Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Gata Kamsky enjoyed a fine tournament at the FIDE World Cup in Tromso, Norway. He battled his way to the quarterfinals, at which point he was eliminated by Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia. Here is his quarterfinals win against the Azeri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, the world No. 7 and the 2013 World Rapid champion. In this game, Kamsky uncharacteristically sacrifices a piece, which Mamedyarov accepts but defends poorly and loses to a mating attack.

FIDE World Cup 2013, Tromso, Norway

Gata Kamsky (2741) vs.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2775)

 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4 d6 By transposition, we have reached the Tal attack (6.f4) against the Scheveningen Sicilian. This variation gets its name from a 1923 tournament played in Scheveningen, a district of the Hague, Netherlands. There are several lines against it. The Keres attack with 6.g4, the English attack with Be3, f3 and g4, and Bobby Fischer's favorite approach with 6.Bc4. 7. Be3 Nf68.Qf3 a6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.0–0 An example of the other main approach here, 0-0-0, is shown in the game Martin del Campo v. Gongora Montes, UNAM, Mexico City, 2012: 10.0–0–0 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Qg3 Ng4 14.Nd5 Qd6 15.Bc3 Bg5+ 16.Kb1 Bf4 17.Qf3 0–0 18.h3 Nh6 19.Bb4 Qd8 20.Be7 Qa5 21.g3; 1–0 as Black is losing a piece.10...0–0 11.Kh1 11.Rae1 is more popular but White is playing it safe, getting his king off that a7 - g1 diagonal. 11...Bd7 12.Rae1 b5 13.a3 Rab814.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Qh3 Played with the not too subtle idea of mating Black on h7 or h8. 15...Rfd8 A new move. The only other game I can find that made it this far is Novopashin–Korchnoi, Leningrad, 1963, which led to a draw after 15...Rbd8 16.Bd4 e5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.exd5 Qxb2 21.Rxf6 g6 22.Rxa6 Rxd5 23.Qf3 Re8. Though based on this game, leaving f7 unprotected looks dubious. 16.Bd2 Preparing e5 and practically forcing Black’s next. 16...d5 17.e5 Ne4 No other square will do as White has something going on with h7.18.f5! (Diagram). An enterprising piece sacrifice, especially for such a cautious player as Kamsky. Black really has no choice but to accept since if he doesn't, White has an attack at no cost. 18...Nxd2 19.fxe6 Ne4 20.exf7+ Kh8 Now, how does White continue the attack? 21.Nxd5! 21.Nxe4 dxe4 22.Rxe4 Rxd3 23.Qxd3 Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Qc4 seems better for Black. 21...Bxd5 22.Rxe4With the very serious threat of 23.Qxh7+ KxQ 24.Rh4 mate. 22...g6 23...h6 more or less loses to 23.Qf5 Qd7 (23...Bxf7 24.Rc4 g6 25.Rxc7) 24.e6 23.Ref4?! Better is 23.Re3 with the idea of getting e6 in; 23…Rb6 24.e6 Kg7 25.Qg4 Qc5 26.Rfe1 Rdd6 27.b3 Bxe6 28.Rxe6 Rxe629.Rxe6 Rxe6 30.Qxe6 Qxa3 with basic equality. 23...Kg7? According to the computer, either Qb6 or Qc6 defends. The idea is to prevent White's e6. After 23...Kg7, White gets in e6 free of charge. 24.e6 Now all White needs is a check on the a1–h8 diagonal to win. Keeping White from these checks, keeps Black very busy. 24...Rf8 Preventing 25.f8(Q)+ RxQ 26.Rf7+ winning. 25.Qe3With the heartfelt intention of 29.Qd4+ 25...Bc5 26.Qe1 Now, c3 is the target of White's desires! 26...Bd6 Sadly, 26.Be7 just loses to c4!27.Rh4 Made possible by the Black bishop being lured away from e7. Now, White's attack gains a powerful, if not winning, momentum. 27...Be7 28.Qe3 h5 29.Qd4+ Kh6 30.Rxh5+; Black is getting mated or losing lots of material after either 30…KxR 31.QxB+ Kh6 32.Qe4 or 30…gxR 31.Rf6+; 1–0.