Nigel Short vs his mobile: 0-1

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The European Union Championships have reached the third round and the biggest story so far was Grandmaster Nigel Short's loss against Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant when his phone made a sound during the round.

By Manuel Weeks

The European Chess Championships take place 9-18 September in the World Museum of Liverpool, Great Britain. There has been already plenty of interesting incidents and drama in the first two rounds, not to mention some very nice chess.

Michael Adams has been untroubled so far as he continues to fight his way back into the top ten players in the world, but it was the other big name in British Chess, or rather his mobile, who made the news so far.

It's probably the most unfortunate way to lose a game of chess, to have ones own mobile phone go off. To make matters worse you actually take it out from your jacket and place it upon the table believing it has been switched off only for it to make its distinctive sound hours later. A surprised Ketevan could only reply in disbelief, but I saw you turn it off!? Nigel accepted his loss and might be seen out shopping for an iPhone to replace his current model.

The game Nigel Short vs Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant...


..and a close-up of the same photo | ?Ǭ© Liverpool Chess International 2008



John Saunders, Editor-in-chief of British Chess Magazine and member of the organisation in Liverpool, wrote us:

The close-up clearly shows Nigel's mobile beside him on the table (on top of a book about Fidel Castro). He switched the phone off at the beginning of the game and was seen to do so by his opponent. It emitted the familiar Nokia ringtone at 4.29pm precisely (I was an 'ear-witness'). Nigel says this was a 'battery low' warning which must have overridden the switched-off status in some way. Warning to all chessplayers: if you have a new or sophisticated phone, maybe it is safest to take out the battery before play starts.


The tournament has an the strongest field for any Open event ever held in the United Kingdom and includes a strong Dutch contingent that includes Tiviakov, L'Ami, Smeets, Werle and many young promising IMs. In the second round the first Dutch versus Dutch pairing occurred when IM Wouter Spoelman faced Sergei Tiviakov (actually visible in the same picture above). The two battled hard till the game ultimately finished in a draw.

The two top French players are also here to show their wares. Former child prodigy Etienne Bacrot had a curious end to his game yesterday when his game finished in a draw after his opponent Scottish GM John Shaw claimed a draw due to the 50 move rule of no capture or pawn move occurring. I must admit I have never seen this occur in a game before. The French player had been applying pressure throughout the whole game but could not break down the Scots defences.

The current French child prodigy Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has shown that he will not only break into the world's elite but will stay there and make an impact. The quiet young man will be well over 2700 on the next list and has no plans to stop there.

German Champion Daniel Fridman has been enjoying a rich vein of form lately claiming the National championship as well as winning the strong open that was held in Liverpool last year alongside the UK versus China match. Daniel clearly enjoys himself in as the locals like to call it, "Old Blighty".

The grandmasters are certainly not having their own way with many draws and already a few losses by this elite group. And so already in round 3 we see many GM versus GM clashes and because of the wide disparity in ratings still existing, it promises to be a round of fighting chess.

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Michael Adams gives an interview just before the tournament starts


The tournament hall (boards 1-22) during the opening ceremony


Alexander Beliavsky - does he even have a mobile?


Keti Arakhamia-Grant - beating Short but not enjoying it too much probably


Etienne Bacrot, who recently won the French Ch in a rapidplay tiebreak against...


...top-GM-to-be Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


Yes, the current British Champion Stuart Conquest is present as well


Links:

"^Reports^^^1221174736^1314785601^manuel "Kosteniuk qualifies for World Ch Final - UPDATE: Hou Yifan too"^"By beating Pia Cramling 1.5-0-5, Alexandra Kosteniuk was the first player who qualified yesterday for the final of the Women World Championship in Nalchik, Russia. With a blunder in a good position Hou Yifan spoilt her one-point lead against Humpy Koneru - but today she won the playoff to qualify as well.

Seven years after Kosteniuk lost the world championship final to Zhu Chen in 2001, she's back on the highest podium. On her official website, her husband writes:


The last 6 months of intense training are paying out for Alexandra, who qualified today for the Final of the World Championship [...] It will be Alexandra's second try at the title, remember that in 2001 Alexandra went all the way to the Final but lost narrowly to China's Zhu Chen after tie-breaks. Now Alexandra has 7 years more experience and many new titles, European Champion 2004, GM (men) 2004, Russian Champion 2005, Chess960 World Champion 2006 & 2008, European Team Champion 2007.


14-year-old Hou Yifan should have qualified for the final as well, since she played another fine game with Black against Humpy Koneru and was much better at move 32, where she suddenly made a terrible blunder. It remains to be seen whether she can handle this blow and play at full strength against Koneru today. Update: yes, she could. After both Hou Yifan and Koneru won their White games (rapid), it was the Chinese super talent who won both blitz games. The games of this playoff can be found below the regular four games of the semi-finals:



Playoff games, played September 12:



Kosteniuk-Cramling



Koneru-Hou Yifan



Aleksandra Kosteniuk, the first to qualify for the final



Hou Yifan, the second to qualify



Photos ?Ǭ© FIDE



Links:

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