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Wesley So vs Michael Adams
London Chess Classic (2016), London ENG, rd 2, Dec-10
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-16  JASAHA: So beats Adams as the latter blunders a piece. Looks like Adams was trying to activate his pieces while trying to avoid having his Queen trapped. Over the space of 3 moves the evaluation for So went from less than +1 to +3 with a won game. So's pieces seemed to dominate the board and personally I think Adams should have been looking to reduce firepower by swapping Queens.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: And the interesting move is the move unplayed--28...Qxc4. 29.Qd8+,Kh7; 30.Bxf6,gxf6; 31.Qxf6 might follow. Is this significantly worse than the game? Or have I missed another simple tactical shot?
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <And the interesting move is the move unplayed--28...Qxc4. 29.Qd8+,Kh7; 30.Bxf6,gxf6; 31.Qxf6 might follow. Is this significantly worse than the game? Or have I missed another simple tactical shot?>

Best for White seems to be 29. Bxf6 gxf6 30. Bd5 Qb4 (anything else just loses to White's next move) 31. Qh5 Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qh7 33. Qg4+ followed by 34. Qc8+ & Qxc7 with a clear advantage.

In the game itself, 37...Nc7? appears to be the decisive mistake - 38. f5! Qg5 (38... Qd6 39. Qxd6+ followed by 40. Bxg7) 39. Be5! attacking the knight and also threatening to trap the queen (e.g., 39... Ne8 40. Bf4 Qh5 41. Bd1, or 40... Qf6 41. e5).

Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: This was not about blundering a piece but setting up an awkward and flawed defense against So's sound and powerful gameplay.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: 39... Ne6 was almost forced. White threatens to win the Black Queen with Bf4> Qg4 Bd1 or Qf6 e5
Dec-10-16  JASAHA: There is no doubt that move Ne6 blunders a piece (and that the black Q was ridiculously on the verge of being trapped). Adams should have kept his Q on the d file and used one of his many chances to swap Qs. The game went downhill quickly after 37... Nc7, 38 f5, Qg5. Ne6 was the culmination of a series of miscalculations. Until Nc7 Adams may still have had a chance to make a game of it.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, Adams lost on time before making his 40th move, but 40... Qxe5 ("regaining" the piece) obviously leads to a quick mate: 41. Qd7+ Kf6 42. Qxf7+ Kg5 43. h4+ Kg4 44. Bd1#.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: 2nd time that Adams lost in the endgame phase .. he seems can't handle time trouble ...
Dec-10-16  Everett: Endgame where? With a queen and two minors on the board?
Dec-10-16  rhinox12: Welcome Wesley for breaking 2800 barrier
Dec-10-16  allan.dinglasan: Congratulations Grandmaster Wesley so for breaching the 2800 mark! Parang kailan lang n we we're rooting that he will make it the 2700 club.
Dec-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If black just plays 34...QxQ is his endgame so hopeless? When your position is being invaded like that it's a good time to get rid of the queens, so you can activate your king and fix your defensive structure.

Perhaps Adams saw a win for white in the queenless endgame?

Dec-11-16  evlozare: gmwesley only highlighted the power of the bishop pair.
Dec-12-16  jerseybob: <HeMateMe: If black just plays 34...QxQ is his endgame so hopeless?...Perhaps Adams saw a win for white in the queenless endgame?> I don't see a forced win, but after 35.cxd5 white has to have an edge.
Dec-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: <Everett: Endgame where? With a queen and two minors on the board?> ..oh, i did not know that ..40th move and still in the middle game where time trouble usually culminated... good observation.
Dec-13-16  Kamagong42: blunder!!!
Dec-23-16  Toribio3: GM Adams was a strong player before. Maybe his prowess in chess attack is no longer there to confront with brutal force!
Dec-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Time was when Adams was the youngster, thirsting with ambition to reach the pinnacle, and players such as Timman, Andersson and Karpov had to be overcome; now the wheel has come full circle and Adams is himself amongst the hunted.

I'm here to tell you, Father Time is one tough ole bugger.

Dec-29-16  knightF5: <GM Adams was a strong player before.>

Adams has not actually weakened much. His peak was 2761 in 2013 and he is now 2751. Just 10 elos off his all time high.

Oppositions have grown stronger, especially Wesley.

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