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    Entries in Michael Adams (7)

    Friday
    Dec122014

    London Chess Classic, Round 3: Three Draws, But A Near-Miss For Adams

    There weren't any decisive games in today's action at the London Chess Classic, but there was some excitement in the games between Hikaru Nakamura and Viswanathan Anand on the one hand, and between Michael Adams and Vladimir Kramnik on the other. (The third game, between Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri, also had some brief excitement as the players broke new ground in the Berlin endgame, but it fizzled out by move 23 and the remainder was just for the sake of appeasing the organizers.)

    Nakamura essayed the Evans Gambit against Anand, and while that may sound exciting to players who haven't looked at many games played with that gambit since Chigorin and Steinitz were duking it out for the world championship, they tend to be pretty dull. (Not always, but usually.) Anand came out of the opening in good shape, but small inaccuracies in the early middlegame gave Nakamura an initiative. Once in a bit of trouble, however, Anand defended like a lion, and he held his own through the complications. Eventually the players repeated, and while the engines on the Chess24 live feed makes it look as if Anand had an advantage he didn't. White remains quite active (look at the board!) and there are a lot of tricks, too. The position is equal even if Black continues, and there are probably many more ways for Black to go wrong than for White in a game between humans.

    Finally, there's the Adams-Kramnik game. Like Caruana-Giri it went into the Berlin "endgame", and Kramnik found a significant new idea for Black in the trendy 9.h3 line. He equalized easily and could have forced a draw, but decided to press instead. The idea of running the a-pawn was a good one, but it would have been better without his rook on a3. A very long think on his 34th move led him into all kinds of trouble, and with his 40th move Adams could have put the game away. He saw the move and assessed it correctly, but to his misfortune decided that another move would give him an even better version of the same thing. As he surely realized very quickly, his assessment was completely mistaken, and Kramnik escaped with a draw without any further adventures. Ironically, both players made bad decisions based on overthinking a particular move: long think, wrong think.

    Had Adams won, he would have taken over the lead. As things stand, Kramnik and Giri continue to lead with 5 points apiece on the tournament's 3-1-0 scoring system. Adams has 4 points, Anand 3, and Nakamura and Caruana have 2. Tomorrow's round starts two hours earlier, and has these pairings:

    • Anand - Giri
    • Kramnik - Caruana
    • Nakamura - Adams

    The games are here, with some annotations to Adams-Kramnik.

    Wednesday
    Dec102014

    London Chess Classic, Round 1: Adams Leads After An Up-And-Down Win Over Caruana

    Day 1 of the main event of the London Chess Classic got underway, and there was a bit of everything. Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri fulfilled their professional obligations by ensuring that the tournament had at least one Berlin. Nakamura went for the 5.Re1 line, which is one of the two main anti-endgame variations, and while he got a little pressure it wasn't nearly enough to obtain serious winning chances.

    About the contest between Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand, there are (at least) three possible reactions. If you've never before seen a game in the Botvinnik System, you're in for a thrill. If you have seen the Botvinnik System but don't really know much before the basic tabiya around move 16 or so, you too will find the game entertaining. If you are well-acquainted with the theory of the variation - and there is a LOT of theory to know - you'll find it a bit ridiculous. For once, Kramnik brought nothing new to the table, and Anand only needed to show that he was up-to-date in his knowledge. The first new move of the game was 39.Kf3, and by that point the game was already a dead draw for players of their caliber.

    Finally, Michael Adams and Fabiano Caruana played a rather screwy game in which both players repeatedly enjoyed and gave away winning advantages. First Adams misplayed the opening, an Anti-Marshall with 8.d3, and Caruana was soon winning. He in turn messed up, and then Adams was winning. Fate smiled on Caruana for a while, as he escaped, got an advantage and made the time control too. And yet despite all of this, he suffered a double whammy. He missed a neat trick, but after his position was losing in any case he sidestepped it. Unfortunately for him, Adams hadn't found the trick, and if Caruana had put him to the test and he didn't spot it, the Italian player would have been alright. In the end, Adams showed good technique and won the game.

    He leads with 3 points (they are using the 3-1-0 scoring system), Caruana has 0 and everyone else has 1. Here are the pairings for Thursday's round 2 action:

     

    • Anand - Caruana
    • Giri - Adams
    • Kramnik - Nakamura

     

    The round 1 games, with my comments, are here.

    Wednesday
    Aug072013

    Dortmund 2013: Adams Wins, Kramnik Second

    Vladimir Kramnik always seems to play well in Dortmund, an annual super-tournament he has won ten times (four times sharing first) over a span from 1995 to 2011. Michael Adams did win it once, sharing first with Kramnik, but that was all the way back in 1998. When we left off last time, they were sharing first with 4/5 going into the rest day, with the rest of the field already well in the rear view mirror.

    They kept up their torrid pace in round 6, both men winning quickly. Kramnik won a remarkable attacking game against Daniel Fridman, while Arkadij Naiditsch's attempts to attack Adams quickly backfired. Round 7 was the deciding round. Adams won again, defeating Igor Khenkin with ease, while Kramnik lost to Dmtiry Andreikin for the second time in a month. Kramnik bounced back with an extremely hard-fought victory over Fabiano Caruana, who had a really awful tournament. Caruana defended like a lion and was on the verge of a draw, but made a simple error at what was probably the last moment requiring an even slightly subtle decision, and lost. (After 6+ hours and 75 moves of a very complicated game at the end of a tournament, even "simple" positions aren't always so easy to play.) Adams drew very comfortably against Georg Meier, and so with one round left he was half a point ahead of Kramnik.

    The good news is that they were paired in the last round; the bad news (for those looking for drama) was that Kramnik had the black pieces. Kramnik played the Sicilian in hopes of stirring things up, but Adams played a c3 Sicilian (on move 3, after 2.Nf3 g6), and found a neat line that quickly forced Kramnik to take a repetition.

    Adams thus took clear first with a great score of 7 out of 9, with Kramnik half a point behind. Adams' TPR was 2925, and moved his rating to a career high 2761 (rounding up), putting him at #11 in the world. (Not a career high.) Kramnik's successful tournament netted 10 rating points, undoing much of the damage suffered in the Tal Memorial and putting him back into third place on the live list with a 2794 rating.

    To varying degrees of depth, I've annotated both players' games from round 6-9 - have a look. Meanwhile, for completeness' sake and to acknowledge the existence of the rest of the field, here are the final standings:

    1. Adams 7 (of 9)
    2. Kramnik 6.5
    3-4. Leko, Naiditsch 4.5
    5-8. Andreikin, Meier, Caruana, Wang Hao 4
    9. Khenkin 3.5
    10. Fridman 3

    Thursday
    Aug012013

    Adams and Kramnik Lead Dortmund At The Rest Day

    Five rounds into the nine-round annual event that is the Dortmund super-tournament, and two players are sprinting away from the rest of the field. Michael Adams and Vladimir Kramnik both have undefeated 4/5 scores and lead the rest of the field by a point and a half or more.

    You might remember that Caruana achieved a 2800 rating with his first-round victory. Unfortunately for him, that was the end of the good news. He drew in round 2 and then lost in rounds 3 and 4 before drawing in round 5 - with difficulty with the White pieces. So much for 2800 - he's 2787, rounded up. Meanwhile, Kramnik is back to his "rightful" spot in the top three, where he has spent much, probably most of the last 17 years. For Adams too the event is a big ratings success, and at 2754 he's just a point short of his all-time (official) career high. Life may not begin at 40, but it doesn't end there, either. (Except for Gata Kamsky, with reference to his chess life. As far as I know, he still plans to quit the game next year.)

    For your entertainment, here, with some very brief notes, are six games from the last three rounds. Enjoy!

    Monday
    Jun252012

    Mickey Adams in Chicago

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that players in or near Chicago had the chance to play English super-GM Mickey Adams in a clock simul. The event has passed (but may happen again next year???), but you can read a short article on the event by Adams himself and download an excellent, much longer report by organizer Daniel Parmet.

    Tuesday
    May152012

    Michael Adams Simul

    Daniel Parmet writes in to announce that he's running a 10-board clock simul with English GM Michael Adams at the Downers Grove Chess Club (near Chicago) on May 23. Quoting Daniel:

    Perhaps people traveling for the Chicago Open might be interested in coming a day early to play Adams.

    The information is Entry: $90, Time control Game 90, 10 boards first come first serve (4 spots left), 7:30pm Weds May 23rd at Address 200 Village Drive, Downers Grove, IL, 60516

    Those wishing to reserve their spots in advance can email Daniel here.

    Wednesday
    Feb012012

    Gibraltar: Hou Yifan and Adams Lead After Round 8

    After 8 of 10 rounds, Michael Adams and women's world champion Hou Yifan are tied for first in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival. Hou managed to beat Le Quang Liem in a tactical slugfest, while Adams drew second-seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Hou and Adams are half a point ahead of 14 other players, including Alexei Shirov, the winner of a spectacular game against Artur Yusupov that may well be my ChessVideos show this week.