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Gata Kamsky vs Boris Gelfand
4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009), Nalchik RUS, rd 6, Apr-21
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E04)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  whiteshark: "The amount of blank spots in the theory is simply amazing. Take the Catalan – a highly popular opening! Everybody played in recently, completely exhausting certain variations. However, Kamsky’s natural strengthening 8th move led the game to a whole new territory. And Gelfand was unable to solve the new set of problems.

When it turned out that Black cannot hold the c4-pawn, Boris decided to simplify the game with a dubious central break – <14…e5?> Gata could probably punish the opponent by <17.Nc5!> with a crushing attack after <17…dxe3 18.Bxc6+! bxc6 19.Qe4+!>

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However, the spectacular <17.Nd6+> also gave him the initiative. The Black’s king remained in the center and barely survived. I am sure Kamsky could handle his advantage better. For instance, one can suggest <26.Be4>, and the threat of Be4-h7 provokes the weakening g7-g6, after which White’s queen can land on f6.

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In the game White played a little too slow and Black managed to regroup. Gata preferred to avoid problems, and transposed the game into an equal ending."

-- Sergey Shipov

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