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Gata Kamsky
Number of games in database: 2,112
Years covered: 1986 to 2023
Last FIDE rating: 2674 (2701 rapid, 2644 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2763

Overall record: +531 -259 =728 (59.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 594 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (207) 
    B90 B47 B33 B97 B32
 Queen's Pawn Game (205) 
    D02 A46 A45 D00 A40
 Ruy Lopez (129) 
    C91 C78 C67 C65 C80
 French Defense (58) 
    C11 C18 C10 C02 C16
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (52) 
    C91 C84 C89 C92 C85
 Sicilian Najdorf (52) 
    B90 B97 B96 B91 B92
With the Black pieces:
 Slav (195) 
    D15 D10 D11 D12 D14
 Ruy Lopez (139) 
    C95 C84 C78 C89 C60
 Sicilian (136) 
    B42 B43 B40 B41 B32
 Grunfeld (97) 
    D85 D86 D94 D97 D78
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (85) 
    C95 C84 C89 C92 C91
 Sicilian Kan (70) 
    B42 B43 B41
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kamsky vs Kramnik, 1994 1-0
   Kramnik vs Kamsky, 1994 0-1
   Kamsky vs Short, 1994 1-0
   Kamsky vs Lautier, 1993 1-0
   Kamsky vs Mamedyarov, 2013 1-0
   Kamsky vs Karpov, 1996 1-0
   Kamsky vs Bacrot, 2006 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Kamsky, 1994 0-1
   Kamsky vs Shirov, 2007 1-0
   Kamsky vs Seirawan, 2012 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Karpov - Kamsky FIDE World Championship Match (1996)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   34th World Open (2006)
   39th World Open (2011)
   United States Championship (1991)
   World Cup (2005)
   World Cup (2007)
   United States Championship (2012)
   European Club Cup (2016)
   GMA Baleares Open (1989)
   Baku Open (2010)
   Istanbul Olympiad (2012)
   55th Biel GM (2022)
   Gibraltar Masters (2013)
   World Cup (2013)
   World Cup (2011)
   Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Kamsky! by amadeus
   Match Kamsky! by xajik
   Challenger Kamsky by Gottschalk
   Kamsky! by larrewl
   Melody Amber 1994 by amadeus
   GATA KAMSKY - CHESS GAMER by superstoned
   Melody Amber 1995 by amadeus

   🏆 Chessable Masters Div 3
   Wei Yi vs Kamsky (Apr-04-23) 0-1
   M A Tabatabaei vs Kamsky (Apr-04-23) 1-0
   Kamsky vs M A Tabatabaei (Apr-04-23) 1/2-1/2
   Wei Yi vs Kamsky (Apr-04-23) 1/2-1/2
   Kamsky vs Wei Yi (Apr-04-23) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Gata Kamsky
Search Google for Gata Kamsky
FIDE player card for Gata Kamsky

(born Jun-02-1974, 49 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Grandmaster (1990) Gata Rustemovich Kamsky. World Championship challenger (1995); USSR Junior champion (jointly - 1987 & 1988); 5-time winner of the US Championship (1991, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014).

Gata Kamsky was born June 2nd, 1974 in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. His chess career began in Russia, in the early stages of which, at the age of 12, he defeated former Candidate GM Mark Taimanov in a tournament game. He relocated to the USA in 1989 and now lives in New York. In July 1990 he became the youngest player ever to be rated in FIDE's world top ten, moving straight into the number 8 position from outside the top 100 while still untitled, representing three unique and as yet unsurpassed feats. After contesting the 1995 World Championship, he temporarily retired from chess in 1996 to pursue professional qualifications, and returned to competition chess in 2004.


<Junior> Kamsky jointly won the USSR Junior Championships in 1987 with Boris Alterman (1) and in 1988 jointly with Mikhail Ulybin. (2)

<National> Kamsky won the US Championship in 1991, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. His entry to the U.S. Championship in San Diego, California, in 2004 was his first major event since 1996, apart from his brief foray in the 1999 World Championship Knockout Tournament, and he scored 5.5/9. His successful 2011 defense of his national title after winning it the previous year involved him winning his pool (US Championship (Group A) (2011) and defeating Yury Shulman in the 2 game mini-match final for the title. This victory may have also contributed to his battle fitness in his successful rematch against Veselin Topalov in the 2011 Candidates matches. He was runner-up in the United States Championship (2012). In May 2013, his tie for first in the United States Championship (2013) with Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez was decided in his favour by his winning by 2-1 in the 3rd game Armegeddon tiebreaker. In May 2014, his tie for first in the US Championship (2014) with Aleksandr Lenderman and Varuzhan Akobian was also decided in his favor by blitz playoff when he defeated Akobian after Akobian had defeated Lenderman in the preliminary blitz playoff. He placed =5th in the US Championship (2015).

<World> - <early years until 1996 retirement> Kamsky's initial participation in the world championship cycle was to qualify for the right to contest the 1990 Interzonal in Manila, where he scored 5.5/13. Three years later he contested both the FIDE and PCA Interzonals that were held in Groningen and Biel respectively, coming third in both events and thereby qualifying for both sets of Candidates matches. He reached the finals of the 1994-1995 PCA World Championship Candidates' matches, eliminating Vladimir Kramnik and Nigel Short before losing to Viswanathan Anand. In the FIDE Candidates he met with even greater success, defeating Paul van der Sterren, Anand and Valery Salov and qualifying for a match with Anatoly Karpov. After losing the match, Kamsky announced his retirement from professional chess in order to study medicine and law. This period of inactivity was punctuated only by his participation in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999), where he lost in the first round to the eventual winner, Alexander Khalifman.

<World> - <2005 until 2014> On his return to world championship chess in 2005, his first event was the World Cup (2005), where he placed ninth defeating Zhao Jun, Dmitry Bocharov, Ilia Smirin and Alexander Grischuk in the preliminary rounds. He therefore qualified once more for the Candidates' matches. In the consequent 2007 round of Candidates matches, he won the preliminary Candidates Match: Bacrot - Kamsky (2007) but lost the Candidates Match: Gelfand - Kamsky (2007) ending his bid to qualify to play in the World Championship Tournament (2007). He rebounded in the next World Championship cycle by winning the World Cup (2007). Undefeated throughout the seven-round event, he beat Ahmed Adly, Boris Avrukh, Kiril Georgiev, Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov and Magnus Carlsen in the preliminary rounds before beating Alexey Shirov in the final to qualify for the Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009). Veselin Topalov emerged victorious by a 4.5-2.5 margin and thereby gained the right to play Anand in a match for the title. Although he unexpectedly bowed out of the World Cup (2009) in the third round to Wesley So, on the basis of his match against Topalov, FIDE seeded him into the World Championship Candidates (2011) where he again faced Topalov, this time defeating him by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3 -0) to move into the semi finals against Boris Gelfand. Kamsky conceded the semi final match in the blitz playoff by 1.5-0.5 after drawing the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+1 -1 =2). Soon afterwards, he qualified by reason of his rating to participate in the World Cup (2011) where he defeated Diego Rafael Di Berardino, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first three rounds but lost to the eventual winner Peter Svidler in the Round of Sixteen (round 4). He qualified via rating to play in the World Cup (2013) where he defeated Chinese IM Lou Yiping in the first round, young Russian GM Aleksandr Shimanov in the second round, local Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer in the third round and Azeri GM and twice World Junior Champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Round of 16 (fourth round) (4). However, he was eliminated in the quarter final (round 5) by Russian GM Evgeny Tomashevsky and exited the contest and the 2014 World Championship cycle.

<Grand Prix series 2012-13> Vugar Gashimov 's withdrawal from chess due to ill health resulted in Kamsky replacing him in the Grand Prix series 2012-13. He started poorly with 3.5/11 in the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012). Subsequently he scored 5.5/11, placing =5th at the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013). He lead for much of the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), but finished with =2nd on 7.5/11 adding 125 GP points to his GP tally. His last place in the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013) put him out of contention for the top 2 - and consequent qualification for the 2014 Candidates tournament – in the series.

<World> - <2014 until the present>

Kamsky qualified for the World Cup (2015) through his results at the US Championship (2015) aka Zonal 2.1, but was unexpectedly eliminated from the event in the first round by Armenian GM Hrant Melkumyan.

Standard Tournaments

Kamsky's first win after he relocated to the United States in 1989 was at the Buffalo Open. After a short while spent adjusting to the level of opposition he encountered by entering the world's top 10, Kamsky scored some major tournament triumphs, including Tilburg 1990, the U.S. Championship of 1991 (3), Buenos Aires 1993, Las Palmas (1994), and shared first in 1995 at Dos Hermanas. He reached his peak world ranking of number 4 between July 1995 and January 1996. After his hiatus of 1996-2004, he was undefeated in the HB Global Challenge held in Minneapolis in 2005. Following his success at the 2005 FIDE World Cup, further successes in 2006, including second place at the MTel Masters (2006) behind Topalov and at the 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) helped reestablish his position as one of the world's leading players. In 2010 he won the Reggio Emilia (2009) (which finished in January 2010), the Philadelphia Open (2010), the President's Cup in Baku, and the Baku Open (2010). After his victory in the 2011 US Championship, he won the 39th World Open (2011) on tiebreak from Michael Adams. Kamsky has since scored 7/13 (+3 -2 =8) at Tata Steel Group A (2012) and was runner up in the inaugural ACP Golden Classic (2012), which showcased longer classical time controls and pre-computer style adjournments. In August 2012, he was outright winner of the 2012 Washington International. 2013 started with a modest 7.5/10 (=5th) at the Gibraltar Masters (2013). Later in the year he scored an even more modest 1.5/6, placing 4th in the quadrangular DRR category 22 Sinquefield Cup (2013).

Kamsky started 2014 at the Gibraltar Masters (2014), scoring a par-for-rating 7/10 and placing =10th. In March he won the 36th Annual Marchand Open held in Rochester, New York and the 23rd Annual Eastern Class Championships held in Massachusetts. In April he won the 8th Annual Philadelphia Open outright with 7.5/9. Two months later he won the 2014 National Open in Las Vegas outright with 5/6. He was less successful in July when he competed in the 42nd Annual World Open in Arlington, Virginia, where he scored 6/9, losing 11 rating points. In October, he placed =1st with 5.5/7 alongside Sergey Erenburg at the 2014 Washington Chess Congress, also held in Arlington. In December he placed =1st at the 98th Annual Marshall Chess Club Championship.

In July 2015 he won the 8th New York International and in the following month won the 4th Annual Washington International and the 45th Annual Continental Open (the last mentioned staged in Sturbridge, Massachusetts) .

Team events

<Olympiads> Kamsky's inaugural Olympic representation was for the USA at the 1992 Olympiad, where playing on top board, he lead his team to 4th place. His next appearances at the Olympiads were when, still playing top board, he lead his US team to a bronze medal at Turin Olympiad (2006) and at the Dresden Olympiad (2008). Kamsky played board 2 for the US at the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010) and the Istanbul Olympiad (2012), on the latter occasion scoring an individual bronze. He also played board 2 for the US at the Tromso Olympiad (2014), where a poor performance reduced his rating to below 2700 for the first time since January 2010.

<World Team Championship> Kamsky first played in this event in 1993, when he played top board for the US, leading it to team gold. Subsequent to his victory in the 2011 US Championship, he played board 1 for the USA at the World Team Championship (2011), scoring 5.5/9 and winning an individual bronze. He played board 2 for the US in the World Team Championship (2013), helping his team to 4th place.

<National and Continental leagues> Kamsky played in the European Club Cup from 2007-2010 inclusive and in 2012 and 2013, winning three team golds (in 2007, 2008 and 2012) and one individual gold in 2012. His best results were in the 2012 season when he won team and individual gold playing board five for SOCAR Baku at the European Club Cup (2012), this result propelling him to the top of the rating list for the Americas at that time (November 2012). He also helped SOCAR to a bronze at the European Club Cup (2013).

Kamsky also played in the Russian Premier League in 2008, winning individual bronze and team gold with the Ural Sverdlovsk region club, and in 2013 and 2014 when he played top board for Kazan.

Rapid/blitz events

In 2004 he returned to active competition after his 8 year lay off from chess in the New York Masters rapid competition. August 2010 saw Kamsky becoming the world rapid champion when he won clear first at the World Rapid Chess Championship (Mainz Chess Classic) with 10.0/11, defeating world #5 and defending champion Levon Aronian, 2004 FIDE champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Sergey Karjakin en route to the title. In June 2014, he came =1st alongside Timur Gareyev at the Spirits of Chess rapid round robin event held in Las Vegas.


Kamsky has been a member of since early 2010, his userid being: User: DarkNolan. Although he still represents the United States, in 2015 Kamsky returned to Russia with his wife, Vera Nebolsina ; since 2018 they have lived in St. Petersburg.

Rating and Ranking

Kamsky's highest rating to date was 2763 in July 2013 when he was ranked #11 in the world. His highest ever ranking was #4 in July 1995 behind Garry Kasparov, Karpov and Vasyl Ivanchuk respectively; at that time he was rated 2735.

Sources and references

Wikipedia article: Gata Kamsky; Live rating list:; (1) [rusbase-1] (2) [rusbase-2] (3) (4) (a Washington Times article features one game of his which advanced him to the next stage). (Interview by Alexey Root with information about his marriage and life in Russia) [ Last updated 15 September 2015

Last updated: 2022-01-29 07:14:31

 page 1 of 85; games 1-25 of 2,125  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kamsky vs Tiviakov  0-1681986USSR Junior ChampionshipB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
2. Kamsky vs K Aseev 1-0311986ViliandiD02 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Kamsky vs Sakaev 0-1451986Sochi Juniors (U16)B86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
4. V Akopian vs Kamsky 1-0341986Sochi Juniors (U16)B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
5. Shirov vs Kamsky 1-0391986Sochi Juniors (U16)C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
6. V Belikov vs Kamsky  0-1421986Sochi Juniors (U16)B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
7. D Burmenko vs Kamsky  1-0541986Sochi Juniors (U16)D11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Kamsky vs A Lukin  ½-½341987Leningrad ChampionshipA48 King's Indian
9. V Osnos vs Kamsky  ½-½241987Leningrad ChampionshipD75 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O c5, 8.dxc5
10. Y Rusakov vs Kamsky  0-1461987Leningrad ChampionshipC55 Two Knights Defense
11. Kamsky vs V Karasev  1-0641987Leningrad ChampionshipB27 Sicilian
12. Kamsky vs Tseitlin  0-1551987Leningrad ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
13. D Komarov vs Kamsky  1-0401987Leningrad ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. K Aseev vs Kamsky  ½-½491987Leningrad ChampionshipB42 Sicilian, Kan
15. Kamsky vs S Ivanov 0-1451987URSD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
16. Kamsky vs E Solozhenkin  ½-½231987Leningrad ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Kamsky vs K Agapov 0-1411987Leningrad ChampionshipA43 Old Benoni
18. Kamsky vs P Fossan 1-0181987InnsbruckB12 Caro-Kann Defense
19. Kamsky vs V Poddubnyi  1-0411987Leningrad ChampionshipB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
20. Epishin vs Kamsky 1-0301987Leningrad ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
21. Taimanov vs Kamsky 0-1391987Leningrad ChampionshipD94 Grunfeld
22. Yermolinsky vs Kamsky  ½-½441987Leningrad ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. Epishin vs Kamsky  1-0301987Leningrad ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
24. Yudasin vs Kamsky  1-0591987Leningrad ChampionshipC24 Bishop's Opening
25. Kamsky vs K Traito  1-0521987Leningrad ChampionshipB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
 page 1 of 85; games 1-25 of 2,125  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kamsky wins | Kamsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 140 OF 140 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Who is this guy?>

Jan-03-20  spingo: Kamsky (2677) had a bit of a Krakatoa meltdown during a Banter Blitz match. (about 2 mins).

He was most unseasonably peeved when his opponent, Chilean GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (2603) played on in a K + R v K + R ending and won on time, and then was playing for a time win in the next game. The games were 3m + 0s.

Kamsky found his opponent's behaviour disrespectful and insulting. Kamsky described himself as "a famous ... legend, a former candidate" and left the match.

Nakamura said that Kamsky can get upset when he flags, and the clip shows that.

I agree that Kamsky is a legend - his games from the 1990s are superb - but I think he is taking a banter blitz match too seriously.

He is also wrong: if your flag drops that is it. Who can offer a draw with seconds left? And why would you want to offer one if your opponent's flag was horizontal?

Jan-03-20  parmetd: Nope. Gata is 100% right. What a POS Cristobal is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: If there is an increment I don't think a GM, or really most players, would ever lose on time in a R vs. R ending. Just make any move that doesn't blunder the rook.
Jan-03-20  fabelhaft: Anyone supporting Kamsky here can never have played non increment blitz :-) So his opponent had rook and pawn against rook but much more time left, lost the pawn one move before Kamsky flagged, and he is supposed to have done something wrong because Kamsky sees himself as “a famous f-ing legend”. Maybe Kamsky wouldn’t have had to spend all his time if he was as great as he claims. Kamsky calls his opponent ”a pr-ck” for winning on time, then quits the match after whining and swearing about how he has no respect for his opponent who is much weaker than himself, “a famous f-ing legend”, I mean, come on, how old is he? :-)
Jan-03-20  Count Wedgemore: <saffuna> That is why there should always be an increment. Even a small two-second increment per move would probably have prevented Kamsky from flagging in such a position.

That said, since the game was played without increment, one can hardly blame GM Cristobal for trying to win on time as he did. Blame the rules, not the player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Even a small two-second increment per move would probably have prevented Kamsky from flagging in such a position.>

You or I as well I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Kamsky sounds weirdly American. A couple of comments on Twitter suggest that Henriquez did actually offer a draw in the previous game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Feb 17th: Kamsky - Henriquez banterblitz REMATCH. Let’s get it on...
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: what exactly is a "banter blitz match"? You can chat during the games, maybe insult your opponent? Sing songs from the Best of Sonny and Cher LP, to distract? maybe have a strong kibitzer help you?
Feb-12-20  wordfunph: <wolds> <HMM> interesting banter blitz match, i would love to play against my friends with all the distractions while playing.
Feb-13-20  parmetd: Why would Kamsky plat that @#$%*@! again?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Kamsky's rematch against GM Cristobal Henríquez can be seen in 70 mins from now at
Feb-18-20  chuparinov: Truly FFL Gata Kamsky! And a very impressive chess commentary too!
May-22-20  Everett: Non-increment chess is dumb in general, and was the main reason Bronstein came up with the idea of increments for his clock.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Has he retired from chess?
Jul-27-21  Albertan: Kamsky won the rapid section of the Grandmaster triathlon at the Biél Chess Festival:

Aug-05-21  Albertan: Kamsky beats Keymer and wins Grandmaster Triathlon:

Aug-06-21  Albertan: Gâta Kamsky wins the 54th Biel Chess Festival:

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Kamsky at Biel looked terrible, like the very worst of David Carradine and Gwyneth Paltrow.

He needs a hair cut! Then a general tidied up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: His hair is hilariously terrible.
Aug-23-21  Bartleby: It's like Grischuk's at its longest and most unkempt, except even less flattering.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: I suppose that Kamsky's rare
Having little reason to care
What people say about his hair
Here, there, or anywhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: The clock is part of the game. What a whiner.
Apr-18-23  dehanne: Gata telling it like it is at 1:51:30

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