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Gata Kamsky vs Magnus Carlsen
FIDE World Cup (2005), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 7, Dec-16
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-16-05  notyetagm: Best game Kamsky has played since he returned to chess. He wipes Magnus off the board in this game.
Dec-16-05  notyetagm: Kamsky plays two wicked in-between moves in this game, 25 ♕xd6! and the winning shot 31 b6!!.
Dec-16-05  hayton3: Kamsky makes it look so easy. Sveshnikov anyone?
Dec-16-05  notyetagm: Indeed. <Kamsky's play makes the Sveshnikov look fundamentally unsound.> With White having that huge hole on d5 to work with and mobile queenside pawns to boot, what else does he need to win?
Dec-16-05  Jafar219: Three Topalov versus Winston Churchill.Funny!!! :)
Dec-16-05  aw1988: I've found a big problem with the Sveshnikov is that Black will continue with his plans, etc, and White will continue with his plans, but White's plans, while not exactly deadly in themselves, can be varied to fit specific nuances. Maybe this is the reason the Svesh is having such a miserable score.
Dec-16-05  azaris: That sounds too vague to explain anything - in most lines Black has dynamic equality.

I would rather look for the reason in the continuing trend of playing the "passive" move 9...Be7. The out-of-fashion line 9...Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qd8 11. c4 is probably playable for Black. For some reason, the top players approach this defense as if being creative was outlawed so naturally they run into some trouble in the long run.

See further conversation at Ivanchuk vs Ni Hua, 2005.

Dec-16-05  notyetagm: <aw1988> Isn't it funny how times change? At Linares 2003 no White player would allow the Sveshnikov (except maybe Anand) and now it is having real troubles.
Dec-16-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <azaris> Is 11. c4 better for White than 11. Nxf6+ Qxf6 12. c4 instead? I figured White shouldn't let the Pe4 hang. Anand vs D Hergott, 1984
Dec-16-05  aw1988: <That sounds too vague to explain anything - in most lines Black has dynamic equality.>

How do you explain then Black's army of losses? By the way, Be7 has been known for many years...

Dec-16-05  aw1988: And let me state something frank here, no offense intended.

If you, an amateur, (or higher, but I'm willing to bet not a grandmaster) see this, these moves with Qa5+ etc and find it playable... anyone who employs the Sveshnikov in highly rated tournaments obviously has some kind of solid experience (I was going to say enormous experience, but that belongs to Kramnik Leko etc). They have investigated it and obviously found something unsatisfactory. Not to take the naive attitude of "if they say it it must be true", but for chess this seems to be a factor.

Dec-16-05  hayton3: More solid for white is 9...Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qd8 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 12.Bd3 with structural advantage to White and compensating dynamism to Black.
Dec-16-05  Norman Glaides: Holy cripes, killer move and a great game by Kamsky. Without his leering over his shoulder he's learned not to be @#$% too - fantastic.
Dec-16-05  technical draw: Both 25.Qxd6 and 31.b6 are fantastic moves. Amazing!
Dec-16-05  aw1988: At least if Carlsen loses it won't be to a lucky shot. Kamsky honestly deserved this wonderful victory.
Dec-17-05  azaris: <tpstar> I'm not sure clinging on to the pawn is necessary. It seems that White will often let the e4-pawn hang while Black will do same with the b-pawn. Whoever grabs a pawn usually ends up being on the defense. <acirce> mentioned the game Kupreichik vs N Nikcevic, 1992 as an example of why that line was considered good for White. I don't know if the improvements have changed the evaluation, I haven't studied it closely enough.

After 11.Nxf6+ Qxf6 12.c4 Qg6 13.f3 Be7 White should definitely not grab the pawn like in our game, but play 14.Be3 O-O as in G Small vs Jeff Kelleher, 2003. Seems perfectly good to me.

<aw1988> Maybe I'm partial to the 9...Qa5+ line. But I think you're drawing too broad conclusions on a few losses in the Sveshikov. It's one of the more positionally challenging defenses in current practice. If you don't play accurately, White will just get a superior position. But it also allows for good chances to mix things up and win as Black. It's not suprising that such a defense will occasionally have periods where it seems to be taking a beating, before someone comes up with new ideas. The Najdorf has seen difficult times after everyone started playing 6.Be3.

The fact that most GMs choose to play 20 moves of theory in the 9...Be7 line is an indication that either they don't believe the theory is flawed or then that they know it's busted but continue to play it anyway out of sheer spite. Which one is more likely?

Dec-17-05  aw1988: Obviously the former.
Mar-18-06  Fischerissweet: Kamsky, showing that brilliance again.
Gotta love him.
May-13-06  MagnaPsygnosis: <fischerissweet>
Yes Kamsky broke magnus totally.
I am NOT surprized at all.
Dec-11-08  skb2008in: Yes Kamsky has still that talent.Anyone who wins the game ,all including analysts are with him.Ultimately Kamsky has the initiative and he led from the front in this match against the brave Carlson.Kudos to him.
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