Michael Adams is an elite grandmaster that is probably one of the oldest in the field. Still, he is the best British player in the world, and also an example of excellence in chess.
He became an international grandmaster when he was just 17 years old and has been one of the best since then. Michael Adams may not be the best of the best on the grandmaster list.
But still, his performance is incredible, and Michael is surely one of the most perseverant players at the top level. He has been in high-class chess competitions since 1985, and nowadays, he is still among FIDE’s top 15 players.
In all the time controls, classic, rapid, and blitz, although he is 52 years old, he is still a strong opponent. We will review some of the best games played by Michael Adams, and how his performance has progressed.
It’s very interesting to analyze how this player hasn’t gone down in level with all of these years playing. One of the least recognized top-level players and probably has one of the longest careers in chess.
The most interesting of Michael Adam’s chess career will be portrayed in this post, make sure to read until the end.
How has Michael Adams progressed in chess?
Michael Adams started to play chess as a kid, and he also admired the chess classics of his age. For example, he was eager and interested in Karpov vs Kasparov match in 1985, which inspired him to play.
At that moment, he was already a fan of chess, and his career was starting for the moment. It was in 1989 when Michael Adams became the national champion in England and started top-level chess. This win also got him the grandmaster title that he was so excited for.
Of course, it got him invitations to important international tournaments, an opportunity that Michael Adams seized.
In 1993 shared first place with Viswanathan Anand in the PCA candidates’ tournament. He also tried to lay in the 1994 candidates’ tournament but was viciously eliminated by Boris Gelfand in the first round.
It was in 1997 when he was able to play in the FIDE World Chess Cup, and played the final against Viswanathan Anand. But finally, he ended up losing against the Indian grandmaster, who became the world champion.
Their games in a classic format all finished in a draw, but in the tiebreaks, it was a rapid game of 5 minutes. Anand won the tiebreaks, and he stated after the tournament that it was a well-fought match.
Usually, Michael Adams is compared to Paul Keres, the so rightfully called “King without a crown”. As he never became the world champion, he was always so close to getting the title.
In 2004 Michael Adams reached the FIDE world’s cup but was eliminated by GM Kasimdzhanov this time. Other tournaments that he was able to win were the Dortmund tournament and the two sisters tournament in 1995 and 1999.
Michael Adam’s playstyle
Michael Adams’ play is characterized by a very complicated and subtle positional play. He will try to get their opponents thinking about many possibilities in a positional situation.
The strategy consists in making very flexible but useful moves, that get your opponent thinking. However, Michael Adams has a very clear plan in mind and will execute it if you allow it.
It’s about making subtle moves and confusing the opponent, provoking mistakes. That’s why journalists and interviewers call him “spider-man” as he weaves his pieces around his opponents’.
Best games by Michael Adams
The first was a game from the Wijk Ann zee tournament, against one of the best in the world, Veselin Topalov.
The second was from the Dortmund tournament in 2013 against the GM Fabiano Caruana.
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