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Conrad Holt vs Gata Kamsky
US Chess Championship (2013), St Louis, MO USA, rd 4, May-06
Slav Defense: Chameleon Variation (D15)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-06-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Compare the way Kamsky handles a Semi-slav with the other Semi-slavs we have seen in the tourney thus far. In many of them black is deathly cramped and plays a waiting game and unless you play the sem-slave, passionately love positional play (or desperately need some sleep) you won't even click thru one of them.

Then there is Kamsky, whom after playing the less popular 4. . . . a6, gets almost all of his pieces and pawns on good squares in the opening and simply takes the initiative on move 13 but does so patiently giving his pieces more mobility, not caring about the Q side isolanis.

White seemed to make practical moves but the rating difference kicks in around move 27 and blacks' pieces completely own the center and the win just flows naturally despite whites' desperate attempts at creating threats.

I am still not going to dare predict that Kamsky will be 64K richer when the tourney ends, but it would be great to see!

May-06-13  Steve.Patzer: Could 35. Bf1 have held out?
May-07-13  Kansas City Mark: Regarding 35. Bf1 my guess is White had no interest in continuing the exchange down with c5 ready to fall as well.

But I think Bf1 should have been played at an earlier point, maybe before opening up the game with b4.

27. c5 cut off Qa5's access to e5 and Black took full advantage with ...e3 and ...Qe5.

May-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Steve.Patzer: Could 35.Bf1 have held out?>


click for larger view

Hard to see how. If nothing else, Black can just play 35...Nxc5 and be up a pawn in addition to the exchange. And it's not just any pawn, but a rampaging passer. Nor does it look like White has any counterattack with his pieces so passively posted.

Maybe White has chances of hunkering down and hanging on for a while, but Kamsky should have no trouble converting this position.

May-07-13  WiseWizard: This fianchetto slav is an underrated structure.
May-07-13  Steve.Patzer: Would the best response to 27. ...e3 be 28. f3?
May-14-13  Starfire: it is interesting to see fiancetto in the slav,I'll have to try that
May-15-13  RookFile: It has it's risks. Holt did the right thing by getting rid of the g7 bishop. In principle you worry then about weak dark squares for black. Kamsky was willing to accept these risks.
Mar-16-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Good comment, <SteinitzLives>. Kamsky gave us a positional jewel here.
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