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Gata Kamsky vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 11, Nov-25
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-25-08  kulangot: So its now +2 -2 Kamsky record against Ivanchuk in classical chess since his comeback.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Beating a player of Ivanchuk's caliber bodes well for Gata in his upcoming match with Topalov. Not saying he'll win the match, he's definitely the underdog. But it should be a competitive match. (knocking on wood)
Nov-25-08  Jim Bartle: Does Ivanchuk have a poor (at least not a good) record in big final round games? Or is just a false impression?
Nov-26-08  arsen387: Isn't 21..Nxa5? much better than the text?
Nov-26-08  dabearsrock1010: this is a real ass kickin go USA!
Nov-26-08  5hrsolver: Beautiful play by Kamsky. Combining queenside and kingside attack starting with 16.Rfb1. I like this move very much. Because of his space advantage he has more range and he is able to move his pieces around quicker than his opponent. I just learned a lesson in how to play against the french defense.
Nov-26-08  euripides: <arsen> if 21...Nxa5 then I think White has the same trick as in the game: 22.Qa4 and if 22...Rg6 to save the rook then 23.Rxa5 exploiting the unprotected queen to win a piece.
Nov-27-08  arsen387: <euripides> you're right, thanks
Nov-27-08  cotdt: Not related to this game, but American chess players might be interested in supporting Gata:

Nov-27-08  hitman84: Chuck's position was so cramped. 20...Rh6 looks like a desperate move. He simply overlooked the a5! -> Qa4 idea. Nice game by Kamsky! His openings have gradually improved since his comeback.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <arsen387: Isn't 21..Nxa5? much better than the text?>

<euripides:> has already answered your question, but since I was planning to post a link to today’s chess column in the NY Times (, which features this game, I will note that it also directly comments on this tactic: “The point was that 21 ... Na5 22 Qa4 threatens 23 Ra5, winning a piece, and 23 Bh6, winning a rook for a bishop and pawn.”

Dec-09-08  Resignation Trap: Photo of Ivanchuk after 7...Kf8: .
Dec-13-08  virginmind: was 33...Rxg5 necessary? why not 33...Kg8? am i missing something?

and what's with 7...Kf8? some new opening move i am not aware of, or instead of some 7...Qc7 chucky erroneusly touched the near king and, too nervous (in his style) he just moved it, instead of castling. weird stuff.

Dec-13-08  nhat8121: which pawn was the poisoned pawn?
Dec-14-08  virginmind: <nhat8121> it should be the g7 pawn, as after 7.Qg4 a variation goes something like 7...Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 and then either 10.Ne2 Nc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 13.Qxc3 Nf5 14.Bd2 Qb6 where black should have attack for the given pawn; or 10.Kd1 and then black gets back his pawn also with attack, while white king cannot castle anymore.
Dec-14-08  Hafen Slawkenbergius: <virginmind> After 33...Kg8 34.Rxc7, black cannot recapture the rook becaue 35.Qe8 is mate.
Dec-14-08  virginmind: <Hafen Slawkenbergius> thanks.
Jan-04-09  notyetagm: 21 ?

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21 a4-a5!! (McDonald)

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French Defence
Update December 2008
with GM Neil McDonald


Winawer 7.Qg4 Kf8

A dramatic last round

Congratulations to all Americans reading this on a fine result at the Olympiad, especially in saving your biggest effort for the last round and crushing Ukraine 3.5-0.5. Our next game was part of this great victory. It also led to the saga of a distraught Ivanchuk missing his drug's test. <<<By the way, I wish there was a drug that could make me see moves like 21.a5!!>>> Enjoy Kamsky-Ivanchuk.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Funny retrospective from writer Gert Ligterink at Corus 2009:

"It was clear to the committee that someone who regularly knocks down flower pots, or <threatens to throw himself down an apartment building’s stairwell after a defeat>, can hardly be expected to follow a total stranger to pee in a pot."

That's our Chucky!

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Resignation Trap: Photo of Ivanchuk after 7...Kf8> Caption: What have I done?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: FIDe were in a quandary after Ivanchuk refused to participate in the drug test after this game. They could either:

a) disqualify Ivanchuk and give his games to his opponents, which would alter the final placings, with Hungary now winning the bronze medal b) ban Ivanchuk for future events
c) do nothing, which would alienate the International Olympic Committee Doping Commission and endanger the IOC's recognition of chess as a sport.

FIDE dug themselves out of the hole by saying that Ivanchuk had been approached by an arbiter instead of a Doping Control Officer, and thus did not have to submit to a drugs test.

Aug-10-10  cjgone: Kf8??????
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <In a major upset, the USA defeated Ukraine 3˝ to ˝ with Ivanchuk losing his game against GM Gata Kamsky, causing Ukraine to fall to fourth and miss out on a medal. Ivanchuk was in such a distraught state after the game that he was seen "kicking a large concrete pillar".>

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