by GM Sergey Shipov
What looked like a coincidence now seems to be a consistent pattern in Kamsky’s play! Once again Gata produced a painfully long and tense game. By the end, his opponent was dying of exhaustion, while Gata remained fresh and firm.
Peter played very creatively after the opening. His ‘knight mill’ 24…Nd8!, relocating the knight from с6 to с5, deserves the highest praise. Black lost a pawn, but created strong pressure on e4. Later, however, he incorrectly traded the light-squared bishop. Instead of 27…Bxf5?! Black could continue playing on equal terms by 27…Qb7 or 27…Ncxe4.
The text-move gave Black some freedom in the center, but allowed dangerous advance of White’s b-pawns. Soon Peter had to give up an exchange.
A very interesting spot occurred on the 38th move. Trading the queens on b4 led to a difficult ending. Black could get more saving chances if he dared to sacrifice a knight by 38…Nxf2! I do not say it guaranteed a draw, but the struggle would be a lot tenser. The game could continue 39.Kxf2 e4 40.Qc7! Qxb4, and here, in order to play for a win, White is obliged to find the refined 41.Rb1!, brining the rook to b7 or b8. However I seriously doubt that grandmasters would play all the computer moves exactly – in human chess everything is possible.
After Black missed this chance, Kamsky methodically converted his endgame advantage. Svidler built up a solid position with the pawns on e3, g5 and h4, which looked like a fortress, but Kamsky’s mating threats dispersed this illusion. However, in the post mortem it turned out that Gata missed the neat 65…Nf2!, which could indeed construct an unbreakable fortress, but Peter was too tired to resist.
Overall, Kamsky’s victory in this game was quite logical.
Here is the full review.