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GM Nigel Short's visit postponed

Updated: Apr 18, 2023


GM Nigel Short
GM Nigel Short

On February 11th, GM Nigel Short, Vice-President of FIDE, the governing body of chess with over 190 members countries, offered to visit Belize at the end of March-early April as a part of his FIDE expansion tour with the intention of encouraging Belize to rejoin the international chess federation.



Nigel Short is a Grand Master and was ranked as high as 3rd in the world by FIDE from January 1988 to July 1989 and even sat down across the legendary Garry Kasparov in 1993 for the World Chess title, which Kasparov won.

GM Garry kasparov vs GM Nigel Short World title match
GM Garry kasparov vs GM Nigel Short World title match

Discussion between the BCF and GM Nigel Short followed with the hopes of making the visit a reality. A general meeting was held by the BCF with one of the focus being FIDE expansion tour as well as electing a new BCF board.


The original time frame for the visit of March-early April was postponed due to Mr. Short's involvement as a commenter for the 2020 FIDE Candidates tournament. The candidates tournament is an either-player double round-robin tournament set to decide who will be the challenger for GM Magnus Carlsen in the 2020 World Chess Championship.


Following the postponement, A new tentative date was set. The visit was now scheduled for May 7th to May 10th. His visit would include a meeting with the BCF board, A 20 board simul with top chess players in Belize and a short lecture on the game.


However, The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus lead to many uncertainties in the visit and, on March 15, the Government of Belize issued a press release which announced several updated travel restrictions effective immediately. An excerpt of the statement is as follows:


"Nationals and Persons who have traveled withing the last 30 days from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Europe will be prohibited entry into Belize"


As GM Nigel Short currently lives in Europe, he is now restricted from entering Belize for the foreseeable future. This put the final nail in the coffin for the original FIDE Expansion tour visit to Belize. We will continue discussions with Mr. Short and will wait until the pandemic dies down and travel restrictions have been lifted.


Government of Belize Press Release
Government of Belize Press Release




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