Reports | January 12, 2008 18:13

[lang_nl]Short: "Eigenlijk heb ik ze gebeld"[/lang_nl][lang_en]Short: "Actually I contacted them"[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Voormalig uitdager van de wereldkampioen Nigel Short is ook weer van de partij in Wijk aan Zee, ondanks dat hij... niet was uitgenodigd! Wat bleek? Hij heeft zelf de organisatoren opgebeld, of hij mee kon doen in de B-groep. De organisatie was natuurlijk vereerd en zei vanzelfsprekend ja. Vanmorgen een interview met Short.[/lang_nl][lang_en]Former world champ challenger Nigel Short is back in Wijk aan Zee, despite the fact that... he wasn't invited! He actually contacted the organizers himself, who were delighted of course. This morning an interview with Short.[/lang_en]


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


wortwart's picture

It's always sad to see a chess player using his creativity to find explanations for his defeat - and even sader if he tries to make chess politics with that.

Samuel Burt's picture

Do you know any other sport that starts without your opponent? Why chess does?

Oscar's picture

Chess could be an exception, because the game can start even when not every player is present yet.

The argument "in any other sport" is not to my liking. Every sport is different. In some of them the players are competing at the same time (e.g. football), in others not (e.g. skiing). I wonder if it's true that you can't compete in any other sport when you are late. For example a marathon - if I arrive a few minutes late, I might still be allowed to compete.

Sometimes, if a football team is not complete (happens mostly at lower levels), the game starts anyway. Then it can be 11 against 10. The chess version would be 1 against none. I see no problems with that.

Mario's picture

It is a matter of respect to your opponent, the public and the organisers not to be late. In any other sport you lose when you are late. Why would chess be an exception?

arne's picture

Well, guys, it's exactly like Nigel said.. no matter if there's harm intended or not, or if it's Baramidze's blame or Nigel's stupidity - there *still* is an uncontrolled element in all this where Short feels intimidated by the circumstances. That is the whole point. It's not a question of blame, it's a question of describing what happened.
The fact that Short calls it 'biochemical' means exactly that: involuntarily. So, he doesn't blame his opponent, nor does he blame himself - he just draws our attention to this fact of the situation. It's an interesting fact (and I think also a very recognizable fact) however you think about the rest of the game or the result. I myself think people often underestimate such involuntarily psychological reactions, or ignore them as if they don't exist - or because they think they *shouldn't* exist as if humans are some kind of superheroes.
But they do, and it's not a way to avoid criticizing yourself, it's a way to describe what happened. Psychological pressure is real, especially at top events, and ever detail counts - even though all these top players of cousre are always telling themselves "just to play chess" (or boxing, or soccer, or athletics). There's always an element that you cannot control. That's not an excuse, just an explanation.

Graf Salm's picture

I fail to see how Baramidze could have had an advantage over Short. If Nigel was so offset by his opponent's sudden appearal and considered his advantage of knowing to expect a Bullet Game that significant...why didn't he wait 24 minutes himself before making the second move. Get his own adrenaline pumping, letting his opponent wait...

I think, the threshold for forfeiting a game on time should be decreased to about 5 minutes. While I don't agree with Short that his opponent had an advantage, it certainly fails to look professional and sportsmanlike.

Felix's picture

I think he's right. It's a well known strategy to come later to a game, your opponent will guess that you won't come or losing his energy since when the round is started you get a little bit adrenaline from your body and when you don't use that you get tired very quick... Anyway, if this shouldn't be allowed is a different story.

HetMes's picture

Quite true, arne... However, I think we can draw the line at active intimidation: actually harassing your opponent. Showing off your self perceived superiority by allowing your opponent a huge time advantage can/should be a part of chess; making derogatory remarks concerning someone's relatives, spouses, state of hygene can/should not. And we're way to the left of the scale here, I think

arne's picture

Actually, HetMes, intimidation is only allowed to certain extends. The question is, is this allowable intimidation or not. Your reply doesn't solve this question, it just raises it.

Bartleby's picture

What an excuse!
Maybe if he spends more time thinking about chess, and less worrying about biochemistry, he will be able to win some games again.

HetMes's picture

I think it's just a form of intimidation, and hence should be allowed. It adds an extra dimension to the game. And if you can't handle playing with 5 times the amount of time your opponent has, then the problem might not be on his side.

hairulov's picture

I strongly agree that whoever turn late for a game should be forfeited and maximum 15 minutes is reasonable waiting time.

arne's picture

Great interview. "There are bio-chemical reasons why my opponent would have had an advantage." How true!

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