No Handshake, No Game

20 January, 2008 (11:00) in Site News written by James Yates

Nigel Short recently won a Chess game by default after raising a formal complaint against his opponent Ivan Cheparinov, who had refused to shake his hand at the start of their tournament game. Short reportedly offered a “traditional” handshake to Cheparinov, who had arrived late, as he took his seat at the board. Cheparinov ignored it for whatever reason. So the next time he raised his head up Short again stuck out his hand, apparently unable to take the hint the first time. This time his opponent just shrugged and went back to studying the board. Short immediately raised a complaint to the tournament arbiter who, after consulting the FIDE website and listening to the persistant objections from Short, was forced to forfeit the win to Nigel.

GIVE. ME. A. BREAK. This is what Chess has been reduced to? Our nerdy elite would rather throw a tantrum about a handshake than play a game of Chess. After the commotion Cheparinov reportedly had even agreed to go ahead and shake hands with the giant 4-year-old but Short told reporters, “It was clearly a calculated insult” and restated that the offense had already been committed. Amazingly, instead of sending both of them to separate sides of the sofa he actually defaulted Cheparinov’s score to a loss.

Actual complaints, such as someone secretly using a computer for analysis or making some type of move error, I could understand. But to whine about a friggin’ handshake? Give Nigel a binky and let’s PLAY CHESS. If you came to nitpick over every conceivable rule instead of playing Chess go be an accountant (no offense to accountants btw). I propose a new rule concerning the handshake: the next time someone complains that their opponent isn’t playing by the rules by refusing to shake hands, immediately give them the prerequisite wedgie and ridicule they so rightly deserve.

Where is Garry Kasparov, and can we start a petition to bring him back?


Comment from Rich Hutnik
Time January 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I will say that action was likely the most exciting part of the chess match. Sure, it was arguably nitpicking. But at least it was newsworthy, and gives you something to get fired up about. It is something that, AT LEAST, people who don’t know chess can relate to.

Comment from James Yates
Time January 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm

As an update, after issuing a formal apology Cheparinov and Short did indeed meet to play out their game, with Short winning it. With a handshake even.

Here’s a quote from someone talking with Nigel after the incident the night before:

“The English grandmaster was still shaking as he sipped his glass of red wine. It was clear that the refusal by his opponent to accept his handshake had had a deeply disruptive effect on his emotional balance.”

Jeez. Grab your blankie and turn in for the night Nigel :)

Comment from Chess Analysis
Time February 7, 2008 at 8:25 am

Hey nice site you have. Anyways I just thought I’d chat about some new chess software I found lately. Its called Chess Analysis Pro 7000. Its very good in analyzing your chess games for blunders. It also track’s your chess ratings. I liked the little book that came with it too. Yes I’d recommend this item. Kasparov always analyzed his own games.

Comment from David
Time February 12, 2008 at 12:24 am

i believe he did the right thing. apparently he (Short) had made a comment or two sometime prior to the 2008 tournament that the Bulgarian camp did not like. so instead of being fair about freedom of expression etc., they decided to punish him in a calculated and disrespectful way. well done Nigel!! and the so called quote above regarding Nigel being emotionally shaken by it all cant be correct. check the interviews! Nigel is cool, calm, respectful and even humorous…..quite the British response we have come to respect and appreciate the world over. keep up the good work Nigel!!

Comment from Rich
Time July 12, 2010 at 8:22 am

It seems a desperate ploy to attempt to use bad manners as a chess weapon and it also probably indicated to Mr Short someone who is unsure of himself. I’m glad he eventually won. There is no substitute for good manners.

Comment from Paul
Time February 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Nonsense- there is a carnality in chess at all levels that is not welcome, and there are a group of players at the top who were continually directing this sort of behaviour at Short.