Jones and Mirzoeva come from behind, win English Championships

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/23/2024 – The English Championships came to an end on Sunday in Kenilworth. Both the open and the women’s sections were decided in rapid tiebreakers, with Gawain Jones beating Michael Adams in the open and Elmira Mirzoeva beating Katarzyna Toma in the women’s. Coincidentally, both champions entered the final round of the event standing a half point behind the players they would later beat in the playoffs. | Photo: London Chess Classic

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Jones beats Adams in rapid playoff

The two clear rating favourites in the open section of the English Championship reached the final round in first and second place. Michael Adams had 5½ points to Gawain Jones’ 5. Jones was tied for second place with Peter Wells, whom he was paired up against (with black) in the seventh round. Adams had white against Ameet Ghasi.

Adams decided to call it a day early on, as he signed a 21-move draw against Ghasi. Jones, on his part, fought hard until getting a 59-move victory from what was a tablebase draw in a rook endgame (see game analysis below). The top seeds thus finished the event with 6/7 scores, which meant a rapid tiebreaker would decide the Championship winner.

Two 20+10 games followed, with Jones first prevailing in a queen endgame while playing black, and then drawing with white to win the Championship.

Wells 0 - 1 Jones

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Adams, Michael 6 0,5
2 Jones, Gawain Cb 6 0,5
3 Wells, Peter K 5 0
4 Ghasi, Ameet K 5 0
5 Gormally, Daniel W 5 0
6 Roberson, Peter T 5 0
7 Wadsworth, Matthew J 5 0
8 Fernandez, Daniel H 5 0
9 Willow, Jonah B 5 0
10 Bowcott-Terry, Finlay 5 0
11 Bates, Richard A 5 0
12 Badacsonyi, Stanley 5 0
13 Hobson, Kenneth 5 0
14 Savidge, Daniel 5 0
15 Jackson, James P 4,5 0

...80 players

All available games - Classical


Mirzoeva also wins on demand before prevailing in playoffs

Curiously, both the open and the women’s sections saw the player who came from behind winning the Championship. In the women’s section, defending champion Katarzyna Toma — Adams was also the defending champion coincdentally — entered the final round with a ½-point lead. She also drew her game, allowing Elmira Mirzoeva to catch her in the standings thanks to a victory over Kamila Hryshchenko.

Mirzoeva, like Jones, had to work hard to win her round-7 encounter. In the ensuing rapid playoff, Mirzoeva also started with a win, but unlike in the open, Toma managed to even the score by winning the second encounter. Two more games were played to break the tie, with Mirzoeva scoring the deciding victory with the black pieces before signing a draw to become the new English Champion.

Born in Moscow, the 42-year-old Mirzoeva transferred to the English Chess Federation only two months ago.

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Toma, Katarzyna 6 1
2 Mirzoeva, Elmira 6 0
3 Hryshchenko, Kamila 4,5 1
4 Rida, Ruqayyah 4,5 0
5 Dicen, Elis Denele 4 0
6 Varney, Zoe 4 0
7 Maton, Emily 4 0
8 Subramanian, Anusha 3,5 0
9 Hariharan, Shambavi 3,5 0
10 Latypova, Olga L 3,5 0
11 Longson, Sarah N 3,5 0
12 Hardwick, Alexandra 3,5 0
13 Hunt, Harriet V 3 0
14 Catabay, Mae C 3 0
15 Fernando, Manel 3 0

...22 players

All available games - Classical



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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