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Gata Kamsky vs Henry Robert Steel
Tromso Olympiad (2014), Tromso NOR, rd 4, Aug-05
Sicilian Defense: French Variation (B40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-05-14  SirRuthless: The end of an era. Sad result.
Aug-05-14  ketchuplover: :( :( :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Storm of Steel, 2014.
Aug-05-14  tim butler: What is wrong with Kamsky of late?
Aug-05-14  SirRuthless: Age/Confidence probably. He hasn't been right in a year+ Perhaps this was inevitable and last year was just his indian summer much like the mid-2012 through mid 2013 version of Gelfand. He was winning for a long time but went wrong and then wronger. A super GM shouldn't lose to an IM in general. It's getting late early for Gata. I would play him against Canada but if he doesn't perform perhaps you bench him for the rest of the event or at east move him down to board four and promote Shankland to board 3 and move Akobian/Oni to board 2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yeah, Kamsky might as well hang 'em up.
Aged forty, he's a hasbeenusetawas.

We should all be so terrible as Kamsky.

Aug-05-14  SirRuthless: No one is suggesting that but lets be honest he is not helping the team right now. He needs a rest. 1.5/4 having had 2 whites against avg 2400 level opposition is not helping the team for Super GM Kamsky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Why do the comments have to focus on Kamsky's loss? I looked at the game and I think black played very, very well, held his position tactically, and won with accurate technique an endgame that many a master would have spoiled in front of someone of Kamsky's caliber.

As someone who has now and then upset players a couple hundred points above me, it somehow bothers me when the implication is that the player on the losing side played terrible, even when he didn't blunder in any obvious way. (After one such game I overheard a friend of my opponent tell him "Oh, you must be very tired to lose against an expert"... and I had driven six hours that same afternoon!) In this case, I think Mr Steel played a praiseworthy game and he deserves a lot of credit. He has good reasons to be proud of this game.

Aug-07-14  capafischer1: This is the first time kamsky's live rating has dropped below 2700 in perhaps over 20 years. Not everyone can peak like korchnoi in his late forties to early fifties. Kamsky has had a great career and made great money from chess. He played 2 world championship matches and won the world cup. 2.5 million dollars from those 3 events alone. Great chess player. A prodigy too.
Aug-07-14  SirRuthless: <Fusilli> Kamsky went from winning to losing. He is a super GM and this is the Olympiad. Good enough is not a part of the equation here. He has taken many risks in the opening and gone wrong again and again. He needs to play more solidly because the losses are not helping us. Only Shankland and Oni have been great for us in this event. Nakamura has been pedestrian and Akobian and Kamsky have been very questionable. We need more. His pedigree does not free him of criticism.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <SirRuthless> And he shouldn't be free of criticism. I am only saying that his opponent should not be free of praise. He only made one serious mistake (19...Ne5) and held a critical position without cracking until he was able to bounce back. Many other 2400 player would have cracked.

So, to me, the answer to the question "What's wrong with Kamsky?" is twofold: "He is not playing at his top form, and he faced an opponent that rose to the occasion."

Aug-07-14  SirRuthless: <Fusilli> Fair enough. Sometimes I forget ratings are just an average.Steel could very well have been playing at a 2700+ level that day.
Aug-07-14  Olavi: And there is no 2400 level or 2700 level play, strictly speaking. There are no moves that improve one's position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <SR> Exactly! Nice to agree. I love the olympiad because it gives talented players from not-chess-heavy countries the opportunity to play the greats. Many of them would not have that chance otherwise.

<Olavi: ... There are no moves that improve one's position.> What do you mean by that? Did you write "no" by accident?

Aug-07-14  Olavi: <Fusilli> No accident. When comparing a position's status before and after a move, it can not have improved, only stayed the same or worsened. For us some moves that keep the status seem so much more difficult/brilliant than others, that we subjectively feel that it has improved. This, of course, only on the 1½0-point scale; but that is the only real scale. You can always eliminate some shortcoming in your position etc., but that doesn't influence it's status.
Aug-07-14  Marmot PFL: <And there is no 2400 level or 2700 level play, strictly speaking.>

It's all relative. To you or me they might both seem like wow, really strong, but to another 2700 the differences in strength wouldn't be too hard to spot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <capafischer1: Not everyone can peak like korchnoi in his late forties to early fifties....>

Considering that Kamsky has barely reached his fortieth birthday, he may not wish to go into the shades yet.

<....Kamsky has had a great career and made great money from chess. He played 2 world championship matches and won the world cup....>

For all the negativity which has been heaped upon Kamsky's play in this game, same as every other time a strong grandmaster turns in a howler or blunders, he was ranked in the top five players in the world by the mid 1990s, before pursuing other interests.

It can be hugely amusing to read some posters maunder on as to how they would have played a much better move or game, which often happens here--as if they could come close to such a player!

Aug-07-14  SirRuthless: <perfidious> True but that is the sports fan in me. This is my team in the sport of chess and I am whining about their middling performance, damn it! Hah!
Aug-07-14  Olavi: Marmot PFL: <And there is no 2400 level or 2700 level play, strictly speaking.> <It's all relative. To you or me they might both seem like wow, really strong, but to another 2700 the differences in strength wouldn't be too hard to spot.> Yes. The 2700 poses more difficult problems. For me, and while I tried to avoid this, 2400 international rating doesn't strike a chord. I have been above that. Now, I'm prepared to say that with white, as long as my only objective was to keep a draw, I'd give myself a pretty good chance against anybody below 2650, I'v also beaten them occasionally. At the same time, with black it's terribly difficult. But you must remember that chess is a draw, like it or not. I find that a beautiful principle.
Aug-07-14  waustad: What amazed me is that his bishops looked so good early and then I noticed he wasn't better anymore then he was losing. I looked at what the comps had to say and they pretty much agreed with my assessment. He had an attack peter out. Such things happen.
Aug-11-14  Whitehat1963: Robbed and stolen by the Man of Steel

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