Chess in the US of A

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.   Having two different time controls in the same event isn’t the kind of thing that would happen in the World Championship cycle – er – maybe not.

The chess was going rather similar to Croatia, with the difference that it was only four and a half days of suffering instead of 12 – in all my 4 draws I was on the back foot most of the way, which left me trailing the leaders throughout but early in the afternoon on the last day things perked up a little.

In the last round I was upfloated yet again, but rather more welcome was the fact that this resulted in a double white, although this helped me more than the 6/7 clubhouse leader Giorgi Kacheishvili who didn’t add to his score despite also having 2 whites on the last day. I’ll just give the moves here as my comments will appear in Chess Life and in next week’s Telegraph Column.

Michael Adams Written by:


  1. Cecil Sloan
    August 8

    Some comments on US chess:A time delay of 5 seconds ensures minimal chaos at the time control when there are 500 or more players. The tournament directors cannot hover around every board at the sudden death time control.
    Most chess tournaments are run by one person-Bill Goichberg- as a profit making business.No sponsorship means all revenue comes from entry fees.Prize money is generously spread over all sections from unrated to the Open so lower rated players have a chance of winning and not just the top players.
    Bringing your own board,set and clock works very well as there will always be a well stocked chess shop on site.Also it’s nice to get to the table early and set up your own kit.
    With subsidised hotel rates for all players, do consider a chess holiday in the States.

  2. mick ferrie
    July 19

    Interesting that the best player in the country is so modest and unasuming. Pity that the leaders in other sports cant follow suit. Must be because Michael Adams is from the west country! Good luck to him in forthcoming events.

  3. Philip Lochhead
    June 11

    This website is magnificent! It is one of the best chess websites that I have ever seen. The person who designed it must be an absolute genius at designing websites. I intend to recommend this to all my Facebook friends, and to the players at the local chess club.

    • July 20

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. We are planning to keep on getting better, one way to do so might be for me to reply to comments sooner! 😉

      • Philip Lochhead
        July 22

        I have said it once, and I shall say it again. This website is awesome! It is a work of art. It ought to be displayed in the Louvre. I particularly like the archived chess columns from the Daily Telegraph. I can now read Michael Adams’ expert chess analysis without having to go traipsing down to the library every week to photocopy his chess column.

  4. kevin winter
    June 9

    Nice to see a website from you Michael. I am playing in Paignton and hope to play you there in the simul. See you have now decided to go to Siberia !!! regards, Kevin, Bingley

    • Michael Adams
      June 9

      Thanks for making the first comment! See you in Paignton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.