Kamsky wins 2010 US Chess Championship

by E. "Doc" Smith on June 4, 2010

(Ed. note. Special thanks to the Saint Louis Chess Club and FIDE Chess Master Michael Klein for much of this report.) Returning to chess after nearly a 5 year lay-off to attend law school, Gata Kamsky won the 2010 US Chess title in Saint Louis. Klein reports, “Within only seconds remaining on his clock, GM Gata Kamsky simplified the endgame against GM Yury Shulman to clinch a draw and with it the title of 2010 U.S. Champion. He last won the title in his teenage years in 1991. Kamsky won with a draw because of the unique tiebreak format, which saw the players bid on a starting time for today’s rapid game. His secret bid of 25 minutes was lower than Shulman’s bid, so Kamsky got 25 minutes to his opponent’s 60, but with Black and draw odds. “I wanted Black because I’m more solid with Black,” Kamsky explained. After the game, Kamsky said he thought his bid was too low. He said if he had it to do over again, he would bid something around 30 minutes. Shulman built up a promising position and was better for most of the game according to Kamsky.”

“Referring to Shulman’s excellent shot 34. Rc5, Kamky said, “I completely blundered on c5 but I already didn’t like my position. He said he also missed Shulman’s 23. f3, instead preferring to push his pawn to b5 before playing Ne4.
Shulman critiqued several moves, including 53. Be8, which doesn’t actually do anything since after 53…Kxg5 the pawn on f7 is immune. Instead, continuing his king’s advance would have at least kept up the pressure. By this point, both players were down to just seconds and playing on increment.

“Gata had nine lives in this game,” Shulman said. After the game, the two came down to the commentary room. A relieved Kamsky approached the stage and let out a cheer. Normally reserved, he raised his arms in a “V” for victory.”

Kamsky was a prodigy who reached the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996 at the age of 22, and reached a ranking of fourth in the world rankings in 1996. He played almost no FIDE-rated games between 1997 and late 2004.

Kamsky won the Chess World Cup 2007. This earned him a match against Veselin Topalov for the right to challenge for the World Chess Championship 2010, which he lost. Kamsky will also play in the Candidates Tournament to determine the challenger for the newly crowned champion, Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship in 2012.

Shulman, Yuri – Kamsky, Gata
US Championship 2010 – Playoff Game

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be2 O-O 7.O-O Qb6 8.b3 Bg4 9.Ba3 Re8 10.Rc1 e6 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nbd7 13.Bd6 Bf8 14.Bg3 a5 15.Qc2 Qa7 16.Rfd1 Nb6 17.Be2 Nc8 18.c5 b6 19.Na4 Ne4 20.Be5 b5 21.Nb6 Nxb6 22.cxb6 Qxb6 23.f3 Nd6 24.Qxc6 Reb8 25.Qxb6 Rxb6 26.Kf2 Ne8 27.Rc2 Ba3 28.e4 Kf8 29.g4 h6 30.h4 Rd8 31.Bf4 Kg7 32.Be3 Nd6 33.exd5 exd5 34.Rc5 Ne8 35.Rxb5 Rxb5 36.Bxb5 Nc7 37.Bd3 Ne6 38.f4 Be7 39.Rh1 Bf6 40.h5 gxh5 41.Rxh5 Bxd4 42.Bxd4+ Nxd4 43.Ke3 Nc6 44.Bb5 Nb4 45.Kd4 Rb8 46.a4 Rc8 47.Re5 Kf6 48.Rf5+ Kg6 49.Re5 Kf6 50.g5+ hxg5 51.fxg5+ Kg6 52.Re7 Ra8 53.Be8 Kxg5 54.Kc5 f5 55.Rg7+ Kf6 56.Rg6+ Ke7 57.Bb5 f4 58.Rg4 f3 59.Kb6 f2 60.Rf4 Rf8 61.Rxf8 Kxf8 62.Kxa5 Nc6+ 63.Kb6 Nd4 64.Bf1 Nxb3 65.Kb5 Ke7 66.Kb4 ½-½

E. “Doc” Smith is a former Rhode Island Amateur Chess Champion, winning titles at the U.S. Amateur Team Championships for Brown University as well as the Rhode Island Chess League Championships.

Filed under: Arts & Entertainment