Author: Michael Adams

September 29 / / News
September 11 / / News
September 11 / / Games

Canterbury seemed, to a rare participant, to be an above average venue for the British championships:  a nice town with a decent playing hall and reasonable accommodation available at the university.  The main drawbacks seemed to be the failure of the university to open any restaurants during the weekend, a move which cost them a lot of money as well as causing considerable inconvenience due to the lack of other options nearby.  Failing to keep the bar open on the last night as they had done on other occasions was probably also not financially astute.  During my longest stay on a campus my main problem was the extreme temperature in my room, until I managed to circumvent health and safety by acquiring the requisite Allen key to open the window more than a crack my room closely resembled a sauna.

Some of my games have already been annotated for the Telegraph, and others will appear in BCM and Chessbase but I will mention an interesting moment in my game with Richard Pert in the third round.

July 31 / / Games
July 20 / / News
June 20 / / Games

Lets return as promised to Open Tournament number 2, the European Individual Championship in Rijeka.  Here things defaulted back to my traditional open routine, as despite starting with 3.5/4 I was out of the money even before the last round began. This was a ridiculously strong event in relation to the prize fund, perhaps as several federation’s cover all the player’s expenses. The ECF doesn’t prioritize the event in the same way, so it isn’t a greatly appealing event for English players and this was the first time I had played. The event is one way to qualify for the World Cup but perhaps given the continually ‘evolving’ status of that event most players didn’t seem too interested in this preferring to throw the dice hoping for a big payday instead. In general the organisers did a decent job, but the bus transfers between the hotels and playing hall left a lot to be desired especially given the transfer fees they had received from the participants. The unseasonably cold weather with snow on some days didn’t add much to this aspect of the tournament either.

I did achieve one curiosity, my second round game reminded me of a game from the dim and distant past. John Emms achieved an impressively spectacular drop in computer evaluation (despite retaining a winning position) in his game with Fressinet back in the Istanbul Olympiad when he erred on his 30th move.

I was intrigued by this and was always on the lookout for similar “achievements”, but was unaware my second round game had thrown up a similar curiosity until I saw Mig mention it in his Blog.

In the game after some cooperative play from my opponent, I had managed to remedy a fairly dodgy opening and put the boot in on the kingside, strangely again it is the 30th move that sends the numbers tumbling like BP’s share price.

June 7 / / Games

I’ll post something about the European individual in Rijeka in a bit but will try and get a little more current with the Chicago Open. This was my first open event in the US since the New York Open in 1996.  Not much had changed, as just as in that event Loek van Wely won the tournament with 7.5/9 and I ended up in a tie for second with 7.
In the US you supply your own playing apparatus, which seems to confuse a lot of people, despite it being fairly unsubtly covered on the entry form with the phrase ‘bring your own set and board’. Another oddity is the ‘time delay’ time control, instead of adding time per move, the clock is ‘frozen’, in this case by 5 seconds per move, and only after this pause does your time begin to tick down again. It seems to be a sop to those who cannot manage their time properly when increments are not possible due to the tight playing schedule. At least that is the theory I think. In practise I did not get to experience this at all as my opponents were either equipmentally challenged or tardy (being punctual seems to almost guarantee using your own gear – see photo) or both and my aged DGT did not support this ground breaking innovation.  

June 7 / / News