Mickey Adams: 20 Questions

What is your earliest memory of playing chess?

Discovering the brutal difference between stalemate and checkmate.

What is your most memorable game?

v. Ivanchuk, Terrassa 1991. Zugzwang occurred on an almost full board.

What was your worst defeat?

v. Tiviakov, PCA Interzonal, Groningen 1993. My position was not a pretty sight.

How do you relax?

Watching my koi carp.

What is your greatest fear?

Never finding the EU wine lake.

Who is your favourite band/composer?

Guns N’ Roses.

What is your favourite record?

Use Your Illusion II.

What is your greatest weakness?

Calculating variations and correspondence chess (I lost the only game I ever played).

What is your greatest strength?

Avoiding time trouble.

Mickey Adams in the 1990s
© Mark Huba

Which book would you take to a desert island?

Any Tom Sharpe novel.

How would you characterise your chess-playing style?


What is your favourite television programme?

They Think It’s All Over
Dream Team
Have I Got News for You.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My wine cellar.

Against which player do you have the worst results?

Anand and Shirov both seem to have mistaken me for a punchbag.

Which single thing would most improve the chess scene in Britain?

Some more tournaments with sponsors.

In which particular tournament do you most like to compete?


Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced?

Anand and Shirov.

Who is the most courteous person you have played?

Ivan Morović.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Seek not to know the answers but to understand the questions.

Ivanchuk – Adams
Terrassa 1991
Ruy López

    1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 c3 d5 9 exd5 Nxd5 10 Nxe5 Nxe5 11 Rxe5 c6 12 d4 Bd6 13 Re1 Qh4 14 g3 Qh3 15 Be3 Bg4 16 Qd3 Rae8 17 Nd2 Qh5 18 Nf1 Re6 19 Bd1 f5 20 Bxg4 Qxg4 21 Bd2 Rg6 22 Kg2 f4 23 f3 Qh5 24 g4 Qh4 25 Re2 Rxg4+ 26 fxg4 f3+ 27 Kh1 fxe2 28 Qxe2 Kh8 29 Kg1 h6 30 Qg2 Bf4 31 Be1 Qg5 32 h3 Qg6 33 Rd1 Bb8 34 Rd2 Qb1 35 Bf2


Now White cannot move a piece without losing material.
He is forced to make a weakening pawn move, and soon capitulates.

 36 b3 Bf4 37 Re2 Nxc3 38 Re6 Qxa2 39 Rxc6 Qxb3 40 Rxa6 Ne2+ 41 Kh1 Bb8 42 Be1 Qd1

First published in Kingpin 29 (Autumn 1998)


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