Michael Adams

Official Website of GM Michael Adams

London Chess Classic

The London Classic switched formats again, one considerable upside was the new large open rapidplay event. Despite some uneven play and some lucky escapes I began with 5.5/6 but got confused about the round times and arrived late for my next rather tough assignment with Hikaru Nakamura, and didn’t put up much resistance. I also lost to Anish Giri after we were bizarrely paired together despite a large number of weaker players on that score group in the penultimate round.
The blitz to decide starting numbers was more successful, despite slipping back onto a minus score after winning my first three games, two victories over Anish Giri in the last double round left me confident I had secured an extra White game, but I was surprised to be declared winner on tiebreak. It also made me an overall rating winner as I picked up more points in this event than evaporated in the other 2 time limits.
The next day was the pro celebrity blitz, which gained a sprinkling of stardust due to the participation of Clive Woodward, the standard was quite high overall. I had been partnered with my friend Ali Mortazavi on paper one of the stronger pairs, unfortunately a pre game strategy meeting with Ali had a disastrous effect as a couple of key pawns went west before the game had really started, despite a bit of a comeback we were eliminated at the first hurdle.
The Classic itself began well with a win against Fabiano Caruana, but it was a bit fortunate and the next few rounds confirmed my slightly shaky form. Normally I would have looked for a solid game to finish, but I realized that a decisive result in my encounter with Anand could win the tournament if the other games were drawn, as in fact happened. I had a decent opening but Vishy handled the position much better and deservedly won the game and the tournament.

Michael Adams • July 2

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