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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Gata Kamsky
Tal Memorial (2008), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Aug-18
Gruenfeld Defense: Three Knights Variation. Hungarian Attack (D92)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-18-08  suenteus po 147: I think the jury is still out on Kamsky's Grunfeld. Will be interesting to see what shape his 1.d4 defense takes against Topalov in the match later.
Aug-18-08  Hesam7: The b1-knight did Kamsky in, here is its route from start to finish:


click for larger view

Aug-18-08  Hesam7: <suenteus po 147: I think the jury is still out on Kamsky's Grunfeld. Will be interesting to see what shape his 1.d4 defense takes against Topalov in the match later.>

Kamsky playing the Black side of the Gruenfeld is nothing new, in the 90s he played it quite often. He even used it against Karpov (!) in the first half of their match: Karpov-Kamsky FIDE World Championship (1996). But his results were not so good (-2 =1) so he abandoned it in the 2nd half of the match.

Aug-18-08  suenteus po 147: <Hesam7: Kamsky playing the Black side of the Gruenfeld is nothing new, in the 90s he played it quite often. He even used it against Karpov (!) in the first half of their match:> I was aware of this (if only generally). My comment was in reference to his "retooled" Grunfeld which was pretty solid in Sochi but starts out with a disaster here. I'm curious to see how well it works in this tougher field.
Aug-18-08  pastpawn: Wow, that was a crush. Maybe Kamsky had an improvement he is saving for Topalov :o.
Aug-18-08  Hesam7: <sp147: My comment was in reference to his "retooled" Grunfeld which was pretty solid in Sochi but starts out with a disaster here. I'm curious to see how well it works in this tougher field.>

I see. So far in 2008 he has faced 1.d4, 14 times, he has played the Gruenfeld in 7 games (Slav has been his other major choice) and his score is +2-2=3.

I think he will play something entirely different against Topalov. Back in the 90s he played the KID and QID-NID too. Do you know who his second(s) is (are)?

Aug-18-08  cade: Nice finish, Kamsky only a move away from being mated in the middlegame, very dominant.
Aug-18-08  suenteus po 147: <Do you know who his second(s) is (are)?> That's the big question over here in the US camp. No one seems to know, and the rumor is that the USCF will not pay for any if he has them.
Aug-18-08  Dionyseus: Rybka 3 thinks 16. Rfd1 cxd5 17. Nb5 would have been stronger for white.

19. Nxa7 Qb8 20. Bxb6 Nxb6 21. Qxb6 Qxf4 22. Qe3 is much stronger for white.

19... Qb8 20. a5 Nc4 21. Bxa7 Qd8 22. Rd1 Qxa5 much stronger for black than what was played.

20. Nc3 Qc6 is stronger.

Aug-18-08  Dionyseus: R3 thinks 10... Bxf3 11. Bxf3 e5 12. dxe5 Ncxe5 13. Be2 Nb6 is much stronger for black than what was played.
Aug-18-08  messachess: a very strong game by Ivanchuk. This is about as good as it gets in chess.
Aug-18-08  juandadamo: May somebody explain the strategics reasons for taking 12 gxf3 ? thanks

On the other hand, after 17 Nb5 it seems to me that Ivanchuk left no air to defense. Great attacking game!

Aug-18-08  Dionyseus: <juandadamo> <May somebody explain the strategics reasons for taking 12 gxf3 ? thanks >

I would think that it's better to capture with the pawn for several reasons: 1) Your light bishop retains its great open and safe position at e2. 2) capturing with the pawn opens up the g file for your rook, making that rook more valuable. 3) if you capture with the bishop, black can safely reposition his knights while at the same time forcing you to move your bishops around. For example 12.Bxf3 Ne5 13.Be2 Nc4

Aug-18-08  dumbgai: Kamsky will need to play better than this if he wants to beat Topalov.
Aug-18-08  Whitehat1963: What is best play if 30. Ne7?
Aug-18-08  Hesam7: <suenteus po 147: <Do you know who his second(s) is (are)?> That's the big question over here in the US camp. No one seems to know, and the rumor is that the USCF will not pay for any if he has them.>

There is 750,000 $ in prizes so money should not be a huge problem for him. I hope he gets a decent second and really works out his openings otherwise it will be a one sided event.

Aug-18-08  juandadamo: <Dionyseus> thank you very much for your comments!
Aug-19-08  ahmadov: These two guys, especially Chucky, seem not to be tired after the Sochi round of FIDE Grand Prix...
Aug-19-08  Microdot: A very good revange for Chuky after Sochi,
All I can say about this wild game: Ivanchuk outplayed Kamsky!
Aug-19-08  arnaud1959: <Dionyseus:I would think that it's better to capture with the pawn for several reasons:> I don't think he would play 12.gxf3 for the first 2 reasons but only for the last one. 12.Bxf3 Ne5 13.Be2 Nc4 and white simply loses the powerful bishop pair.
Aug-19-08  Coleman: OOOOOOUCH! I hope Kamsky's feelings didn't get hurt. I'm putting money on Ivanchuk to win the toury.
Aug-20-08  giocle: i thought kamsky surprised in this opening, he didn't know where to go.
Aug-20-08  YouRang: It appears that things really went south for Kamsky (black) on his 24th move:


click for larger view

Here, black looks bad. His pieces are cramped (most notably his queen) and his a6-pawn is in danger, which would give white an advanced passer on the a-file.

Black played 24...g5?, perhaps hoping for 25.fxg5 Nxe5 and a pretty even game. Ivanchuk had none of that and went on to win with the strong 25.Nc6!, forcing ...Qe8 -- an even more cramped position soon to be followed with more material loss.

I believe Kamksy's best choice looked like this:

24...Nb8! <guards the a6 pawn and frees up his queen a bit. Note that white can't take the c4 pawn: 25.Rxc4? Qd1+! 26.Kg2 Qg4+ and black gratefully takes the perpetual check & draw>

25.h3 <now threatening Rxc4 since the perpetual is erased by the luft at h2> f6 <in hopes of exchanging pawns to mobilize his bishop and rook>

26.Rxc4 <the point of h3> fxe5 27.Nc8 <threatening Nb8 and Pe7> [diagram]


click for larger view

27...Qd7! 28.Qxb8 <white wins a knight, but his knight is pinned & needs the rook to guard it>

29.Bb6 <not 29.Bxf4? Qd1+ 30.Kh2 Qe2! threatening Qxc4 and Qxf2+ with perpetual check> Bf6 <with Pe7 now protected, black threatens ...Qxh3 & ...Qg4+ & perpetual>

30.Kh2 <must guard h3> f3 <making the white king exposed and very uncomfortable with g2 under black control>

31.Be3 <cutting off Q access to e1> Qe6 <threatening the bishop fork ...Be5+>

32.Re5 <preventing bishop fork> [diagram]


click for larger view

Here, black has 32...Kg7! <getting his king off the back rank and guarding h6. Black now threatens to deflect the white queen from the b8-h2 diagonal. For example, if the queen unpins itself with 33.Qc7, then 33...Rxc8! 34.Qxc8 Qd6+ 35.Kg1 Qd1+ 36.Kh2 Qd6+ (perpetual)>

33.Bf4 <guarding the diagonal, but allowing...> Qe1 <threat ...Qxf2 & mate>

34.Be3 Rd8! <threat ...Rd1 & mate soon>

35.Rc1 Qxa5 <winning a pawn and threatening the bishop fork ...Be5+>

36.Qg3 <unpinning his knight and helping with defense, with hopes of getting rid of Pf3> Qf5 <threating white knight, guards Pf3, and threatens pin ...Be5>

37.Qg4 <"xray" protection of knight & threat to exchange Qs> Be5+

38.Kg1 Bxb2 <attack R and give us a passer on a-file>

39.Qxf5 gxf5 <exchange Qs>

40.Rb1 <save rook and attack bishop> Bf6 <save bishop & guard Pe7> Kf7 <guards Pe7 (freeing bishop) & centralize king on light sq> [diagram]


click for larger view

Black has 3 pawns for a piece, and excellent drawing chances.

Aug-29-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <juandadamo: May somebody explain the strategics reasons for taking 12 gxf3 ?> To what <Dyoniseus> and <Arnaud1959> said, let me add that typical middle-game risks associated with a capture like this are absent here: Black can't take control of f4 or e5 (say, with a knight), and black's dark square bishop is nowhere near (and cannot be planted on) the b8-h2 diagonal. Finally, white can even 0-0 and black can't exploit the open g-file. I agree with <Arnaud1959> than opening the g-file is not a reason here to take with the g-pawn. White's game is in the center and the queen-side, not the king side.

All in all, spectacular game by Ivanchuk. What a forceful strategist he is.

Apr-29-12  MarkFinan: This is the kind of chess i love, mind boggling, attacking chess..

Ivanchuk only made what i'd call one defensive move in the whole game.. At least we have Anand v Gelfland to look forward to !!!

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