Nigel Short had technically won the match the day before, but in the last game Hou Yifan–with nothing to play for except her honour– handed the English superstar his own head after a flashy and bloody finish.
Hou Yifan–Nigel Short
Not an especially good game, but the finish more than makes up for the mutual imprecisions. It is not clear why Nigel gave up his French Defence on this day, but it is difficult to criticize his choice as the opening variation that occurred here had seen Nigel play both sides at one time or other in his long career.
(Readers can follow the analysis below by clicking on any move and a diagram will appear. You can drag the diagram over to the sidebar, resize it, etc. Thanks to RPB plugin!)
What can one say? Some days one gives a lesson; on others one gets the lesson. In anycase, congrats to Nigel Short for showing classy sportsmanship!
I add the following two video interviews with both Short and Yifan, possibly the readers might be able to glean some extra insight into this match and how it developed. I was NOT aware of the controversy (was there a controversy?) about the last game and whether it would be rated or not. Why should anyone other than a dozen or so arbiters be aware of such a rule that might affect some 0.00000000001% of competitive chess players?
In anycase, Short is dead on: there is no question or discussion here. We live in a world of rule of law, and as such the rules (no matter how obscure they may be) must be respected. One may be forgiven for not knowing said rule, but one must demand accountability if an arbiter REFUSES to acknowlege an official rule or knowingly tries to let slide under the carpet (unseen) said situations…