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Gata Kamsky
Number of games in database: 1,638
Years covered: 1986 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2691 (2739 rapid, 2706 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2763
Overall record: +419 -233 =563 (57.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      423 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (176) 
    B90 B47 B33 B32 B97
 Queen's Pawn Game (123) 
    A46 D02 D00 A45 A40
 Ruy Lopez (103) 
    C78 C91 C67 C65 C80
 French Defense (52) 
    C11 C18 C10 C16 C02
 Sicilian Najdorf (47) 
    B90 B97 B96 B91 B92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (40) 
    C91 C84 C92 C89 C85
With the Black pieces:
 Slav (156) 
    D15 D10 D11 D12 D14
 Ruy Lopez (111) 
    C95 C84 C78 C89 C60
 Sicilian (101) 
    B42 B43 B40 B41 B90
 Grunfeld (82) 
    D85 D86 D94 D97 D96
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (72) 
    C95 C84 C89 C92 C88
 Caro-Kann (59) 
    B12 B17 B14 B10 B15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kamsky vs Kramnik, 1994 1-0
   Kramnik vs Kamsky, 1994 0-1
   Kamsky vs Mamedyarov, 2013 1-0
   Kamsky vs Short, 1994 1-0
   Jobava vs Kamsky, 2012 0-1
   Kamsky vs Karpov, 1996 1-0
   Kamsky vs Shirov, 2007 1-0
   E Sos Andreu vs Kamsky, 2014 0-1
   Kamsky vs Lautier, 1993 1-0
   Kamsky vs Seirawan, 2012 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Karpov - Kamsky FIDE World Championship (1996)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1991)
   World Chess Cup (2007)
   Foxwoods Open (2007)
   39th World Open (2011)
   28th European Club Cup (2012)
   FIDE World Cup (2005)
   American Continental Championship (2005)
   US Championship (2012)
   Baku Open (2010)
   Aeroflot Open (2011)
   Chess Olympiad (2012)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2013)
   World Cup (2013)
   World Cup (2011)
   Chess Olympiad (2010)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Kamsky! by amadeus
   Kamsky! by larrewl
   Melody Amber 1994 by amadeus
   Melody Amber 1995 by amadeus
   D15 Slav: Chameleon [Black] by chess.master
   Games analyzed by YouRang by YouRang

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Gata Kamsky
Search Google for Gata Kamsky
FIDE player card for Gata Kamsky

(born Jun-02-1974, 41 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Grandmaster (1990); World Championship challenger (1995); USSR Junior champion (jointly - 1987 & 1988); 5-time winner of the US Championship (1991, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014).

Gata Kamsky was born June 2nd, 1974 in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. His chess career began in Russia, in the early stages of which, at the age of 12, he defeated former Candidate GM Mark Taimanov in a tournament game. He relocated to the USA in 1989 and now lives in New York. In July 1990 he became the youngest player ever to be rated in FIDE's world top ten, moving straight into the number 8 position from outside the top 100 while still untitled, representing three unique and as yet unsurpassed feats. After contesting the 1995 World Championship, he temporarily retired from chess in 1996 to pursue professional qualifications, and returned to competition chess in 2004.


<Junior> Kamsky jointly won the USSR Junior Championships in 1987 with Boris Alterman (1) and in 1988 jointly with Mikhail Ulibin. (2)

<National> Kamsky won the US Championship in 1991, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. His entry to the U.S. Championship in San Diego, California, in 2004 was his first major event since 1996, apart from his brief foray in the 1999 World Championship Knockout Tournament, and he scored 5.5/9. His successful 2011 defense of his national title after winning it the previous year involved him winning his pool (US Championship (Group A) (2011) and defeating Yury Shulman in the 2 game mini-match final for the title. This victory may have also contributed to his battle fitness in his successful rematch against Veselin Topalov in the 2011 Candidates matches. He was runner-up in the US Championship (2012). In May 2013, his tie for first in the US Chess Championships (2013) with Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez was decided in his favour by his winning by 2-1 in the 3rd game Armegeddon tiebreaker. In May 2014, his tie for first in the US Championship (2014) with Aleksandr Lenderman and Varuzhan Akobian was also decided in his favor by blitz playoff when he defeated Akobian after Akobian had defeated Lenderman in the preliminary blitz playoff. He placed =5th in the US Championships (2015).

<World> - <early years until 1996 retirement> Kamsky's initial participation in the world championship cycle was to qualify for the right to contest the 1990 Interzonal in Manila, where he scored 5.5/13. Three years later he contested both the FIDE and PCA Interzonals that were held in Groningen and Biel respectively, coming third in both events and thereby qualifying for both sets of Candidates matches. He reached the finals of the 1994-1995 PCA World Championship Candidates' matches, eliminating Vladimir Kramnik and Nigel Short before losing to Viswanathan Anand. In the FIDE Candidates he met with even greater success, defeating Paul van der Sterren, Anand and Valery Salov and qualifying for a match with Anatoly Karpov. After losing the match, Kamsky announced his retirement from professional chess in order to study medicine and law. This period of inactivity was punctuated only by his participation in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999), where he lost in the first round to the eventual winner, Alexander Khalifman.

<World> - <2005 until 2014> On his return to world championship chess in 2005, his first event was the FIDE World Cup (2005), where he placed ninth defeating Zhao Jun, Dmitry Bocharov, Ilya Smirin and Alexander Grischuk in the preliminary rounds. He therefore qualified once more for the Candidates' matches. In the consequent 2007 round of Candidates matches, he won the preliminary Candidates Match: Bacrot - Kamsky (2007) but lost the Candidates Match: Gelfand - Kamsky (2007) ending his bid to qualify to play in the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007). He rebounded in the next World Championship cycle by winning the World Chess Cup (2007). Undefeated throughout the seven-round event, he beat Ahmed Adly, Boris Avrukh, Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev, Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov and Magnus Carlsen in the preliminary rounds before beating Alexey Shirov in the final to qualify for the Topalov - Kamsky Match (2009). Veselin Topalov emerged victorious by a 4.5-2.5 margin and thereby gained the right to play Anand in a match for the title. Although he unexpectedly bowed out of the World Cup (2009) in the third round to Wesley So, on the basis of his match against Topalov, FIDE seeded him into the World Championship Candidates (2011) where he again faced Topalov, this time defeating him by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3 -0) to move into the semi finals against Boris Gelfand. Kamsky conceded the semi final match in the blitz playoff by 1.5-0.5 after drawing the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+1 -1 =2). Soon afterwards, he qualified by reason of his rating to participate in the World Cup (2011) where he defeated Diego Rafael Di Berardino, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first three rounds but lost to the eventual winner Peter Svidler in the Round of Sixteen (round 4). He qualified via rating to play in the World Cup (2013) where he defeated Chinese IM Lou Yiping in the first round, young Russian GM Aleksandr Shimanov in the second round, local Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer in the third round and Azeri GM and twice World Junior Champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Round of 16 (fourth round) (4). However, he was eliminated in the quarter final (round 5) by Russian GM Evgeny Tomashevsky and exited the contest and the 2014 World Championship cycle.

<Grand Prix series 2012-13> Vugar Gashimov 's withdrawal from chess due to ill health resulted in Kamsky replacing him in the Grand Prix series 2012-13. He started poorly with 3.5/11 in the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012). Subsequently he scored 5.5/11, placing =5th at the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013). He lead for much of the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), but finished with =2nd on 7.5/11 adding 125 GP points to his GP tally. His last place in the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013) put him out of contention for the top 2 - and consequent qualification for the 2014 Candidates tournament – in the series.

<World> - <2014 until the present>

Kamsky qualified for the World Cup (2015) through his results at the US Championships (2015) aka Zonal 2.1, but was unexpectedly eliminated from the event in the first round by Armenian GM Hrant Melkumyan.

Standard Tournaments

Kamsky’s first win after he relocated to the United States in 1989 was at the Buffalo Open. After a short while spent adjusting to the level of opposition he encountered by entering the world’s top 10, Kamsky scored some major tournament triumphs, including Tilburg 1990, the U.S. Championship of 1991 (3), Buenos Aires 1993, Las Palmas (1994), and shared first in 1995 at Dos Hermanas. He reached his peak world ranking of number 4 between July 1995 and January 1996. After his hiatus of 1996-2004, he was undefeated in the HB Global Challenge held in Minneapolis in 2005. Following his success at the 2005 FIDE World Cup, further successes in 2006, including second place at the MTel Masters (2006) behind Topalov and at the 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) helped reestablish his position as one of the world's leading players. In 2010 he won the Reggio Emilia (2009) (which finished in January 2010), the Philadelphia Open (2010), the President's Cup in Baku, and the Baku Open (2010). After his victory in the 2011 US Championship, he won the 39th World Open (2011) on tiebreak from Michael Adams. Kamsky has since scored 7/13 (+3 -2 =8) at Tata Steel (2012) and was runner up in the inaugural ACP Golden Classic (2012), which showcased longer classical time controls and pre-computer style adjournments. In August 2012, he was outright winner of the 2012 Washington International. 2013 started with a modest 7.5/10 (=5th) at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013). Later in the year he scored an even more modest 1.5/6, placing 4th in the quadrangular DRR category 22 Sinquefield Cup (2013).

Kamsky started 2014 at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2014), scoring a par-for-rating 7/10 and placing =10th. In March he won the 36th Annual Marchand Open held in Rochester, New York and the 23rd Annual Eastern Class Championships held in Massachusetts. In April he won the 8th Annual Philadelphia Open outright with 7.5/9. Two months later he won the 2014 National Open in Las Vegas outright with 5/6. He was less successful in July when he competed in the 42nd Annual World Open in Arlington, Virginia, where he scored 6/9, losing 11 rating points. In October, he placed =1st with 5.5/7 alongside Sergey Erenburg at the 2014 Washington Chess Congress, also held in Arlington. In December he placed =1st at the 98th Annual Marshall Chess Club Championship.

In July 2015 he won the 8th New York International and in the following month won the 4th Annual Washington International and the 45th Annual Continental Open (the last mentioned staged in Sturbridge, Massachusetts) .

Team events

<Olympiads> Kamsky’s inaugural Olympic representation was for the USA at the 1992 Olympiad, where playing on top board, he lead his team to 4th place. His next appearances at the Olympiads were when, still playing top board, he lead his US team to a bronze medal at 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) and at the Olympiad (2008). Kamsky played board 2 for the US at the Chess Olympiad (2010) and the Chess Olympiad (2012), on the latter occasion scoring an individual bronze. He also played board 2 for the US at the Chess Olympiad (2014), where a poor performance reduced his rating to below 2700 for the first time since January 2010.

<World Team Championship> Kamsky first played in this event in 1993, when he played top board for the US, leading it to team gold. Subsequent to his victory in the 2011 US Championship, he played board 1 for the USA at the World Chess Team Championship (2011), scoring 5.5/9 and winning an individual bronze. He played board 2 for the US in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013), helping his team to 4th place.

<National and Continental leagues> Kamsky played in the European Club Cup from 2007-2010 inclusive and in 2012 and 2013, winning three team golds (in 2007, 2008 and 2012) and one individual gold in 2012. His best results were in the 2012 season when he won team and individual gold playing board five for SOCAR Baku at the 28th European Club Cup (2012), this result propelling him to the top of the rating list for the Americas at that time (November 2012). He also helped SOCAR to a bronze at the European Club Cup (2013).

Kamsky also played in the Russian Premier League in 2008, winning individual bronze and team gold with the Ural Sverdlovsk region club, and in 2013 and 2014 when he played top board for Kazan.

Rapid/blitz events

In 2004 he returned to active competition after his 8 year lay off from chess in the New York Masters rapid competition. August 2010 saw Kamsky becoming the world rapid champion when he won clear first at the World Rapid Chess Championship (Mainz Chess Classic) with 10.0/11, defeating world #5 and defending champion Levon Aronian, 2004 FIDE champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Sergey Karjakin en route to the title. In June 2014, he came =1st alongside Timur Gareev at the Spirits of Chess rapid round robin event held in Las Vegas.


Kamsky has been a member of since early 2010, his userid being: User: DarkNolan.

Rating and Ranking

Kamsky's highest rating to date was 2763 in July 2013 when he was ranked #11 in the world. His highest ever ranking was #4 in July 1995 behind Garry Kasparov, Karpov and Vassily Ivanchuk respectively; at that time he was rated 2735.

Sources and references

Wikipedia article: Gata Kamsky; Live rating list:; (1) [rusbase-1]; (2) [rusbase-2]; (3); (4) (a Washington Times article features one game of his which advanced him to the next stage).

Last updated 15 September 2015

 page 1 of 66; games 1-25 of 1,638  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Akopian vs Kamsky 1-034 1986 USSRB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
2. V Belikov vs Kamsky  0-142 1986 SochiJ-BB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
3. Shirov vs Kamsky 1-039 1986 Sochi (Russia)C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
4. Kamsky vs Tiviakov  0-168 1986 DaugavpilsB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
5. Kamsky vs K Aseev 1-031 1986 ViliandiA46 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Kamsky vs Sakaev  0-145 1986 SochiJ-BB86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
7. D Burmenko vs Kamsky  1-054 1986 SochiJ-BD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. A Graf vs Kamsky  ½-½33 1987 PavlodarA25 English
9. Kamsky vs Chekhov 1-062 1987 PavlodarB03 Alekhine's Defense
10. Kamsky vs P Fossan 1-018 1987 InnsbruckB12 Caro-Kann Defense
11. Shirov vs Kamsky 1-029 1987 KapsukasD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
12. V Nasybullin vs Kamsky 0-140 1987 PavlodarA48 King's Indian
13. Kamsky vs I Novikov 0-129 1987 PavlodarD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
14. Taimanov vs Kamsky 0-139 1987 Leningrad-chD94 Grunfeld
15. Kamsky vs S Ivanov 0-145 1987 USSRD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
16. Kamsky vs Yermolinsky  0-131 1987 PavlodarA48 King's Indian
17. Kamsky vs K Agapov 0-141 1987 LeningradA43 Old Benoni
18. D Komarov vs Kamsky  1-040 1987 USSRD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Kamsky vs F Sideif-Sade 1-046 1987 PavlodarB44 Sicilian
20. Dreev vs Kamsky 1-056 1987 Pavlodar (Kazakhstan)C44 King's Pawn Game
21. G Zaichik vs Kamsky 0-156 1987 PavlodarD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
22. Kamsky vs Y Dokhoian 0-161 1987 PavlodarC02 French, Advance
23. V Osnos vs Kamsky  ½-½24 1987 Leningrad-chD75 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O c5, 8.dxc5
24. T Tabatadze vs Kamsky  1-082 1988 Ch URS ( 1/2 )D94 Grunfeld
25. A Vitolinsh vs Kamsky 1-059 1988 MinskC60 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 66; games 1-25 of 1,638  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kamsky wins | Kamsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 138 OF 138 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-25-15  HeMateMe: dunno. He has said that he posts most of that stuff on facebook, these days. I refuse to joint the cult, so I can't view his page. You must join Facebook, in order to see people's facebook pages.
Apr-01-15  Gryz: I'm sure Gata won't read this until the US championship is over. But anyway.

Good luck !!

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <At 32, I feel that I am in my prime and up to the task of becoming the next American World Chess Champion> - Gata Kamsky (2006).
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <hhm> I joined FB to look for a specific piece of information but found myself thoroughly interested. It did give me access to some chess details I couldn't find on the net elsewhere. There are actually some good things, but there is also an enormous amount of useless crud. Sadly, it helps people to self brainwash, since they keep looking at the views that they agree with. Some parts of TV are notorious for that too.
Jun-02-15  thegoodanarchist: <"In July 1990 he became the youngest player ever to be rated in FIDE's world top ten, moving straight into the number 8 position from outside the top 100 while still untitled">

To me, this is one of the most impressive chess feats I can imagine. Right up there with Caruana's Sinquefield Cup Win last year.

Jun-02-15  Howard: Perhaps someone could answer a question about Kamsky's top-10 rating in July, 1990---which, by the way, I remember from that time. Inside Chess magazine mentioned it, in fact.

At any rate, the question is....just what results did Kamsky have that pushed his rating up that high ? Granted, he did tie for first place at Tilburg, 1990 but that wasn't until later that year.

Thanks for any info.

Jun-02-15  Retireborn: <Howard> The New York open, I think - I remember he defeated Tal in that. Must have been more to it, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <howard> It may not tell you all that you ask for, but olimpbase has a database of ratings from earlier than what FIDE has on line. You could look up the rating from then. Chessmetrics has a lot of information, but doesn't have him rated that high until '94.
Jun-03-15  Troller: I think there also was a GMA qualifier - I remember he qualified for the GMA World Cup as youngest (and only non-titled) participant. He had like 2345 at that point, probably 1989.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Gata Kamsky wins the 8th NY International (Marshall Open) with a score of 7/9 (+5,-0,=4).

Jul-21-15  Howard: Glad that Kamsky didn't retire at 40 like he was originally considering, a few years back.
Jul-21-15  Pulo y Gata: Gata keep on trying.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Maybe a good solution is not to retire, but just keep playing without all the study. In other words, Kamsky can just cash in on his previous work for the next few years. That's what I would do. There are other things to do besides chess after that stops working.
Oct-10-15  grasser: Now I do not feel so bad about asking for $100,000 a year to be a Second for a GM. He certainly would have known what time the Round started and what the rules were.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <grasser: Now I do not feel so bad about asking for $100,000 a year to be a Second for a GM. He certainly would have known what time the Round started and what the rules were.>

If unconfirmed reports that Kamsky was involved in a traffic accident are correct, the above remarks are ungenerous, to put it mildly, and I should hope they would be retracted.

Oct-10-15  Howard: How come Kamsky appears to have played only two games so far in the Las Vegas event ?
Oct-10-15  HeMateMe: he switched to the poker tables, more money there.
Oct-10-15  Howard: You are kidding, correct ?
Oct-10-15  HeMateMe: there's another event at the casino, a high stakes poker game just for the chess players, He entered that one instead.
Oct-11-15  lorker: Looking at him in the live feed, I think it is pretty clear he is wearing a wig these days. Thoughts?
Oct-11-15  Fishy: hmmm.....if he is it costs 100 times what that Plastic thing Vishy has had on his head for 120 years.....and Kamsky has had a career as good as his...what a great your games Gata...a true chess genius
Oct-11-15  HeMateMe: I don't think it's a rug. I think Gata got hair implants this past year. They extract and sew in bits of your own hair strands on the areas of your scalp that are missing hair. It's real hair, but might not appear as thick as a normal, full head of hair.

He was wearing a baseball cap for months, until enough of the new hair grew in to make an even appearance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Thoughts?> Can he get a refund? He looks like Shaggy off Scooby Doo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Bring back the buzz cut, all is forgiven:

Oct-11-15  grasser: perfidious: That would make it even worse. You MUST stay at the same Hotel as the playing room. You must experience no inconvenience whatsoever. Such as wearing that damn noose around his neck. You must arrive at the Hotel at least FIVE DAYS before the event to get used to where you are. That is why I am so expensive. Because I am worth it. Even Anand did not know the Castle he played in Norway would be "Cold". It's just non-sense. Bring friends to help you organize if you don't want to pay for a Second.
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