Nigel Short is an English Grandmaster born in 1965. He was a prodigy, defeating Korchnoi at the age of 10 at a simultan event. He tied for first in the British Championship when he was 14.
He defeated Anatoli Karpov and Jan Timman in the canidates to play Garry Kasparov for the 1993 World-championship, losing 12,5 to 7,5.
He is still active and his current Elo rating is still over 2700.
Jan Smeets is a Dutch Grandmaster born in 1985. He was an active player in his youth, started playing with 6 years when his father taught him how to play. After winning the Dutch under 14,16,20 age Championship (1998-2002), he was Dutch Champion in 2008 and 2010.
Before this game the two have played 5 times with Short winning 2 times with Black, 1 White win for Smeets and 2 draws.
The game was played in the last round of Corus when Magnus Carlsen already clinched first place.
In a wild Russian Defense, Short plays a rarely seen variation that leads to a romantic, sharp position. The game has a coffee-house character with many unsound sacrifices.
In a highly advantageous position for Smeets, he nevertheless agrees to draw.