Nigel Short simul on a tennis court

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Nigel Short simul on a tennis courtTwo talented juniors from Hendon Chess Club were the heroes of the evening as chess Grandmaster and World Championship candidate Nigel Short took on 47 players at the Middlesex University Real Tennis Club on 15th February. The play took place on the court itself, with spectators watching from the galleries.

By Adam Raoof

The unusual (probably unique) venue for a chess event drew favourable comments from all the participants and spectators. Thanks to the British Chess Educational Trust for a grant which enabled us to be in such a prestigious location.

Nigel Short simul on a tennis court

Before the start of the simul organizer Adam Raoof explains the rules to the children



Juniors Joseph Levene (b. December 1996) and Isaac Sanders (b. May 1998) both scored highly creditable draws, with Nigel beating all the other contenders. Petr Vachtfeidl from London's Metropolitan Chess Club was the first person to enter the event and the last to finish, and Nigel couldn't beat him in an opposite coloured bishop endgame. The player who travelled the furthest to play Nigel was certainly Newcastle's Zheming Zhang (Jesmond Junior Chess Club) the reigning British Under 8 and 9 Champion.

Nigel Short simul on a tennis court

And off we go! Nigel Short would play 47 games in total



There were two simultaneous displays, one for juniors (20 players) at 4.30pm and a mixed simul (20 players) at 8pm. Between displays Nigel gave a talk, and while he took a well-earned break International Master Lorin d’Costa went through the games for the audience.

The evening was organised by International Organiser and English Chess Federation Director Adam Raoof, who also works at Middlesex University, as part of Nigel’s 2011 UK tour. It was covered live on the internet by Tryfon Gavriel (‘kingscrusher’) on his blog.

Nigel Short simul on a tennis court

The simul seen from above



Photos by Robert Konieczny, more at OneGoodPhoto.



The three draws



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Thanks to Ged Eden and Matty from MURTC for the superb venue, and for looking after us all evening. Nigel’s Score final score was won 44, drew three, and two of those games were against juniors from Hendon Chess Club.
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