Posts Tagged Michael Adams

London Classic Revisited

After my debacle last year, I approached the London Chess Classic with a certain amount of trepidation, but after a good start winning a couple of decent games against Gawain Jones and Judit Polgar things went considerably better. However, I lost to Magnus Carlsen, where I made one of the least excusable errors in chess allowing my time to run very low in a pleasant position thinking the position was too safe to lose. As some players in the candidates have also found the 40 moves in 2 hours time control without increment means you have to handle your clock responsibly or pay the penalty. I then scored a rather fortunate victory versus Viswanathan Anand, but it was nice to beat the World Champion! I slipped up against Luke McShane in a lengthy struggle, generally well played by both players but I have highlighted a couple of key moments where we went wrong.

It is great to have such a special event in London and just as pleasing to see the evolution of the Chess in Schools Charity which supports the event, making massive strides with an ever increasing number of coaches and pupils involved. Malcolm Pein has also pulled off a great coup in securing additional funding of £689,000 from the Education Endowment Foundation.

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Bunratty Masters Champion!

To bring things up to date, and because for a change I won a chess tournament, I am writing about my most recent event and will wrap up the LCC, Baden-Baden, and Gibraltar soon. I garnered a lot of enjoyment and chess education in weekend tournaments, and it is sad to now see few interesting events of this type in England. Fortunately the scene is much more vibrant in Ireland and they are very welcoming to English players, so I was happy to make my second visit to Bunratty for their event.
Although the tournament has a big social side ( one of my opponents almost fell off his chair during our game, and needless to say it wasn’t due to shock at my move) the chess is quite serious, and due to the magic of sensitive boards rather than trying to decipher my Guinness stained scoresheets evidence of my play remains. I have made a few comments to my first 5 games (round 6 was a bit brief!)
In round 1 I was happy to adjourn to the bar with a point on the board fairly quickly, admittedly more due to luck than judgement.

The next morning game with Mark Orr I have annotated in a little more detail, his rook ran into trouble in an unusual manner.

Round 3 I was lucky again as I gambled in an unpromising ending and got rewarded for it.

In the stamina sapping third game on Saturday I managed to avoid major errors, which is often good enough at that stage.

On Sunday I achieved a more promising moves played to drinks consumed ratio as I scored a swift victory in the morning and halved out in the afternoon.

Thanks to all involved with the event especially www.blackthornetransport.co.uk ,Gary O’Grady and Gerry Graham for their great efforts.

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Tricky Timing

At the London Classic I got chatting to Daniel Parmet who kindly mentioned that he might be able to set up some events if I played in the Chicago Open again. I decided to give it a go as it was a good excuse to follow up with a Florida visit. He put me in touch with Sevan Muradian at The North American Chess Association where I gave a couple of lectures, for which I was a bit more prepared this time, and a simul. NACA had not long before hosted the FIDE president, and when we drove back into the centre of Chicago that evening, we found the city gridlocked due to the NATO Summit with security at our hotel being especially tough as another President, Barack Obama by name was a fellow guest, this made things interesting!

I also gave a clock simul at Daniel’s local club, I haven’t played a serious event like this before so was interested to get the chance to play a 10 board event against solid opposition. I didn’t do a great job at concealing my unfamiliarity when after making a move on the first couple of boards I failed to press my clock! After this I got into the swing of things a bit, and ended up ahead on time in most games and managed a 10-0 sweep much to my surprise.

Michael Adams & John FedorowiczDaniel has written a comprehensive report on the event which is well worth a look. Many thanks to Daniel Parmet for all his efforts.

Flushed with success from this and having got over jetlag I should have been in good shape at the Chicago Open but played horribly from start to finish. I’ve had a pretty good run in opens ELO and prize wise recently, but this wasn’t a happy outing. The high point of the event was submerging it with large beers afterwards with John Fedorowicz whom I hadn’t seen for way too long.

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Take The Stage

It was good to see that chess was one of the disciplines for the Adidas ‘Take the Stage’ advertising campaign. I was invited to mentor Yang-Fan Zhou for a day for the event which was quite a fun experience.

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Gibraltar Master Class

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Back To School

The Chess in Schools and Communities Charity is an integral part of the London Classic event and has made great strides in it’s short existence, having introduced an ever growing number of teachers in many schools.

In the spirit of this, I read in Chess Magazine that Malcolm Pein had made a visit to Scott Lake Elementary School in Miami, a school whose chess club has performed well in schools’ competitions at National level under chess coach Cheryl Polite and Principal Valerie Ward. As we were dodging the English winter with some holiday time in Florida after the LCC I asked him if it would be useful for me to do the same. Malcolm visited in May of 2011 along with Jeb Bush, Jr. through whom Malcolm had learned about this school and who also stopped by to watch my attempt. Malcolm had warned me that a couple of the students were quite strong: fortunately I did not get to find out as they had since graduated. The present batch of kids did keep me pretty busy however, both in terms of the chess and also from a physical point of view as the simul was a little hard on the knees as the boards in the middle had the lowest table I ever encountered in a simul, great for little ‘uns but a little tougher for me even though I’m not a giant!

I decided to demonstrate my game against Kotronias from 1992 hoping to inspire another generation of Marshall players!


It seemed to go down okay despite being played long before my audience was born. I then finished with the simul against the students. I brought over a 2010 London Classic program signed by all the players plus 2 impressive bonus signatures of Kasparov and Korchnoi to award for the best game which was secured by Davar Francois, congratulations Davar, keep up the good work!

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Dinner at Providence

Just prior to the start of the Metropolitan International in LA this August, organiser Ankit Gupta treated guests to what would have to rank as the best ‘Chess Dinner’ I have had the pleasure of attending at Providence in Hollywood. We were lavished with a 6 course tasting menus with matched wines. A picture is worth a thousand calories, so here are a selection of photos from the tournament’s official photographer Betsy Dynako


Photo Credits:

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Of Course My Horse

Metro Chess TrophyToo soon after the conclusion of the British, Tara and I jumped on a plane to LA. Ankit Gupta, the organiser, had persuaded me, rather against my better judgement to act as instructor at a 4-day Chess camp. As I had never done anything remotely similar before, this was to say the least somewhat a daunting prospect not aided by a severe lack of preparation time. It was an interesting and highly educational experience (at least for me – not sure about the students) but in general didn’t go too badly apart from a sticky period towards the end of day 3 when I was running a bit low on material.
After a tough simul the following day and some whirlwind sightseeing it was time for the tournament with the common US timetable of 9 games in 5 days. I wasn’t too optimistic about surviving the demanding schedule as I was still having problems with jet lag and was a little fatigued.
A couple of lucky breaks early on changed the dynamic of the event. My first game began (I was Black) 1.d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2.c2-c4 e7-e6 3.g2-g3 d7-d5 4.Ng1-f3 d5xc4 5.Bf1-g2 a7-a6 6.0-0 Nb8-c6 7.Nb1-c3 Bf8-e7 (7..Ra8-b8 is the main theoretical move). Now 8.Qd1-a4 would have been errr.. a bit awkward but my adversary was hypnotized by my incompetence and passed up the opportunity. I wasn’t even aware of what had happened until someone mentioned it to me the following day.

I also had a bit of luck in the 3rd round. I actually got a good opening in this game but after slowly but surely dissipating my advantage I got away with a bad oversight around the time control:

After this things continued to go my way and I finished with a hefty 7.5/9 and took home a dazzling trophy.

Many thanks to Ankit for all his efforts in putting together this excellent event and I wish him the best of luck with his plans for the future.
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1st Metropolitan International: Conclusion

England’s GM Michael Adams won the 1st Metropolitan International chess tournament on Sunday in Los Angeles, finishing clear first a full point ahead of the field. This video recap features interviews with GM Adams, GM Mesgen Amanov, GM Loek van Wely, GM Varuzhan Akobian, IM Jack Peters, and IM Andranik Matikozyan.
The tournament was organized by NM Ankit Gupta for Metropolitan Chess.

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1st Metropolitan International Tournament: Day 1

On August 17th, coincidentally former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik’s 100th birthday, 84 players began play in the strongest chess tournament in Southern California in over 2 decades.
Seattle Master Joshua Sinanan talks about his experience playing against GM Michael Adams.

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