Michael Adams wins the London Chess Classic

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/11/2023 – Michael Adams became the first Englishman to win the London Chess Classic. At 52, the former World Championship candidate described this victory as “the best ever” in his career. In the final round, Adams drew Shreyas Royal with black, which meant Royal finished with 4/9 points, the score he needed to collect a second GM norm. The one decisive result of the day saw Hans Niemann beating Gukesh. Amin Tabatabaei, who signed a draw with Jules Moussard, got sole second place. | Photo: London Chess Classic

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


A legend grabs the title, a youngster excels

Malcolm Pein, the organizer of the London Chess Classic, confessed that he “couldn’t have asked for more” from the thirteenth edition of the now traditional tournament. Besides English legend Michael Adams clinching the title and English rising star Shreyas Royal collecting his second GM norm at 14 years of age, the tournament was one of the most entertaining classical-chess events of the year.

While a lot of the attention throughout the round-robin went to the race for the Candidates, 52-year-old Adams quietly showcased his class to get a plus-three, undefeated score that granted him outright victory. The man from Truro beat Amin Tabatabaei, Mateusz Bartel and Jules Moussard on his way to what he described as “probably my best result ever”.

Adams explained that his biggest successes came when he was in his prime as a player, while this triumph, obtained at 52 years of age, feels entirely different. To get the title, he outscored the likes of Gukesh and Hans Niemann, two of the strongest and most ambitious juniors in the world. Not to mention the ever-dangerous Amin Tabatabaei and Nikita Vitiugov.

A few of the many professional achievements of Adams’ include:

  • Reaching the final of the 2004 FIDE World Championship knockout, where he lost to Rustam Kasimdzhanov in tiebreaks.
  • Winning the 2013 Dortmund super-tournament with a 7/9 score and a 2925 TPR. Adams outscored Fabiano Caruana (rated 2796) and ‘Mr. Dortmund’ Vladimir Kramnik (2784).
  • Being an 8-time British champion, having won the title for the first time in 1989 and for the last time this year in Leicester!

Fittingly, Adams became the first English player to win the London Chess Classic.

Niemann beats Gukesh

A very entertaining tournament, the London Chess Classic saw at least one decisive result in all nine rounds of the event. On the last day of action, only Hans Niemann grabbed a full point, as he defeated fellow prodigy Gukesh with the white pieces.

Gukesh’s decisive mistake came on move 20, when he castled on the ‘wrong’ side of the board amid a double-edged struggle.

Castling queenside here keeps the dynamic balance, while Gukesh’s 20...0-0, played after thinking for more than 10 minutes, gives way to 21.Ra4, attacking the black kingside pawns along the fourth rank. It is White who can create more threats on that side of that board!

The queens soon left the board, and Niemann showed great positional play until getting his second win of the event.

Gukesh shared third place with Andrei Volokitin, both with 5/9 points, while Niemann finished a half point back, with a fifty-percent score. These results left Anish Giri as the frontrunner in the race to get a spot in the Candidates via the FIDE Circuit.

Final standings

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.