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Gata Kamsky vs Evgeny Tomashevsky
World Cup (2013), Tromso NOR, rd 5, Aug-24
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-24-13  chessguru1: the best way to avoid the marshall attack is to play is in every great grandmaster's playbook especially fischer, kasparov, etc...the marshall attack gives black too much initiative for the pawn..
Aug-24-13  bubuli55: Up until 36. Qd4 Kamsky probably thinks he's up. And then the 36... h3!


Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I definitely hope this guy gets the invites to the major events in the future.

He's very strong.

Beating So, Aronian, Morozevich and Kamsky in succession?

The word amazing does not do him justice.

Aug-24-13  csmath: 8.h3

Anti-Marshall. the other option for Anti-Marshall is 8.a4 which stops cold any Marshall concepts. The move in the game actually does not but it does take the game out of Marshall theory.

9. ...d5

Modern way of Marshall whether you like it or not. It is less researched but it still opens the initiative to black for pawn sacrifice in a way Marshall does.

11. a4
This is another sideline, I'd say not very successful one as this game will prove again. It has been played by a notable opening theorist Bologan, assuming he knows what he is doing. Dominguez played it as well. Dominguez drew Aronian and Ponomariov in this line, Bologan lost two blitzes to Karjakin and Grischuk.

11. ... Nd4

Black continuation is obviously aggressive. Now white has two options. One is 12. Nxd4 which leads to open game played by Dominguez against Ponomariov and Leko (another Marshall expert) against Yakovenko. Both draws.

The other option and so far less successful one as in the game,

12. ...Nbd2

Here we have first new move:
13. ...Nb4

which posses problems to white. Black sacrifices pawn and will spoil white castling pawn structure.

17. ...Bbd6

black sacrifices second pawn for the initiative.

18. ...Re8 [this is still home analysis. The option 18. ...Nxc2 leads to a draw by perpetual which is what Tomashevsky did not chose meaning he is confident in his ability to win]

20. Nc5!? [here it would have been interesting to see what Tsky prepared for 20. c3 which seems to be a better move]

20. ...Nd5!? [20. ...Bxc5, 21. Rxc5 Qa1 also leads to a perpetual 22. Qg1 Re2, 23. Qd1 Re6, 24. Qh1 Re2]

22. Nxd6!?

[again, it would have been nice to see what Tsky has on 22. c4!? Clearly Kamsky is now interested in drawing this hapless game where he is obviously unprepared]

28. Re3?! [in view what happened in the game 28. Kg2 with perpetual seems more prudent]

30. Qc2!? [there was still time to attempt a draw:
30. b4! Rxb4, 31.Re8 Kh7, 32.Qc2+ g6, 33.Re7 Kg8, 34.Re8 Kh7 and draw repetition. However black could play 30. ... Qc8 or 30. ... Ra8 and avoid the line].

30. ...h5!
31. b3 Ra8!

and black has more comfortable position.

32. d5!? [desperate attempt to create a "counterpasser" as white realizes his position has become precarious]

34. ...Ra6!? [34. ...Qd6!? could be psychologically stronger: 35. Qd3 h4, 35. f4 Qxf4, 36. Ra4 and even though material is equal the exposure of white king makes it difficult to play for white though this is uncertain double-edge position]

35. b4? [first in series of errors by Kamsky. 35. Qd4 or 35. Re4 is needed for obvious reasons.]

36. Qd4? [now Kamsky changes his mind but it is too late, 36. b5!? was more resilient]

37. Kf1?! [walking into mate but the game is lost either way.]


Trying to avoid Marshall but getting into Marshall-like position for which you are also not prepared, cannot be called successful opening.

Aug-24-13  csmath: My feeling is that Kamsky is one of the least prepared elite GMs always counting on experience instead of hard work which puts him many times into difficult games.

In these modern times when the preparation by computers is so overwhelming and some of newer elite players (MLV, Caruana, Karjakin, ...Tomashevsky] are so deep into it you have two options - work as hard as they do [Gelfand] ... or be careful how you are avoiding preparation. In this game Kamsky was neither, spent a lot of time to work OTB and finally committed errors in lack of time that costed him the game.

Aug-24-13  jphamlore: Just how many players with any part of their formative chess career spent in the United States have been noted for opening preparation? Bobby Fischer and Robert Byrne?

Caruana had to leave for Europe to get proper chess training including how to prepare openings.

Aug-24-13  csmath: Well in the US it depends on money.

Kamsky's problem is more of an age factor as he is simply not as dedicated as he "needs" to be.

Nakamura had a chance, the money was provided for him to be coached by Kasparov. If you get a coach like Kasparov (or Botvinnik) you have only one option, to shut up, to suck up, be quiet, and listen. Because the goal is to learn and to improve. Unfortunately Nakamura could not do that so the cooperation ended. That was a golden opportunity he missed and won't be coming back.

Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

<csmath: ...

9. ...d5

<<<Modern way of Marshall whether you like it or not.>>>>


Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

<Marmot PFL: A couple improvements, pointed out on chessbase- 20.c3! Nd5 21.Ra5! Qb7 22.Nc5 and White is in a better position than in the game.

22.c4! Nf4+ 23.Bxf4 Bxf4 24.Ng3 White hasn't fully consolidated but at least with the strong knight on g3 the defense on of the kingside is much easier.>


Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

<chancho: I definitely hope this guy gets the invites to the major events in the future. He's very strong.

Beating So, Aronian, Morozevich and Kamsky in succession?

The word amazing does not do him justice.>

Not only beating these more famous players, but beating them when it counts the most, with the World Championship at stake.

Absolutely -stupendous- performance by Tomashevsky.

Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

40 ... ?

click for larger view

40 ... ♖a6-h6!

click for larger view

<SuperPatzer77: ... <<<40...Rh6! (threatening 41...Qh1#)>>>, 41. Re8+ Kh7, 42. Qe4+ f5!, 43. Qxf5+ Qxf5 (leaving Black a rook and a queen up and Black will eventually mate White).>

Yes, I was surprised when <HOUDINI 3> points out that 40 ... ♖a6-h6! is actually much stronger than Tomashevsky's 40 ... ♖a6-g6+.


Evaluation Line
<<<-1000 40. ... Rh6>>> 41. Re8+ Kh7 42. Qe4+ f5 43. Qxf5+ Qxf5 44. Kf1 Qd3+ 45. Re2 Qd1+ 46. Kg2 Rg6+ 47. Kh2 Qg1+ 48. Kh3 Qh1#

<<<-6.71 40. ... Rg6+>>> 41. Qg4 Rxg4+ 42. fxg4 Qxg4+ 43. Kf1 Qd1+ 44. Re1 Qxd5 45. Kg1 Qg5+ 46. Kf1 Qb5+ 47. Kg1 Qxb4 48. Re8+ Kh7 49. f3 g5 50. Re2 Kg6 51. Kg2 Qc3 52. Kf2 f5 53. Re3 Qd4 54. Ke2 Qd5 55. Rd3 Qc4 56. Kd2 g4 57. fxg4 fxg4 58. Rd6+

0.38 40. ... Rf6 41. f4 Qg4+ 42. Rg3 Qxf4 43. Rg4 Qxd4 44. Rxd4 Rd6 45. Kf1 Kf8 46. Ke2 Ke7 47. Kd3 Ra6 48. b5 Ra3+ 49. Ke4 Rb3 50. d6+ Kd7 51. Rd5 g6 52. f4 f6 53. Rc5 Kxd6 54. Rc6+ Kd7 55. Rxf6 Rb4+ 56. Ke3 Rxb5 57. Rxg6 Rc5 58. Kd4

1.43 40. ... Qd7 41. f4 Rh6 42. Kg2 Rh5 43. d6 Qc6+ 44. Kf1 Qh1+ 45. Ke2 Rd5 46. Re8+ Kh7 47. Qe4+ Qxe4+ 48. Rxe4 Rxd6 49. b5 Kg6 50. Rb4 Rb6 51. Ke3 Kf6 52. Kd4 Rb8 53. b6 Ke7 54. Kc5 Kd7 55. Kb5 Kd6 56. Rc4 f6 57. Rc7 g6 58. Rc6+ Ke7 59. Ka6 Ra8+ 60. Kb7

<<<Houdini 3 x64, 60.37 sec, depth 21>>>>

Aug-25-13  notyetagm: <csmath: ... That was a golden opportunity he missed and won't be coming back.>

Just like back in the day when Ponomariov could have had a match with Kasparov but turned it down(!!) because he was having delusions of grandeur, that -he- really was the World Champion because he had just won a FIDE Knockout tournament.

Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

<csmath: ... 28. Re3?! [in view what happened in the game <<<28. Kg2 with perpetual>>> seems more prudent]>

Tomashevsky said that he was -shocked- when Kamsky turned down the draw here. Tomashevsky said that White has -zero- winning chances here in spite of the extra pawn because the White king is too exposed in the <HEAVY PIECE ENDGAME> while Black also has that monstrous menacing <PASSED PAWN> on the h-file.

A textbook example of <COMPENSATION> for a slight material deficit. Black has the much better position (safer king, dangerous passer) but White has a healthy extra pawn. So White should take the draw just like you indicated above. And Tomashevsky agrees with your assessment.

Just like Nakamura did in Round 4.2 against Korobov, Kamsky overestimated his position, turned down a draw, lost, and got sent packing.

A Korobov vs Nakamura, 2013



Aug-25-13  jphamlore: <csmath> I totally agree about Nakamura and Kasparov.

There is one other person in the world I would want to work with every young player, and that is Boris Gelfand. Think of the good it would do for Nakamura to rigorously justify to a Gelfand what his plan is at every move of the opening.

Aug-25-13  csmath: <notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013 <Marmot PFL: A couple improvements, pointed out on chessbase- 20.c3! Nd5 21.Ra5! Qb7 22.Nc5 and White is in a better position than in the game.

22.c4! Nf4+ 23.Bxf4 Bxf4 24.Ng3 White hasn't fully consolidated but at least with the strong knight on g3 the defense on of the kingside is much easier.>>

I am aware of these "improvements."

The reason why I put them in !? and in quotes is that Tomashevsky has deep analyses on this. There is little doubt that he was playing most of the game based on his h3-d3-a4 Anti-Marshall analyses. Thus I believe he had something in store for that as well.

Optically it seems better but when you are facing homework analyses you gotta be careful.

I think Kamsky was playing well up to the end when his play completely disintegrated. Beating homework analyses over the board is a stuff for genius play. It happens but it is rare.

Whoever faces Tomashevsky will have to be well aware that this player is prepared seriously and he is more aggressive than say Caruana.

Aug-25-13  notyetagm: Kamsky vs Tomashevsky, 2013

G*ddamn that <PASSED> Black h-pawn was powerful!!!

Aug-26-13  znsprdx: I'm curious to know whether or not that even the exchange sac might have been doable - after all up two pawns with the Bishop and no pesky knight can't be all bad - but I don't recall the time situation.

Admittedly with the advantage of hindsight I found 23.Qh1! planning Qh2!!.(..Re7? 24.Rb8+ Kh7 25.c4)white had to control the h2-b8 dark diagonal - but unfortunately Black's Qd2 forces the White queen to g1 and within another half dozen moves Black takes control

Aug-26-13  csmath: <Admittedly with the advantage of hindsight I found 23.Qh1!>

23. Qh1??

That move loses outright, it would be actually a bad blunder.

23. ...Qc6
and white can chose between losing a rook or a knight.


24. c4 would not work since after bishop takes knight:

24. ...Bxc5

black cannot take knight since the rook is hanging.

Aug-26-13  znsprdx: <csmath:

23. Qh1?? That move loses outright, it would be actually a bad blunder.

23. ...Qc6 and white can chose between losing a rook or a "knight."> ?YOU MEAN the c2 pawn

<24. c4 would not work since after bishop takes knight:24. ...Bxc5 black cannot take knight since the rook is hanging.>

HUH - c4 holds the rook BUT anyway as I said in my repost...Qd2 busts my idea

what do you think of 23.Rx[N]d4

Aug-26-13  znsprdx: <Marmot> As for Houdini's[ 22. c4 Nf4+ 23. Bxf4 Bxf4 24. h4 Qg6+ 25. Ng3 Rd8 Why h5? simply d4
Aug-26-13  csmath: Well, excuse me, I had the wrong move. This is 23rd you were talking about.

23. Qh1

is one strange move though your idea of plugging the kingside is not bad. The problem is that you don't have a time for that.

Indeed, after

23. ...c6
24. Ra5 Qg6+
25. Kh2 Re2 [just a human move without engine]

26. Qg2 Qd6 [and Rxc2 to follow]

and white position is totally busted.

But engine finds even stronger moves:

23. ...c6
24. Ra5 Qb4!

with threat of Re1, I do not see a good defence against that.

Aug-26-13  csmath: If you try

25. Ra1 [pretty much the only move]

then black goes

25. ...Qe7 and the queen is coming to Qe2.

That is in my view totally lost position.

Aug-26-13  csmath: There is even a pretty tactics to kill you:

26. c4 [not the only move] Ne3!
27. Be3 [or lose queen] Ra1

You cannot possibly expect to save game with such a busted castling and with black rook already on your backrank.

Aug-26-13  csmath: Again, Kamsky used to complain about people having prepared openings meaning that he himself is not exactly prepared.

This game shows it.

Sep-09-13  visayanbraindoctor: Another case where computer evaluations during an ongoing game may be misleading as to predicting who will win.

Even if computers see a slight advantage for white for most of the game, human reality and limits say that it's much easier to play as Black and more difficult to play as White. Meaning that White will tend to have more errors. And in such difficult double-edged tactical 'complicated' middlegames, most often the last one to err is the one to lose.

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