England Wins Double Gold in World Senior Championships

The World Senior Chess Championship 2023 took place in Terrasini, Italy, with a championship for players age 50+, 65+, and a combined women’s section with prizes both for players 50+ and 65+. At the time of writing, no official photos for the event are available. 

It was a “double gold” performance for England, with GMs Michael Adams and John Nunn winning the 50+ and 65+ sections, respectively, each with scores of 8½/11, and each on tiebreaks ahead of one co-champion (Serbian GM Suat Atalik and Slovakian GM Lubomir Ftacnik, respectively).


Image Caption
courtesy FIDE


Despite taking the gold on tiebreaks, it was actually Atalik who was leading by a half-point entering the final round. He managed only a draw, though, allowing Adams to “win on demand” and leapfrog the leader:



The leaderboard in the 65+ Open was even more tense before the final round: six players trailed Argentian GM Daniel H. Campora by only half-a-point. This meant that, if Ftacnik could take out Campora (or hold him to a draw), then as many as three other players could join the leader on 8½/11. This looked likely, as Campora had at least a draw within his grasp for most of the game, until…



From here, boards three and four ended peacefully, but Nunn had already joined his countryman in producing a fantastic example of “must-win” chess. Like Adams, Nunn also boasted higher tiebreaks.



Spanish GM Monica Calzetta Ruiz won the Women’s section outright with a score of 8½/11, and Russian WGM Galina Strutinskaia was the top finisher age 65+, also finishing clear second overall, with 8/11.


After losing to 1866 rated Latvian player Polina Ni in the first round, Calzetta Ruiz roared back with four straight wins to reignite her title chances. Here’s the upset from board three in the first round:





But a sixth-round loss to Strutinskaia put a damper on things:


Or, at least, it would have if Calzetta Ruiz did not go on another four-game streak. As evidenced by her refusal to take a peaceful result against Strutinskaia, this is a player who is set on winning at any cost. Indeed, her only draw in the event was in round 11, by which point a draw was guaranteed to clinch outright first (as Strutinskaia’s game had already finished in a draw). When a player wins eight games in a single event, the losses of course “feel” more newsworthy, but it’s only fair to share at least one of her wins. Here’s the author’s favorite: a slow build-up on the kingside.



A total of 12 Americans participated in the event, with five in the 50+ Open and seven in the 65+ Open. No American women participated, although the U.S. Senior Women’s Championship was run concurrently.

The highest finishing American was GM Maxim Dlugy, with a 7½/11 score in the 50+ Open good enough for a tie for fifth place. Dlugy essayed a number of compelling — not to mention entertaining — wins in the middle of the tournament before ending on three consecutive draws. Despite not losing a game, a few other players just managed to win a couple more than he did.




IM William Paschall also had a nice result in Terrasini, going 7/11 in the 50+ Open and notching a win against Slovenian GM Georg Mohr in the process.



The biggest success ratings-wise was Michael Gilbert in the 65+ Open. A 1905-rated player finishing on a “plus score” with 6/11 is impressive enough, but Gilbert was not paired the first two rounds (and given zero points in each round). So he actually ended up going 6/9 to earn a 2054 performance rating and net 32 points.

Full results available here.




Immensely njoying John Nunn's book on composition solving lately. Good to see his continued success over the board.

Great stuff and thank you Jj "the cool" Lang. I will definitely play in Romania ,September2024. Jude Acers/New Orleans

Sir Peter...Not In real deal life.. no absolutely not at the top..Sir Peter.....the one the only Sir Hermann "the Marco Polo of chess"Van Riemsdijk of Brasil.. years ago..........( unlike GM Kaufman2008 Bad Wischenahn,Germany)...... TIED for first gold and was denied the Fide grandmaster title (by an absolute miracle Grandmaster Larry Kaufman got his well deserved FOR DECADES gm title while tying with feisty man of true life adventure..,one thousand epic tales creature ....
GrandmasterSuba) ..it does not matter..competition is truly savage and open to the whole world in 190 world chess federations ..Sir Peter..you do not have to kneel and ask permission of silly stupid local bureaucratic idiots ,LONG GONE rating crooks,and catch 22 rulers to play,..You just go...there are no words to describe it ..you.(I.e. Jump in- the water is fine!"-immortal US 1944 US chess champion Arnold S. Denker) ....Are in competition with yourself to do your best..Soon the entire US championship ...
Will be run absolutely like this..no" You are so special "status privilege for anyone save the defending champion..ONE Player from every single state in America..,regardless of rating, internet stay at home strictly supervised quick world chess cup format internet preliminary play) from all 50 American states in world cup knockout format..all over in 8 murderous savage days flat..LIVE IN PERSON PLAY MANDATORY FOR FINAL BIG MONEY Final ROUNDS ONLY...2 knockout rounds per day.all people can also buy in later like the US OPEN TENNIS EVENT..Masters golf tourney,, national football league.EVERYBODY PLAYS..PERIOD.NO Privileges FOR ANYONE Save defending champion..especially absolutely absurd "will you accept a draw chicken chess" grandmaster rating clubs. Yup..every black kid,every Asian kid,all women get to play in 4 hours flat PERIOD. in a 50 state thriller diller4 hour long Strictly supervised internet US chess championship play in...Sunday 1 pm . Do not kid yourself..because US CHESS HAS BROUGHT CHESS BY HOOK or CROOK TO SCHOOL CHILDREN FOR ALMOST A CENTURY...IT WILL HAVE ABSOLUTE POWER TO ORGANIZE CHESS FOR KIDS ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE..PARTICULARLY FOR CHILDREN AT RISK.....US CHESS.ORG IS NOT A JOKE..DESPITE ADMITTEDLY HUGE PROBLEMS..IS GOINGTO LEAD WORLD CHESS..PERIOD. Because it is last to. ..Get serious it will be FIRST!..itis adaptable ,gutsy and is despite flaws open to all children sponsors.IT IS GOING TO BE A MONSTER SPONSOR MAGNET!.The killer all universe HARTMANN-'jj the cool'. chess news web site right here is just the start. US Chess is mercifully also hopefully out of war zones. Simply A huge advantage indeed..-pray this continues forever.
Jude Acers/ New Orleans. ps........ Immortal quote
long ago via Armenian. Television......"I do not really believe I should ever be allowed to offer my opponent a draw" -super grandmaster/certified golden chess golden prince,all American good guy LEVON ARONIAN, world. World Top Ten player for decades.

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