And the winner is... Michael Adams

by André Schulz
2/27/2024 – Michael Adams was the rating favourite at the second edition of the Cambridge International Open. However, the reigning World Senior 50+ Champion struggled to beat his lower-rated opponents at first, as he was only in the upper middle of the field halfway through. Thanks to a strong final spurt, though, the former World Championship candidate went on to win yet another tournament. | Photos: Shohreh Bayat and Reza Islam / Cambridge Chess Open

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 slow start, a strong finish

At the age of 52, Michael Adams is still one of the best players in his country. Behind Nikita Vitiugov, who has transferred to the English Chess Federation, and David Howell, Adams occupies third place in the English rankings, separated from the other two players by just a few rating points.

Michael Adams

Of course, as the only player with an Elo rating of over 2600 and a lead of 100 rating points, Adams was the favourite to win the second edition of the Cambridge International Open Chess Tournament, in which almost 120 players from 20 nations took part.

However, the English grandmaster got off to a very slow start. After a draw against FM Rafe Martyn (Elo 2206) and two wins, including one against grandmaster Peter Wells, Adams gave up two more half points, some of them against nominally much weaker opponents. After five rounds he was only eleventh, half a point behind the leading group, which at that point consisted of eight players.

Adams then changed gears, though, as he scored 3½ points in the remaining 4 rounds. In round 6, he defeated IM Richard Pert. In round 7, he grabbed a half point in his game against Francesco Sonis. But Adams finished the tournament with two wins in a row, against GM Daniel Fernandez and IM Jonah Willow.

After seven rounds, Sergei Tiviakov was still in the lead with a half-point advantage over his immediate rivals Daniel Fernandez and Martin Haubro (from Denmark) and one point ahead of Michael Adams.

Sergei Tiviakov

However, the Dutchman was then defeated by Martin Haubro in round 8, who took the sole lead with 6½ points. In the final round, Haubro could not manage more than a draw against Peter Roberson and was thus overtaken by Tiviakov, after his victory over Sonis, and by Adams. After checking the tiebreak regulations, it turned out that Adams had the best tiebreak score among the three leaders and was thus declared the tournament winner.

Martin Haubro, Sergei Tiviakov, Michael Adams

The performance of Bodhana Sivanandan (b. 2015) was of particular interest.

Hailed as a child prodigy by the English press, she was the 79th seed in the starting rank with a rating of 1898 and ended the tournament in 55th place with 4½ points, gaining 95 rating points in the process!

Bodhana Sivanandan

The winners joined by the top scorers among the women — from left to right: Ruqayyah Rida, Bodhana Sivanandan and Turan Asgarova — and International Arbiter Shoreh Bayat

Ruqayyah Rida won the women's prize

Final standings

Rg. Snr Name sex Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3   Wtg4 
1 Adams, Michael 7 0
2 Tiviakov, Sergei 7 0
3 Haubro, Martin 7 0
4 Fernandez, Daniel H 6,5 0
5 Wadsworth, Matthew J 6,5 0
6 Roberson, Peter T 6,5 0
7 Willow, Jonah B 6 0
8 Wachinger, Nikolas 6 0
9 Turner, Matthew J 6 0
10 Wells, Peter K 6 0
11 Vardanyan, Aras 6 0
12 Gasanov, Eldar 6 0
13 Hanley, Craig A 6 0
14 Ghasi, Ameet K 6 0
15 York-Weaving, Richard 6 0
16 Sonis, Francesco 5,5 0
17 Fava, Lorenzo 5,5 0
18 Pert, Richard G 5,5 0
19 Royal, Shreyas 5,5 0
20 Gourlay, Iain 5,5 0

...118 players

All available games


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors