Adams Wins British Championship After Epic Final Day
Michael Adams won his sixth British title today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Adams Wins British Championship After Epic Final Day

| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

For the sixth time in his career, Michael Adams won the British Championship today in Hull, England. He beat Luke McShane in an exciting playoff after both had finished on 7/9.

The 105th British Championship took place July 28-August 5 in the City Hall of Hull, in East Yorkshire, England. It was a nine-round Swiss which had 66 players, including 14 grandmasters. The biggest names this year were Michael Adams, David Howell, Gawain Jones, and Luke McShane.

46-year-old Adams entered the tournament holding a special record: he hadn't lost a single game at the British championship since Blackpool 1988, a 30-year streak. In the third round he got into some trouble, but miraculously scored the full point with a final move that would fit right into Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics (an excellent book, by the way).

In the same round, Howell played a lovely game as White against a strong English IM who was booked up deeply in Nimzo-Indian theory. This went well for 26 moves, but then Howell proved to be tactically more alert.

With one round to go, he was in shared first place with Adams, but then it went wrong for the three-time British champion. Howell lost to Luke McShane, who found a neat tactic at the end—while there was another beautiful motif, as pointed out by GM David Smerdon on Twitter:

Adams seemed to be doing well against GM Danny Gormally but suddenly allowed his opponent to get away with a draw. That meant a tie for first place, and a playoff was necessary!

First, two rapid games were played with 20 minutes and 10 seconds increment on the clock. Adams won the first one convincingly in a double rook endgame:

Also in the second game, Adams was on top. But in a position where many would have stopped the clock and congratulated the opponent with the title, McShane found a fantastic trick to stay alive:

With 1-1 on the scoreboard, two games of five minutes plus three seconds increment were scheduled. Adams showed what a great champion he is by keeping a clear head after what just happened.

He won both blitz games, claiming his sixth title and the 10,000 pound ($13,000) first prize. McShane earned 5,000 ($6,500) pounds.

"Ginger GM" Simon Williams provided an 8-hour commentary stream during the last day.

Games via TWIC.

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