MICHAEL ADAMS (1971 - present day) - Chess grandmaster
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|Michael Adams was born on 17th November 1971 in Truro.
He became a Grandmaster at the age of 17 and has been a professional chess player for over 20 years.
In 1981, aged just nine, Michael entered the Cornwall County Under-9 Championship and won it. At the same event, he also won the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-18 Championships.
In 1987, Michael won the silver medal at the World Under-16 Championship in Innsbruck, behind the Icelandic player Hannes Stefansson. Later in 1987, at the age of fifteen, he became the world's youngest International Master.
He won the Best Junior prize at the 1987 British Championship and in 1989, still only 17 years old, won the full British Championship title.
In 1993 Michael finished equal first (with Viswanathan Anand) in the Groningen Interzonal tournament to determine challengers for the PCA World Chess Championship of 1995. This took him to the Candidates Tournament matches, where he beat Sergei Tiviakov in the quarter finals, but lost to Anand in the semifinals. He also qualified for the Candidates Tournament for the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996, losing to Boris Gelfand in the first round of matches.
In 1997, he took part in the 1997-1998 FIDE World Championship, a large knockout event, the winner of which would play a match against then reigning champion Anatoly Karpov. This tournament included most of the world's top players and Michael Adams won short matches against Tamaz Giorgadze, Sergei Tiviakov, Peter Svidler, Loek van Wely and Nigel Short, before coming up against Anand again in the final round. Their four games at normal time controls were all drawn, as were four rapidplay games at quicker time limits, before Anand won the sudden-death game, thereby eliminating Adams from the competition. Yet again, Micharl reached the semifinals of the 2000 FIDE World Championship before losing to the eventual winner, Anand.
He came closest to claiming a world title at the 2004 FIDE Championship, when he reached the final. However, he lost to Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the final (3½–4½ after rapidplay tie-breaks, the match having been tied 3–3 after the six standard games).
In June 2005, Michael took on an advanced chess super computer called Hydra in a six-game match in London, England, with a prize of $10,000 for each draw and $25,000 for each win. He lost the match, drawing only the second game. The final score was Hydra 5½, Adams ½, with Adams only receiving $10,000 of the $145,000 prize fund.
Since 2006 Michael has been writing a chess column in the Saturday Telegraph Weekend section.
He now lives in Taunton, Somerset with his wife, actress Tara MacGowran