class and exciting games with a totally open result. You can follow the games at the official website of Universal Event Promotion. Will experience prevail against youth in this case? All the games will be covered live and commented on by the experienced Grandmasters Mikhail Golubev and Klaus Bischoff.


Yesterday the opening ceremony was held in the Transcarpathian Regional State Theatre of Russian Drama in Mukachevo. The ceremony was led by the President of the Universal Event Promotion, Josef Resch and the Mayor of Mukachevo, Zoltan Lengyel. A singer from Moldova, Liliya Sholomey performed at the ceremony, as well as the local instrumental duo, Viktoria Almasi & Sergei Dobos.

The result of the drawing of lots was that Short will play with White in games 1, 3 and 5 and Efimenko will play with White in games 2, 4 and 6. Efimenko's trainer at the match is the experienced grandmaster Alexander Beliavsky. Nigel Short does not have an assistant in Mukachevo. The Arbiter of the match is Oleg Tovchyga.

Schedule



20.09.2009 Game 1 (Short-Efimenko) from 15:30 CET

21.09.2009 Game 2 (Efimenko-Short) from 16:30 CET

22.09.2009 Game 3 (Short-Efimenko) from 16:30 CET

23.09.2009 Free day

24.09.2009 Game 4 (Efimenko-Short) from 16:30 CET

25.09.2009 Game 5 (Short-Efimenko) from 16:30 CET

26.09.2009 Game 6 (Efimenko-Short) from 16:30 CET

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The drawing of lots last night



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Arbiter Oleg Tovchyga, Nigel Short and Joseph Resch



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Nigel Short and Joseph Resch watching Zahar Efimenko drawing his lot



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The mayor of Mukachevo, Zoltan Lengyel, in the audience



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A singer from Moldova performing: Liliya Sholomey



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Special stamps created for this match



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Mikhail Golubev gives Nigel Short a small 'globe of Ukraine', which has become an unofficial national souvenir



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