SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Kamsky takes lead in US Championship!
American superstar Gata Kamsky pulled ahead of the higher rated Nakamura when the former caught Yasser Seirawan in a trap virtually right out of the opening. Nakamura could only draw his game against Lenderman, though not for lack of trying: the game lasted more than 120 moves!
With Kamsky’s victory today, there is much excitement for the coming encounter with Nakamura. The pressure is on the youngster! Will he crack or make history? Bets are on!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 21st MOVE (21.Ne5):
Curiously, Kamsky was playing all of his moves at blitz speed, and Seirawan was moving much slower than he normally does. At this point Yasser had just 16 minutes left (!) while Kamsky had an hour and a half!
A sharp line of the Caro Khan featuring castling on opposite sides and a pawn storm. This line is not unknown to Yasser, who is one of the world’s top experts in this opening. Black must now play 21…Rad8 with a very sharp game.
TRAGICALLY, instead Black made a losing move:
A great player in every respect, Seirawan probably loses more games due to brilliant tactical oversights than any other elite grandmaster that I know! Just recall his game with Smirin from last year’s tournament in Barcelona!
To be fair, it is easy to not see Kamsky’s brilliant surprise attack!
Kamsky played this move immediately! At first I thought that Seirawan must have forseen this move (but overlooked Kamsky’s 23rd shocker), but after seeing the video of Yasser’s reaction to this move (Yasser just froze!) I am now not so certain!
22…PxB (what else?) 23. Rd7!!!!
Ouch! Is this move really legal?
Probably Black had only anticipated (see earlier comment) on the crude 23.Qd2? when 23…QxN! 24.Qxh6-ch Nh7 defends everything. Now if 23…NxR then 24.Qd2! will mate Black: 24…Kh7 25.Ng4! etc. For the sake of completion, if instead Black declines the sacrifice with 23…Qc8 then 24.Qd2 anyway and Black can resign.
23…QxR (gawd!) 24.NxQ NxN 25.Qd2! Kh7
Most grandmasters would have resigned with Black here, but Yasser likes to play these things out. Kamsky won easily enough with 26.b4, though the immediate 26.QxN might even be quicker!
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/h49Rgve6WQI?p=1 width=”480″ height=”299″]
The Big Bang!
The following tidbit is from the first round of the Calgary International Chess Classic,
one of the strongest norm-tournaments in Canada this year! I don’t like first rounds, personally, because sometimes something bad
can happen that can ruin the rest of your tournament. This is what happened to Alberta master Dale Haessel…
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 22nd MOVE:
fm HAESSEL, Dale
White had been doing well but for the last couple of moves Haessel’s sense of danger disappeared and he played imprecisely; now, despite appearances, his Kingside is about to witness a rude shock!
A nice move! It is risk free and collects a bunch of pawns for what will be a piece, all the while leaving the White King exposed.
23.PxR Qxg3-ch 24.Bg2
According to the chess-engine Houdini, the most precise way to continue the attack is with 24…Bg5!, after which 25.Re1! Bxe3-ch 26.RxB! QxR-ch 27.Nf2! the game is still a fight, with Black for preferance.
Gurevich probably wanted more, and with Haessel probably in his usual time trouble, he is proven right.
An exploratory check can be very annoying when short of time! Absolutely necessary now is 25.Nf2! , and if 25…Bxd4 26.RxB! QxR 27.Nb5! and White should probably not lose.
INSTEAD, Haessel immediately walks into the crossfire:
There is no good defence now. If 26.Nb5 then Black wins with 26…Bxb5 27.PxB Bxd4! and what to do about the coming check on g1 , amongst other things? The game ends abruptly:
Damn those Bishops!! To avoid mate White must lose the house.