20 August 2013

Kamsky -- Mamedyarov, FIDE World Cup 2013

Gata Kamsky won a stunning game against a formidable Shakhriyar Mamedyarov this afternoon. Commentator Lawrence Trent calls it the "game of the tournament," as does ChessBase News. Many more able commentators than myself will be looking at this game, which may be remembered for many years.

Kamsky,Gata -- Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar [B82]
FIDE World Cup 2013 Tromsø NOR (4.8), 20.08.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7

The most popular move, and played by Mamedyarov at least six times in 2010. It seems likely that Kamsky would have looked at these games in preparation.


The fourth most popular move has the highest scoring percentage for White.

Black to move


6...a6 is the main line. It is interesting to look at statistics through the opening phase of this game. White's winning percentage continues to increase as they approach the end of theory. Even so, there appear to be excellent resources in Black's position.

7.Be3 Nf6 8.Qf3 a6

Reference Game: 8...Be7 9.0–0–0 0–0 10.Rg1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Qg3 Rd8 14.Be2 Rxd4 15.Rxd4 Bc5 16.Rc4 Be6 17.Rd1 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Rd8 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd5 Kh8 21.Rf1 f6 22.Kb1 b5 23.Qf3 b4 24.g4 Qb6 25.h4 Be3 26.g5 Bf4 27.gxf6 Qxf6 28.h5 a5 29.a4 Qg5 30.Qe2 Rf8 31.Rh1 Qe7 32.Qa6 Qc5 33.Bb3 Rd8 34.Ka2 Bg5 35.Rf1 Bf4 36.Rd1 Qf8 37.Bd5 Qc5 38.Bb3 Qf8 39.Rh1 Ra8 40.Qb6 Qd8 41.Qe6 Qe8 42.Qd5 Qd8 43.Qb5 Qe8 44.Qe2 Rd8 45.Qa6 Ra8 46.Qb7 Rb8 47.Qc7 Qd8 48.Qc4 Qd6 49.Rh3 Rd8 50.Rd3 Qf8 51.Rd5 Ra8 52.Rd7 Rd8 53.Ra7 Ra8 54.Rf7 Qd6 55.Qb5 Bh6 56.Rd7 Qf6 57.Qd5 1–0 Leko,P (2751) -- Ivanchuk,V (2779) Nice 2009


Reference Game: 9.0–0–0 Bd7 10.Nb3 Rc8 11.Kb1 b5 12.Bd3 Nb4 13.g4 Bc6 14.g5 Nd7 15.Qf2 g6 16.Rhf1 Bg7 17.f5 Ne5 18.Bb6 Qd7 19.Be2 Qb7 20.Na5 Qb8 21.f6 Bf8 22.a3 Nxc2 23.Kxc2 Bxe4+ 24.Kb3 Ba8 25.Ba7 Qc7 26.Qb6 Qxb6 27.Bxb6 h6 28.Nxb5 Kd7 29.Bd4 Bd5+ 30.Ka4 axb5+ 31.Bxb5+ Bc6 32.Bxe5 Bxb5+ 33.Kxb5 Rc5+ 34.Kb6 Rxe5 35.Rc1 Rxa5 36.Rc7+ Kd8 37.Rfc1 Rc5 38.R1xc5 dxc5 39.Kc6 1–0 Kramnik,V (2807) -- Topalov,V (2743) Monte Carlo 2003

9...Be7 10.0–0 0–0 11.Kh1 Bd7 12.Rae1 b5 13.a3 Rab8

Reference Game: 13...Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bc6 15.Qg3 g6 16.Qh3 e5 17.Be3 Qb7 18.f5 a5 19.Bh6 Rfe8 20.Bg5 Nh5 21.f6 Bf8 22.Qe3 Rac8 23.Bh6 Bxh6 24.Qxh6 Re6 25.Qg5 b4 26.axb4 axb4 27.Nd1 h6 28.Qh4 Kh7 29.Ne3 Nf4 30.Ng4 h5 31.Nf2 Kh6 32.Nh3 Nxh3 33.Qxh3 d5 34.Qe3+ Kh7 35.g4 dxe4 36.Bc4 Bd5 37.Bxd5 Qxd5 38.gxh5 Rg8 39.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 40.Rxe4 gxh5 0–1 Xu Yuhua (2501) -- Ioseliani,N (2499) Shanghai 2001

13...Rac8 has been played as well.

14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Qh3

Black to move


Stockfish 3 dislikes Shak's move, suddenly evaluating that White has a one pawn advantage.

15...Rbd8 has been played in a handful of games 16.Bd4 e5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.exd5 Qxb2 21.Rxf6 g6 22.Rxa6 Rxd5 23.Qf3 Re5 ½–½ Borghi,H (2335) -- Varela,G (2273) Buenos Aires 2000


This move is of the sort that sets masters apart form the rest of us.


"This is the critical moment." Lawrence Trent, Official Website Commentary, with Susan Polgar.

17.e5 Ne4 18.f5!

Kamsky's bishop sacrifice was the only move that maintains an advantage.

Black to move


Mamedyarov could have refused the offer of a bishop 18...exf5 19.Qxf5 Bf8 or Rf8 and a complex battle (19...Nxd2?? 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Qh8#). Trent and Polgar thought that 18...Nxd2 was obligatory.

19.fxe6 Ne4 20.exf7+ Kh8 21.Nxd5 Bxd5

White to move

22.Rxe4 g6

22...h6? 23.Qf5+-.
22...Qc6?? leads to the sort of position that one finds in tactics books for beginning players.


Trent thought that 23.Re3 was an easy move to find.


23...Qc6 was suggested during Trent and Polgar's commentary following 23.Re3, and was still the correct move after Ref4, according to my engine.

24.e6 Rf8 

24...Bg5 25.f8Q+ Rxf8 26.Rf7+ Qxf7 27.exf7 Rxf7 28.Rxf7+ Bxf7 29.Qd7+-


Kamsky shows that his queen can access the long diagonal at many points, and then it is curtains for Black.

Black to move

25...Bc5 26.Qe1 Bd6

Was 26...Be7 better? 27.c4 bxc4 28.Qc3+ Kh6 29.Bxc4.

27.Rh4 Be7 28.Qe3

White's advantage is overwhelming.

Black to move


28...Bxh4 29.Qd4+ Kh6 30.Qxh4+ Kg7 31.Qf6+ Kh6 32.Rf4+-.


29.Rxh5 was a quicker win 29...gxh5 30.Qd4+ Kh6 31.Rf6+ Kg7 32.Rg6+ Kh7 33.Qg7#

29...Kh6 30.Rxh5+ 1–0

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