Magazine article The Spectator

Arachnophobia

Magazine article The Spectator

Arachnophobia

Article excerpt

At his best the former world champion Anatoly Karpov was often likened to a spider spinning a web in which to ensnare his opponent. Grandmaster Michael Adams, Britain's highest-ranked player, is often compared to Karpov. Mickey's latest triumph was to score a convincing victory in the British Championship, which concluded last week, leading from start to finish. The top scores were as follows: Michael Adams 91/2/11; Nicholas Pert 8; Stuart Conquest, Andrew Greet, Jonathan Hawkins, Adam Hunt, Richard Pert and Alexei Slavin 71/2.

So great was his dominance that he clinched the title with a round to spare.

What struck me about this performance was that although Adams has a somewhat quiet and restrained style, quite lacking the aggressive bluster of a Kasparov or Tal, nevertheless his opponents, many of them strong grandmasters, seem to collapse almost without a fight. Here are a couple of examples.

Gordon-Adams :

British Championship Canterbury 2010 White now appears to weaken Black's king but the weaknesses in his own camp prove more relevant.

22 f6 gxf6 23 Nxh6+ Kg7 24 Nf5+ Bxf5 25 exf5 Rfe8 26 Rxd8 Rxd8 27 Rf1 Rd4 28 b3 Nd7 29 Rd1 Qc5 White resigns 30 Qxc5 Rxd1+ or 30 Rxd4 Qxc2 31 Rxd7 Qc5+ wins. …

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