Mickey Adams relives a memorable tournament – BCT exclusive

We are back with a one-off exclusive – the legend that is Mickey Adams shares a famous tournament win from 1995. Here at BCT we have been on a hiatus of late – but chess never sleeps and high quality tournaments have been raging all summer long – including the UK Blitz qualifiers attracting many GMs and IMs to the South West.

As for your editors we have been getting used to new babies, new jobs (and even new bones) and are often finding ourselves in ‘time-trouble’ these days. You might be able to see the effects in our chess next season… however it is not every day you get the chance to share some exclusive memories from England’s no. 1 player – a while ago we asked several pro’s to share thoughts on a memorable game from the past and GM Michael Adams has sent in his take on the PCA rapid tournament in London 1995 – in which he outlasted the top players in the world including the one and only Vishy Anand. Huge thanks to him for spending the time to share his thoughts – take it away Mickey…

Mickey in Kingpin Magazine

Mickey Adams:

I wasn’t sure what to write about when Jon asked me to annotate a memorable game. I’ve mentioned Ivanchuk-Adams Terrassa 1991 [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1014135] as one I’ve liked in the past, but instead I thought I would write something different – about a memorable tournament victory: winning the Intel PCA rapid in London back in 1995. It’s a bit worrying my favourite moments seem to be in the distant past; some may remember that weekend as the one when Frank Bruno won the WBC heavyweight title against Oliver McCall on the other side of London at Wembley Stadium.

The passing of time tends to aid nostalgia, and put a more pleasant tinge on your memories, but fortunately in most cases they aren’t also subject to analysis by Stockfish. As a result of this I added light notes to 3 games including both from the final, back then it was ‘real’ rapid and blitz – no increment to help you out as the seconds ticked down.

My tournament almost hit the rails before it started:

Speelman missed Rf4! here to win the game

BCT: It always takes time to find your feet in a rapid tournament – did Speelman see ghosts and decide not to play Rf4? Or did he simply not look for anything other than the queen trade? Mickey held his nerve and eventually won a knight ending. Full game below:

A dodgy draw then qualified me for the next round.

The quarterfinals were also none too smooth for me, only the second game showed serious composure when I evened the score against Jeroen Piket, before surviving a chaotic Armageddon.

BCT: Watch that nail-biting game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3_DvCdIsqI

That round was also memorable for Tony Miles defeat of Vladimir Kramnik, and I still recall him punching the air in triumph.

The finals were all held on the same day, and my play was on the up – I played Tony the next morning and performed more solidly to win 1.5-0.5.

Alexei Dreev was my opponent in the final, after he won a decider against Viswanathan Anand where in a mad time scramble he proved just the quicker as the seconds ticked down.

After we both missed some tactical possibilities, I scored first.

I was originally intending to just annotate the last game, but it was not quite as I impressive as I remembered, it’s still a happy memory though!

BCT: Thanks Mickey – great show. And to think that was almost a quarter-century ago. You can still find Mickey in the top tournaments in the world and putting in appearances at the British championships every summer – winning a total of 7 times.

Your memorable games

Do you want your memorable games showcased here? Write to us at bristolchesstimes@gmail.com and let us know – don’t worry we won’t run it through an engine!

Till next time everyone and remember – keep playing chess.

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