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Joel Benjamin vs Gata Kamsky
US Championship (1991), Los Angeles, CA USA, rd 4, Aug-08
Spanish Game: Exchange. Bronstein Variation (C69)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-02-06  Operation Mindcrime: Andrew Soltis used this as an example of moves that "lack force". With 17. ♖xf7??, White was hoping for - I presume - something like 17.....♘xf7 18. ♕xf7+! , or even {17....Be6 18. Rxg7+!). However, this allowed Black to start counter-measures with 17.....♕g4!, halting the attack in its tracks. Soltis gives the more forceful 17. ♖ae1+! as a winning move - the check prevents any defensive queen moves - has anyone worked this out any further?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Mindcrime> It's curious indeed that Benjamin failed to play 17.Rae1+, as after the continuation in the actual game with 17....Qg4, his attack is over; at any rate, I see no obvious improvements over the way this went.
Dec-30-13  Howard: The Informant indeed gives 17.Rae1 as a winning move, plus Soltis' book on the history of the U.S. chess championship says likewise.
Jun-02-14  Howard: So, presumably, Benjamin did indeed miss a forced win...and had he won this game, then he might have been the 1991 champion--rather than Kamsky.
Jun-02-14  Jim Bartle: This game was played under extremely tense circumstances. Gata's father Rustam was walking around the playing site, warning any players not to make eye contact with Benjamin or pass on any advice. Not sure if it was this game, but during the match Rustam confronted Patrick Wolff physically and accused him of passing moves to Benjamin. (According to Inside Chess.)

It's understandable that Benjamin didn't play his best. It's also to Gata Kamsky's great credit that he played well when the entire audience except for his father was probably actively rooting against him.

Jun-02-14  Granny O Doul: I believe Joel wrote that he had overlooked the strong retreat Nf3 after 17. Rae1+ Kd7, looking instead (I guess) only at Nxf7.
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