Monday, 28 January 2008

Conflict During Chess Game

There is a popular video on Youtube showing Nigel Short, the chess grandmaster, trying to shake hands with Ivan Cheparinov before a game of chess. However, Cheparinov refused to shake hands with Short. Short spoke to the arbiter and claimed that refusal to shake hands with your opponent results in automatic forfeiture according to FIDE rules. FIDE is the highest authority in chess, the Vatican of the chess world. Short turned out to be correct and Cheparinov lost the game. In the next game the two played, Cheparinov offered to shake hands and Short accepted. He also formally apologized.

It is believed that Short and Cheparinov were not getting along because Short said derogatory things about Topalov and Bulgarian chess players in general. He was speaking about the controversial Kramnik versus Topalov World Championship game. I don't know what Short said exactly. Cheparinov, who is Bulgarian, must have taken offense.

The Kramnik-Topalov game was mired in controversy because Topalov believed Kramnik went to the bathroom too frequently. Allegations later surfaced that Kramnik was using a computer to aid his play when he took bathroom breaks. This childish bickering reminds me of the Fischer versus Spassky match.

I admire Nigel Short because, when I was a little boy, I read just about every single chess book available at the public library and schools libraries. One of my favorite books was his. I think—but I'm not sure—that the title of this book was Chess Basics. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the book. It was interesting to see some of Nigel's games. He often played the French Defense and he is known for his aggressive pawn storms. He is one of the best chess players in Britain.

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