London Classic: Exciting round leaves Adams as sole leader

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/5/2023 – A second consecutive round with four decisive results ended with Michael Adams atop the standings of the London Chess Classic. Former co-leader Gukesh had a clear edge against Jules Moussard — however, a blunder by the Indian star allowed Moussard to take over and convert his newfound advantage in style. Similarly, Shreyas Royal first gave up his advantage and then lost the game he played with black against Hans Niemann. Adams and Niemann are the only two players who remain undefeated in the event. | Photo: Tao Bhokanandh

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Ups and downs

Fighting chess has been the norm in the revived London Chess Classic. With 13 out of 20 games ending decisively so far, the tournament is a nice change for chess enthusiasts all over the world — the mixed lineup invites more risky play, without needing to resort to shorter time controls nor overly complicated formats.

Round 4 was particularly chaotic. At some point, Gukesh seemed to be on his way to a third win in four games, as he had a clear advantage against Jules Moussard, while Shreyas Royal had a promising position with black against Hans Niemann.

At the end of the day, though, both Moussard and Niemann not only managed to neutralise their opponents but collected full points after the tables turned in their favour.

Meanwhile, Amin Tabatabaei and Mateusz Bartel continued to mimic each other — as they did in the first three rounds — in terms of results. Both grandmasters scored a loss, a win, a loss and a win (in that order) on the first four days of action in London.

In the one game that ended drawn on Monday, Nikita Vitiugov and Michael Adams manoeuvred their pieces around a closed pawn structure without finding an effective way to create a favourable imbalance. The 51-move draw allowed Adams to go into round 5 (the last one before the rest day) as the sole leader with 3 points to his name.

Moussard, Niemann and Gukesh are sharing second place a half point back.

London Chess Classic 2023

The playing hall during an exciting fourth round | Photo: Tao Bhokanandh

Gukesh 0 - 1 Moussard

Analysis by GM Karsten Müller

Jules Moussard

Jules Moussard | Photo: Tao Bhokanandh

Niemann 1 - 0 Royal

Analysis by GM Karsten Müller

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Standings - Round 4

All games


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.