British Chess Legends Adams, Nunn Clinches World Senior Titles


British chess has gotten another boost as legends GM Michael Adams (50+) and GM John Nunn (65+) both secured gold medals in the World Senior Championship last week. WGM Monica Calzetta Ruiz (50+) from Spain and WGM Galina Strutinskaia (65+) won women’s titles.

The favorites prevailed in the 11-round World Senior Championship, which was completed in Terassini, southern Italy last weekend with a total of 271 players who competed for medals in two categories (ages 50+ and 65 +) in the Open and Women’s groups.

While players from Eastern Europe or former Soviet states have historically dominated this event, three out of the four champions this year are from Western Europe.

Adams Takes First Individual World Championship Title

51-year-old Michael Adams was the overwhelming favorite in the 50+ category with his 2670 rating 140 points higher than second-seeded GM Hannes Stefansson from Iceland.

The former world number-four met the expectations and narrowly won his first world senior title with 8.5 points. Adams edged out former Turkish star, now playing for Serbia, GM Suat Atalik on tiebreaks. GM Maksim Novik took the bronze medal with eight points.

GM Michael Adams with the trophy. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar.
GM Michael Adams with the trophy. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar.

It was a remarkably close call between Adams and Atalik, who both went through the event undefeated. Atalik kept a half-point lead before the final round but had to settle for a draw against GM Michele Godena, while Adams defeated GM Martin Mrva. That led to the Englishman taking first by the third tiebreak criteria.

“It felt great to win a world title,” Adams told Chess.com. “Especially given the slim chances of that with two rounds to go.” The Englishman trailed Atalik and Stefansson by half a point, along with four other players, but then ended on a good note with two wins.

Adams says he is particularly happy about finding the precise 25…Nh4! in the last round, as 25…Nxf4 looked more natural.

Adams, accompanied in Italy by his wife Tara, says they stayed in a pleasant apartment in Terassini, which is located near Palermo in Sicily. “The weather views and the food were good. The playing conditions were also fine for me,” he says, expressing satisfaction with the organization.

Unless veterans such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Boris Gelfand, Alexei Shirov, Vasyl Ivanchuk, or Gata Kamsky show up next year, Adams is going to be the huge favorite again, as he intends to play future world senior events.

Nunn Defends 65+ Title

In the 65+ category, another familiar name took the gold medal, namely Adams’ compatriot GM John Nunn who defended his title from 2022. The 68-year-old mathematician and three-time world champion in chess problem-solving was ranked ninth among the world’s top players in 1985, but in the last two decades, he’s become one of the world’s most highly rated chess writers with more than 30 books on his resume.

John Nunn defended his title and won the World Senior Championship in the 65+ category for the second year. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar
Nunn defended his title and won the World Senior Championship in the 65+ category for the second year. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar.

Nunn was also the top seed by more than 100 points and eventually edged out the 1976/1977 European Junior Champion GM Lubomir Ftacnik from Slovakia on tiebreaks. France’s GM Nikolay Legky took the bronze medal.

Nunn’s finish in his round-one game was brutal.

“I’m been impressed by John Nunn’s play in many 65+ events, he’s been very consistent, it’s not so simple to win these events,” Adams says about his compatriot.

For England, the two gold medals add to an increasing list of successes since winning the double in the 2022 World Senior Team Championship. At the end of October, eight-year-old WCM Bodhana Sivanandan also won the World U8 Championship, completing a historic triple and becoming England’s first world youth champion in 25 years.

“These two successes at the seniors level are further evidence of England’s growing reputation as a leading nation at seniors chess, after our recent successes at both World and European Senior Team Chess Championships.” the English Chess Federation wrote on their website.

50+ Final Standings | Top 10














Rk. FED

Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 GM ADAMS, Michael 2670 8.5
2 GM ATALIK, Suat 2427 8.5
3 GM NOVIK, Maxim 2375 8
4 GM GODENA, Michele 2441 8
5 GM MOROVIC FERNANDEZ, Ivan 2488 7.5
6 GM STEFANSSON, Hannes 2529 7.5
7 GM DLUGY, Maxim 2520 7.5
8 IM CUMMINGS, David H. 2325 7.5
9 FM NIKOLAIDIS, Konstantinos 2096 7.5
10 GM HOLZKE, Frank 2473 7.5

65+ Final Standings | Top 10














Rk. FED

Name Rtg Pts.
1 GM NUNN, John D M 2560 8.5
2 GM FTACNIK, Lubomir 2451 8.5
3 GM LEGKY, Nikolay A 2348 8
4 GM KNAAK, Rainer 2451 8
5 GM CAMPORA, Daniel H. 2343 8
6 GM VAGANIAN, Rafael A 2493 8
7 IM REPRINTSEV, Alexander 2227 8
8 FM MADEIRA, Wagner Martins 2012 7.5
9 IM RENMAN, Nils-Gustaf 2324 7.5
10 IM ROOZE, Jan 2245 7.5

Calzetta And Strutinskaia Take Women’s Titles

In the Women’s category, a total of 32 players played in one group. 18 competed for the 50+ title while 14 for the 65+ title.  Georgian legend GM Nona Gaprindashvili has turned 82 years old and has won six out of the last seven titles in the 65+, but only finished 13th (5th among 65+) this time.

Instead, the title went to WGM Monica Calzetta Ruiz from Spain, who was the only player scoring 8.5 points. Representing FIDE, WGM Galina Strutinskaia finished second on eight points and took the title in the 65+ category.

Monica Calzetta Ruiz from Spain became the World Senior Champion for women 50+. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar
Monica Calzetta Ruiz from Spain became the World Senior Champion for women’s 50+. Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar.

Women’s Final Standings:














Rk.

Name Typ FED Rtg Pts.
1 WGM CALZETTA RUIZ, Monica S50 2239 8,5
2 WGM STRUTINSKAIA, Galina S65 2114 8
3 IM KLINOVA, Masha S50 2249 7
4 WGM MAKROPOULOU, Marina S50 2081 7
5 WIM TERELADZE, Sopio S50 2215 7
6 WIM KRASENKOWA, Elena S50 2089 7
7 WFM FOLKOVA, Martina S50 2022 6,5
8 WIM BURCHARDT, Brigitte S65 2124 6,5
9 WGM BOGUMIL, Tatiana S65 2080 6,5
10 WIM LAUTERBACH, Ingrid S50 2026 6,5



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