Friday, February 2, 2007

Super-GM Nigel Short confirmed for the 2007 Canadian Open

Super-Grandmaster Nigel Short has confirmed his participation in the 2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship, to be held in Ottawa from July 7 to 15 this year.

"I look forward to coming," said the amiable 41-year-old British chess legend. "I noticed in the wikipedia entry for Ottawa that there are even some cricket clubs in the city -- so it is obviously a very civilised place," Short joked.

Regarding the 2007 Canadian Open, Short was particularly pleased that International Arbiter Jonathan Berry has agreed to be the Tournament Director. "There is no one better qualified," Short said. "Plus Jonathan's a great guy."

Short's career is filled with countless milestones.

A former child prodigy, Short is the current Commonwealth Chess Champion. A noted chess writer, he has contributed erudite and entertaining columns and book reviews for the British newspapers The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Spectator, and The Guardian. He regards his best victory as his 1992 Candidates Match win over former world champion Anatoly Karpov. Subsequently, Short challenged Garry Kasparov in 1993 for the World Championship, but was unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the match with Kasparov cemented his fame with the public at large.

In the January 2007 FIDE rating list, Short is ranked number 23 in the world with an Elo rating of 2691. His rating topped 2700 in 2004, and in 1989, he was ranked third in the world. Short is a resident of Athens, Greece. His is married and has two children.

Short's Ottawa appearance will be his first visit to Canada in nearly 20 years.

In 1988, Short beat GM Gyula Sax in their Candidates Match in Saint John, New Brunswick. "Saint John was a happy experience. It was well-organized and I was successful," Short remembered. "It was also bloody cold - probably the factor that will deter me from ever emigrating (to Canada), although one should never say 'never.' My wife and I tried our hand at cross-country skiing, which was good fun, although we have not repeated it - Greek beaches being more our sort of thing." In 1982, Short played in the Quebec Open in Montreal. "I remember a riotous night out at a club where I attempted to join in singing passionate "free Quebec" songs with the throng," Short said. "'When in Rome,' as they say."

Short made clear that he holds Canada in high regard. "Incidentally, it is my earnest desire to see Canada host the Commonwealth Chess Championship in future," he said. "I cannot imagine a more appropriate venue than your fine country."

For more information on the 2007 Canadian Open in Ottawa, visit

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