Where Did Nigel Get his Nickname?

‘If Gary is Gazza, Nigel is Nosher. Etymology? “Nigel Short” anagrams schoolboyishly into Nosher L. Git.’

Julian Barnes, ‘TDF: The World Chess Championship’
The New Yorker (December 1993)
reproduced in Letters from London 1990-1995
(Picador, 1995), p.269


Short had said there were too many grandmasters around and something should be done about it. Then as now it was a mixture of what he said and the way he said it that riled people. Hence the foul-mouthed and intolerant driver. ‘Acting Deputy Secretary, West Hampstead Minicap League’ refers to Short and Speelman being near-neighbours in West Hampstead and to Speelman’s recently beating Short in the Candidates. Short’s ‘cab number’ was of course his Elo. The piece was written by long-term Kingpin contributor Graham Hillyard, whose other credits include the well-known cover (Issue 15) lampooning Keene’s claim to have helped Miles at an Interzonal: ‘The First Violin of British Chess . . . Or Just a Second Fiddle?’

1 Comment

  1. Geoff Dennis says:

    I added Nosher’s nickname to his page on Wikipedia a few years but some humourless Yank editors accused me of trolling and deleted it. You can still see the discussion on the talk page. ‘Nosher’ does redirect to the pompous twerp tho.

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