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Gata Kamsky vs Alexey Shirov
Tal Memorial (2007), Moscow, rd 3, Nov-12
Queen Pawn Game: Levitsky Attack (D00)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: So what happened? Kamsky was so focused on not exchanging queens, that he just forgot to protect his knight?
Nov-12-07  notyetagm: Position after 28 ... ♕c7-c5:

click for larger view

Here Kamsky as White makes a tremendous error.

Black's last move was 28 ... ♕c7-c5, attacking the White b5-queen but also attacking the White a5-knight -through- the White b5-queen. That is, <<<a line piece threatens EVERY SINGLE SQUARE (ESS) on its lines (BALEFUL INFLUENCE)>>>. Hence the Black c5-queen threatens both the White b5-queen -and- the White a5-knight.

Kamsky seemed to overlook this fact, that his White a5-knight was also threatened by the Black c5-queen (<EVERY SINGLE SQUARE(!), BALEFUL INFLUENCE>), and played the howler 29 ♕b5-b3??, hanging his White a5-knight.

Position after 29 ♕b5-b3??:

click for larger view

The White a5-knight is lost for nothing; White resigned.

An unbelievable error for a player of Kamsky's class. This just goes to show you how difficult a game chess is.

Nov-12-07  notyetagm: <Jim Bartle: So what happened? Kamsky was so focused on not exchanging queens, that he just forgot to protect his knight?>

Looks like it.

The position of the Black f8-king is kinda airy, with Black having played all of those loosening pawn moves, so Kamsky wants to keep the queens on, hence 29 ♕b5-b3??. The White queen on b3 reminds Black just how tender the <LIGHT SQUARES> f7 and g8 are next to his f8-king.

But this <STRATEGICALLY>-desirable move has a major <TACTICAL> flaw: it hangs the White a5-knight to 29 ... ♕c5x♘a5.

A classic example of making a tactical oversight by putting <STRATEGY> ahead of <TACTICS>.

Nov-12-07  Akavall: What's strange is that Kamsky had 29. Qa4, which kept the queens on, and didn't lose the knight.

Nov-12-07  randzo: Kamsky have 40 seconds for 11 moves
Nov-12-07  notyetagm: <randzo: Kamsky have 40 seconds for 11 moves>

Well, that explains everything.

Nov-12-07  ChessNe1: <Well, that explains everything.>

...except if he will learn from it.

Nov-12-07  Chess Carnival: <notyetagm> <A classic example of making a tactical oversight by putting <STRATEGY> ahead of <TACTICS>.>

This is my main problem in OTB chess..

Nov-13-07  miguel12: Why are Kamsky's openings so bad?
Nov-13-07  Riverbeast: Shirov: I take Nike !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Takya Kotov: There does not seem to be any reason why Kamsky cannot exchange queens and save himself a lot of trouble. Why did he keep avoiding it?
Nov-13-07  Ybrevo: Time-trouble was a great factor in this game, and actually Shirov was clearly worse in this regard a few moves before the finish. Still, it is difficult to believe that a player like Kamsky can make a blunder like this.
Nov-13-07  Resignation Trap: Shirov tries to recall some analysis to Kamsky's 2.Bg5!? in this photo: .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Resignation Trap> Great photo!
Nov-14-07  ztnepres: whats wrong wit Nb7 instead of resigning
Nov-14-07  Marvol: <ztnepres: whats wrong wit Nb7 instead of resigning>

He's not allowed to move twice in a row ;).

Nov-14-07  Marvol: <Jim Bartle: So what happened? Kamsky was so focused on not exchanging queens, that he just forgot to protect his knight?>

Yes, what makes this scenario even more likely is that Kamsky had made a very similar maneuver at move 24, so it looks like in his time trouble he just instinctively did 'the same thing'. Except that it wasn't 'the same', really :s.

Nov-18-07  geraldo8187: in his interview after his win over mamed, kamsky mentions that he should have sacrificed on e5 in this game. anybody know at which point he may have meant?
Nov-21-07  JG27Pyth: <in his interview after his win over mamed, kamsky mentions that he should have sacrificed on e5 in this game.>

Just a guess at this before someone answers definitively... 19. Nxe5 instead of the Nh2.

There's surely some crazy tactics lurking below the surface with some fork threats on the queen at e5 as well as a discovered attack on the queen along the d file (and the bishop at c6 pinned against the queen, too) ... but I'm not equal to the task of analyzing it :(

Dec-12-07  cotdt: terrible, terrible blunder!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Marvol: <ztnepres: whats wrong wit[h] Nb7 instead of resigning[?]>

He's not allowed to move twice in a row ;).>

I still think Kamsky might as well have tried 29.5 Nxb7!!?!?!? and hoped that neither Shirov nor the arbiter noticed that he had already played 29. Qb3?? after 28. ... Qc5. ;-)

Apr-27-08  positionalgenius: Qb3?? Amazing blunder from kamsky. I couldn't believe it when i saw the ending of this game.
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