Kamsky Continues Climb to the Top

I first met wunderkind Gata Kamsky at the 1989 New York Open, the year he “defected” from the Soviet Union to the United States. He was a shy, 14-yearold boy who for many years was in the shadow of his outgoing, controversial father. Gata was zealously shielded from the public. No one seemed to really know him. Years later, I was fortunate to get to know him better during our sessions.

Gata has always been a hard-working chess player both on and off the board. He is probably one of the most diligent individuals in the chess world. Nevertheless, even at the peak of his career (world number three), he was not known as a top theoretician.

Instead, he is known as a player with deep strategic understanding, great patience for long and difficult endgames, fierce fighting spirit, and keeping physically and mentally fit.

Gata surprised many of his fans when, at the top of his game, he retired from competitive chess at the tender age of 22, right after his unsuccessful 1996 World Championship challenge against Karpov.

For eight long years, he was absent from the chess scene except for a brief appearance in Las Vegas in 1999. During that time, he went to college, finished law school and then… returned to chess in 2004!

At first, he had some rust to shake off, but he has now proven that he is fully on his way back to the top and that he can still compete successfully with the very best! This year alone, he has defeated Anand (twice)!, Svidler, Ponomariov, Gelfand, van Wely, and Bacrot.

The following game from the Mtel Masters event in Sofia, Bulgaria is Gata’s quick victory against the current world’s fourth- ranked player, the four-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler. Enjoy this entertaining miniature!

Mtel Masters Sofia 2006
White: Kamsky, G.
Black: Svidler, P.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Be3 O-O 9.f4 e5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Kh1 exf4 12.Bxf4 Be6 13.Bf3 Qb6 14.b3 Rfd8 15.Qe1 Nd7 16.Nd5 cxd5 17.exd5 Bg4 18.Qxe7 Bxf3 19.Rxf3 Nf6 20.Be3 Qa5 21.Rxf6 gxf6 22.Qxf6 Re8 23.Qg5+ Kf8 24.Bd2 1-0

Click here to read my full analysis.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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