Mephisto Nigel Short
Mephisto Nigel Short  2  20 x 20 Mephisto Nigel Short  7  20 x 20
Mephisto Nigel Short  4  15 x 15
Mephisto Nigel Short  3  15 x 15

Due to the inability of FIDE to organise their final of the World Championship Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov solved the problem themselves by forming a rival organisation. So in London during September and October 1993 Short met Kasparov for the Professional Chess Association version of the World title.

Hoping to take advantage of a commercial opportunity Mephisto released the Nigel Short at the time of the match. Perhaps there was also a deal in the background consequent upon Hegener + Glaser’s earlier withdrawal of a million Swiss Franc prize fund for the first Western challenger to play for the World Championship, and the threat of a law suit the withdrawal provoked?

Anyway the chess computer briefly sold quite well in the UK, but the manner in which Kasparov crushed Short would not have helped longer term sales. Within 12 months the price fell from 269, to 229, and then down to 199.

In the UK there are probably quite a few Nigel Shorts bought in that first year. Because they are useful machines for good club players the owners may not have considered selling them on eBay, as more often happens with chess computers of less practical value. Outside of the UK Mephisto Nigel Shorts are hard to find at all. This is a chess computer which is rare, but how rare?

The Nigel Short is based on the Mephisto Milano. I do not know the exact hardware and software differences between the two. I have seen comments by the programmer Ed Schroeder to the effect that an updated program was probably the only chess playing difference between the two machines. On the latest Selective Search list the Nigel Short stands 19 Elo points above the Milano.

The one you see was bought from Eric Hallsworth in July 2006. It is a version 2.00 machine. To get the program version press Memory then Info.

Mephisto Nigel Short  8  15 x 15
Mephisto Nigel Short  5  20 x 20
Mephisto Nigel Short  9  20 x 20
Mephisto Nigel Short  6  20 x 20


Touch Sensory Tabletop


Ed Schroder

Elo Rating



65C02  8 bit   5 MHz


64 Kb ROM    8 Kb RAM

Opening Book

>20,000 ply

Book Choice


Mode Choice


Problem Solving

Mate in 8


9V  300mA  positive centre  (eg HGN 5001)     or  6 x AA batteries


34.0 x 26.0 x 3.2 cm


19.5 x 19.5 cm

King Height

5.0 cm

free counters