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Gata Kamsky vs Wang Hao
FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012), Tashkent UZB, rd 4, Nov-25
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E04)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-25-12  Ulhumbrus: Kamsky sacrifices two pawns in the opening to in order to prevent Wang Hao from castling on the king side whereupon Wang Hao castles on the queen side.
Nov-25-12  dumbgai: I'm reposting a comment I made on the tournament page for this game.

Position after 58. a7:

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When the black king is too far away, this position is drawn, because black can't move his king without stalemating white, and moving the queen allows the white king to unblock the pawn. However, black can win here because his king is positioned well: 58...Kb4! (breaking the stalemate) and Kamsky resigned because of 59. Kb7 (Kb8 leads to the same thing) Ka5+ 60. Ka8 Kb6! 61. Kb8 Ka6+ and the white king must abandon the pawn allowing 62...Kxa7 (Ka8 Qb7#). Running to the c-file also doesn't help: 59. Kb7 Ka5+ 60. Kc8 (Kc7 Qh7+) Qf5+ and the black king and queen will stop the pawn.

Nov-25-12  Derived: I was surprised by the final position, Wang Hao managed to reach the only way to win against an edge pawn almost naturally. What a game!
Nov-25-12  Ulhumbrus: <dumbgai> So Black can win if he can play his king in front of his queen on the b file so that he can zigzag his way towards white's king and a pawn. This seems a useful thing to know.
Nov-25-12  capablancakarpov: After: 58...Kb4! 59. Kb7 (Kb8 leads to the same thing) Ka5+ 60. Ka8 Kb6! 61. Kb8, the fastest way to win is Qh7!, now if 62.a8=Q Qc7++, so white has to promote with a Knight, 62.a8=N+ Kc6 and mate in two.
Nov-25-12  dumbgai: <capablancakarpov> Ah yes, Qh7 wins more quickly. Good catch. There are many ways to easily win once the right idea 58...Kb4 is found, which Kamsky clearly recognized.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The variation White uses looks suspect to me. In Aronian vs Mamedyarov, 2009 White tried 9.Na3 but lost, too. Kamsky's 9.Nd2 Qb5 does not look any better for White.
Nov-26-12  King Sacrificer: <dumbgai: ..Running to the c-file also doesn't help: 59. Kb7 Ka5+ 60. Kc8 (Kc7 Qh7+) Qf5+ and the black king and queen will stop the pawn.>

Finish can be like this:

<61. Kb7 Qf7+ 62. Kc8 Qe8+ 63. Kb7 Qd7+ 64. Kb8 Kb6 65. a8=Q Qd8#>

My question is; could Black win this game if the king was at c2 instead of c3 after <58. a7>? Because <64. Kb6> wouldn't be possible in the line above.

click for larger view

Nov-26-12  dumbgai: <King Sacrificer> I looked at that position for a bit and was having trouble finding a win, but thanks to our silicon buddy black can indeed win with a nice trick:

58...Kb3 59. Kb7 Kc4+ 60. Kc7 Qh7+ 61. Kb8 (Kb6 allows Qe4 followed by Qa8) Kb5! 62. a8=Q Kb6 and white to move can't save himself from mate because he has no check that doesn't hang the queen:

click for larger view

An important pattern to know!

Nov-26-12  King Sacrificer: <dumbgai> Thanks for the analysis. I went further and checked the same position with Black ♔ at c1 using an old version of Fritz. No win for Black this time. Very interesting position as a small difference in distance matters this much.
Nov-26-12  dumbgai: I wonder how many moves ahead Wang Hao had seen. My guess is that he had already calculated the win by the time he played 52...Kb4.
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