Mig 
Greengard's ChessNinja.com

MTel 2006 Round 4

| Permalink | 46 comments

Man did I pick the wrong weekend to get a social life. Gata Kamsky is on a rampage in Sofia, winning his third straight by bashing Peter Svidler in just 24 moves. Svidler blundered with 15...Nd7 and was lost immediately. Just about anything else was better. (It was an unpleasant shock and not just for Svidler. The schedule we have at ChessBase is wrong so I was announcing that Kamsky would be facing Topalov with black today. Oops. I could swear I was looking at the schedule on the official site when I wrote that item though.)

Bacrot played not to lose against Topalov and succeeded. Anand bounced back by beating Ponomariov in a long grind. The Ba5-b6 maneuver gets major cute points. The Indian now has 3/4 with no draws and is a half-point behind Kamsky. Read that again. While long-term consistency will probably still take some time, and while this was basically a one-move loss by Svidler, it seems that Kamsky is back to being the player who had match victories over Kramnik and Anand a decade ago.

46 Comments

"It seems that Kamsky is back to being the player who had match victories over Kramnik and Anand a decade ago."

Ok, but above you say Svidler committed a major opening blunder which led to immediate loss. Surely, such a turn of events is no reflection of Gata's skill as a chess player.

And maybe a super-GM shouldn't lose the endgame Bacrot lost. Sure, but even with those reservations, Kamsky has been playing VERY impressively so far. He's not getting murdered right out of the opening as in so many of the Corus games, so presumably has been working hard on that, something that pays off. And his technique doesn't seem any less masterly than it was when he left the stage 10 years ago. I think that is Mig's point, not his exact number of points.

Kamsky with characteristic modesty said he was "lucky" on ICC. Well, I guess every tournament winner needs a little bit of luck.
Anand did get going - so the 'shock' worked. I thought Pono was crushed in similar style in Corus 2005?

Had Anand played better, had Bacrot played better, had Svidler played better... yes, Kamsky could be at 2/4 perhaps. But you have to have decent, or even good, positions even to win on a blunder in an event this strong. These guys aren't amateurs going from a win to a loss. As I mentioned after the win over Anand, getting to the superior endgame is the really hard part.

I don't think Kamsky is a 3000 player because of this result, but you can't even compare his play to how shaky he was at Corus and how bad his openings were. He's been working and he has two very strong events behind him. I'm sure he still has more repertoire holes than most of the elite who have been active non-stop for the past few years, but you can make up time quickly with ChessBase.

Now that Kamsky has become the hero of Bulgaria, Topalov, Anand, and Svidler could vie for the honor of being the hero of Brooklyn

I just went over the game and at that level 15...Nd7 as Seirawan and Donaldson use to call it, is a "howler." I liked the way Kamsky took advantage of it and brought it home quickly. Nationalism aside, I find myself rooting more and more for him all the time as of late. I only can wonder what he would have accomplished during those lost years, if his father hadn't gotten in the way.

Yah, it was pretty bad. Svidler didn't have to get mated but the best he can do is down a clean pawn against two bishops and a 4 vs 2 majority. But Peter was clearly in shock after Nd5.

"Had Anand played better, had Bacrot played better, had Svidler played better... yes, Kamsky could be at 2/4 perhaps. But you have to have decent, or even good, positions even to win on a blunder in an event this strong. "

There is a difference between "had they played better" and "game-ending blunder." Your description made it seem like the move was in the second category. If the game was essentially over after the move, like everybody seems to be saying, and if Kamsky has not done something to cause Svidler to make that move, you can not tell me that Svidler having done so makes Kamsky a better player.

I have said nothing about Kamsky's level of play at this tournament or how much better it is than Corus. My statement was simple: Svidler made a blunder of such rank today that the end result is no reflection on his opponent. And a blunder on move 15-17 is different from an endgame error, which can have a lot to do with constant fast skillful pressure play from the opponent.

And my point was that you don't win on a blunder at this level unless you have played well up to that point.* To paraphrase Spielmann about Alekhine, it's not finding the combinations, it's getting the positions to play them.

They were only three or four moves out of theory when Svidler blundered. Even so, getting to a position in which a player of Svidler's caliber can play a losing blunder is no trivial thing. And it was hardly something Kamsky seemed capable of at Corus, where he was worse out of the opening in just about every game.

*Exceptions for time trouble, of course.

Peace...

I don't get the argument that this player or that one could have played better. When does a player win a game in which his or her opponent could not have played better? All players make errors if you put them in position to make them, and when he first returned, Kamsky was not creating such unpleasant situations for his opponents. One must credit the man for getting into favorable situations, which no doubt create the pressure that partially leads to the moves that lose for his opponents. Kamsky is playing awesome chess; this is not simply a case of having a good stretch of luck. Note how players of this caliber fell to Kasparov routinely and always found a way to fulfill the maxim that "The weaker player creates his own misfortune." This is not to say that Kamsky is stronger than all who he has played, but it is to say that these players are quite capable of creating their own misfortune and exercise this capability whenever the conditions are right.

Hotep,

Maliq

Yuriy, If you hang in there perhaps Kamsky will make a blunder in the league of Svidler's and you'll be able to tell us all again how much you think he sucks.

For the rest of the people who can enjoy the comeback of a former great player that left the scene way to early at only 22 yrs. old. We are able to marvel at what he brings to the game and are thrilled for him and wish Kamsky only the best.

Yuriy is trying to defend his position that the new Mtel lineup is unimprssive by bashing the surprise leader and surprise invitee Kamsky. Kamsky's expected score for the _whole_ tournament was 3.8 pts! Even with perfect play by his opponents (i.e., Bacrot, Anand and Svidler not goofing up), he would still have 2 points in 4 rounds. This has been the most entertaining, suspensful and quality tournament this year, and it's only 4 rounds deep.

Carl,

Total agreement. No matter what his final result for this tournament, it's pretty special what he's accomplishing and you know what, I'm tired of walking on eggshells...screw the naysayers and they know who they are.

While I am suprised that Kamsky is scoring as well as he is at this stage, I think it's a bit premature to make a declaration of his strength based on four games. At least wait until the end of the tournament. But to be more objective, wait until he's played several 'super' tournaments.

In the Round 3 thread, I'd earlier complained that my comments regarding Kamsky's phenomenal results at M-Tel were deleted because they were not a "USCF Issue."

Credit where credit is due: USCF President Bill Goichberg personally intervened, and one is now free to post chess news ;-) on the USCF Forum. (Please use "USCF Issues" until a new subforum is established, and please keep comments constructive....)

http://www.uschess.org/forums/

In the Round 3 thread, I'd earlier complained that my comments regarding Kamsky's phenomenal results at M-Tel were deleted because they were not a "USCF Issue."

Credit where credit is due: USCF President Bill Goichberg personally intervened, and one is now free to post chess news ;-) on the USCF Forum. (Please use "USCF Issues" until a new subforum is established, and please keep comments constructive....)

http://www.uschess.org/forums/

Bill,

Would you mind explaining in more detail what your post is about? I know I'm a little slow, but I don't believed I've shut down just yet?

Traveler, I'm not speaking for Mr. Brock, but I noted on a different thread here ("MTel Round 3") he said he had posted a comment -- evidently in the form of starting a new thread -- on the USCF Forums, giving the great news about Kamsky's phenomenal start....and the USCF Webmaster deleted his thread, on the ground that it was not relevant to the USCF! So, Mr. Brock is now telling us that Goichberg overrode the USCF Webmaster's decision and is allowing such material to be posted on the Federation's own on-line Forums (URL given in Brock's comment above).

Allowing Nd5 okay is it really the worse blunder ever? Moreover Anand, Bacrot were all just beaten. Sure not Anand's best game, but Anand at his best won't lose to anyone. For a mere 2671 to have 3.5/4 in such a tournament, something has gata give. My guess is that Kamsky has finally started training again.

By the way, Marin's commentary is excellent! It's grandmasterly rather than journalistic/chatty, meaning that he gives you interesting variations as opposed to calling bishops "prelates" and considering his journalistic work done.

Thanks Jon,

To tell you the truth, that's how I read it, but it was difficult to believe. Goichberg has done the right thing, but I can't say I'm "proud" to be a USCF member if that's the type of shortsightedness (I'm doing my best to remain civil) that pervades the organization. Give me a break?

A lot of people are seeing me as an attacker of Kamsky. This is bull. I am talking about whether or not Kamsky accomplished something major in this game. He did not. In Mig's own words, this is a one-move loss by Svidler. In chesstraveler's statement it's a howler. Being able to getting two or three moves out of theory (Mig again) is not an indication of somebody being back to the level of one of the top four players in the world. It's something even some of us would end up doing and something most of top 100 (top 200? i honestly don't know) would be able to do.

That said, Kamsky has been playing very very well! This game aside, he has had 2 wins out of 3, both with black, and one of them against Anand!

We will wait for how he does against his old peers at the Olympiad - Shirov, Kramnik, Ivanchuk and Gelfand.(if he plays top board)

Till that time, let us savour the comeback victories.

I've been following the steps along the way of Kamsky's comeback sitting here in front of my Imac the last couple years through the good and bad. No matter how this tournament ends he's really caused some excitement and has shaken things up. His hard work seems to be paying off even though he's on the dark side of 30 years old and should be "over the hill". I hope he inspires some of the talented and even not so talented folks who threw in the towel at an early age to give it another go. I also hope some of you with students will show them his games. What a role model..he makes endgames look like fun!

Kamsky is dominating Anand at the mental
level beyond chess and seems to have
inflicted a trauma. This is not a chess
problem but one of self confidence.

Anand needs to consult a psychologist
to overcome this slavery... else many
more losses are in store for Anand
against Kamsky. Fear is the key !

Jon Jacobs's reading is correct. I was irritated enough to write a cranky email cc'ing the entire USCF board & a few others. Whence Bill G's timely intervention.

In defense of Mike Nolan (moderator of the USCF fora), he was applying his directives literally, and his private communications to me suggested that he didn't agree with them. You've got to look at who's currently posting on the board, and also bear in my that I have made (ahem) less-than-moderate posts in other venues.

;-)

Zero moderation and 100% moderation are two good ways to make one lawsuit-proof. It's hard to deal with us chessplayers.

:-)

"It seems that Kamsky is back to being the player who had match victories over Kramnik and Anand a decade ago."

Kamsky didn't had match victorie over Anand - first match (FIDE) was draw (then they moved to another kind of sport:)), second (PCA, half year later) - Kamsky lost.

When i was a bit critical about the impact of opening preperation, some of you rushed to say that "opening preparation is part of the game". Now i am wondering whether blunders are part of the game..

Of course Yuriy thinks that winning someone because he blundered, it is an unworthy win.In contrast, outplaying someone in the opening playing 20-25 moves - which your seconds have found with the help of Fritz- is certainly a great demonstration of pure chess strength and talent....

Things are simple. These players are the best but their playing is subject to variations. Who of them is long -term consistent on his results? Nobody. For instance Kamsky was out of form in chorus, now he rocks...
His chess calibre is without doubt analogous to players like Adams, Leko, Svidler etc. And Sofia is just the right moment to prove it.

It's great to travel back into the past. The old timers like Kamsky and Anand are showing how its done.

"And maybe a super-GM shouldn't lose the endgame Bacrot lost."

Hmm. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Kamsky is definitely playing strong chess; he reminds me of Kramnik more than a little (Kramnik at his best). Of course, Anand seems to just black out against him, and beating Svidler and Bacrot isn't exactly rocket science if you're a World Championship contender. OK, maybe beating Svidler is, but it was a one-move blunder.

I'm not convinced he's 2800 yet, but he seems to belong here, as he didn't in WAZ. Like I said, he brought openings in his suitcase this time.

A bit off topic, but news I'm sure will be welcomed here. Seems like Radjabov (not even at the MTEL) will get through money what Kasparov could not get for the last few years of his career: A match for the championship:

http://www.mtelmasters06.com/en/news&article_id=68.html

"(Sofia, May 15, 2006) The manager of the World Champion Veselin Topalov Silvio Danailov and the Minister of Sport of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov agreed yesterday on a match for the world title to be held between Topalov and the Azerbaijanian Teimour Radjabov (ELO 2720). All conditions of the World Champion have been accepted and the two sides have signed a memorandum.

The match will probably take place in April 2007 in Baku. The award fund will be $ 1,5 million, of which $ 1 million will be for Topalov. According to the rules of FIDE every chess player with ELO over 2700 can challenge the World Champion in a match for the title. Radjabov, currently number 13 in the FIDE ranking will be the next challenger for it if Topalov defends it in the match against Kramnik in September this year in the capital of Kalmykia - Elista.
"

All the Kamsky hoopla has led me to a simple question: How is his name pronounced? Is is Got-tah or Gat-ah and is his surname Cam-ski or Com-ski? Thanks for any help.

All the Kamsky hoopla has led me to a simple question: How is his name pronounced? Is is Got-tah or Gat-ah and is his surname Cam-ski or Com-ski? Thanks for any help.

Sorry, for the double posting (I hate that). In breaking news, Kamsky just lost to a tactical storm from Topalov. And just how shaky do the 21st century Candidate's matches look now that Radjabov just challenges the champion directly. Somewhere a Shirov is laughing!

Sorry if this is not exactly on target with this thread, but does anyone know what happed to Rustam Kamsky? He was certainly a major issue for Gata's opponents in his first career, but I haven't seen any mention of him at all since Gata's return.

And today (round 5), Ouch! Veselin finlly got his type of position, and when that happens probably only Kasparov played as well.

Thanks for any info!

The value of the anti-draw rule is shown most clearly if we compare the Sofia tournament to the Bosna tournament which is running concurrently in Saraevo.

From the 5 games in Bosna-B tournament, 4 were drawn today in 10-18 moves, the fifth one lasted 33 moves - and was drawn as well. That's an average of less than 20 moves per game - how many of those moves were theory, only Dvoretsky knows.

In Bosna-A, one game was drawn in 13 moves, and only two pairs (Naiditch-Carlsen, draw in 58, and Malakhov-Sasikiran, 0-1 in 55) played something that could be called a real games of chess.

Read that again, if you dare - 16 PROFESSIONAL CHESSPLAYERS could only produce 2 CHESS GAMES between them on an average working day.

maybe somebody has an answer. I've assumed he's out of the picture chess wise. It's the way things work, isn't it? Little league baseball players for instance are accompanied to all their games by parents..many of whom get carried away (even abusive) in support of their son. For players who progress to college or professional ball the parents are by then usually out of the picture. It would seem tacky even by contemporary journalism standards for a reporter to press a pro athlete for details about a parent that ticked some folks off when they were a kid (and I assure you there are plenty that do). Lots of both unknown and well known people choose not to discuss their parents or other family members publicly. It's Gata Kamsky's choice...just like you or me.

Alex, I totally agree with you. If pro chess players expect to get more money one day, it's up to them to give more energy and more spectacle. Therefore, Sofia rules are just perfect.

Just imagine what would people say at soccer if after 13 minutes of a match, both teams would leave and say "ok we agreed on a 2-2" ...

By the way, about the match Radjabov-Topalov, what will happen when Topalov will have lost to Kramnik? (I've said when, not if).

Other question, if any player above 2700 can challenge the world champion if he brings enough money and if challenges can be issued every six months, does this means that to keep his crown for 10 years, a world champion would have to defend his title 20 times in matches and win 5 round-robin tournaments?

If 15 players above 2700 come in with a million dollar for a match, who has the priority? Who decides?

Therefore, why would a 2700+ player attend the official cycle (cup system, plus two - virtual - matches) to play a f___ing tournament in which he has 1/8 chances to seize the crown when he can play directly a match where he has 50% chances?

Another question. Why Radjabov ? What sense does it makes? Topalov - Kramnik was a long awaited event. But why Radjabov more than any other player above 2700 ?

Go Kok go, you're our ONLY hope. Illumjinov hasn't even been reelected, and the s*** is starting again.

Last idea : if we don't manage to get rid of illumjinov (mainly because of Burkina Faso, Afghanistan and Bengladesh chess federations ... see what I mean), then I suggest that we, simple chess players, put pressure on our respective chess federations to leave FIDE. Maybe that Gens una sumus, but I don't want to be part of that "gens".

We are the chess world. USA, Russia, Germany, France, UK, Spain, those 6 countries together are more than 50% of the chess players. If Kok looses, it's time to put pressure to leave FIDE, and to write mails to our federation leaders.

Pasted from the US Chess forum without comment

:-)

****

billbrock

Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Chicago, IL
Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 4:28 pm Post subject: after round four: Kamsky leads M-Tel!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gata Kamsky, America's top-rated grandmaster, followed his victory against World #2 Vishy Anand with a 24-move demolition of #4 Peter Svidler. Kamsky now leads M-Tel with a spectacular score of 3.5/4.0.

Kamsky 3.5
Anand 3.0
Svidler 2.0
Topalov 1.5
Ponomariov 1.0
Bacrot 1.0

Tomorrow, Monday, Gata has Black against World Champion Veselin Topalov.

Daily coverage at chessbase.com

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3101

Follow games in realtime at http://www.mtelmasters06.com/

Back to top


billbrock

Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Chicago, IL
Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 2:24 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lubosh Kavalek features Kamsky's performance in today's WaPo (free registration required):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/14/AR2006051400748.html

Back to top


billbrock

Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Chicago, IL
Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:30 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GM Nakamura (Smallville) is kibitzing Topalov-Kamsky on ICC right now....

Back to top


nolan

Joined: 20 Dec 2003
Posts: 2394

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:58 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill, this is NOT an 'instant messaging' area. By the time someone reads your comment, hours, days or weeks from now, there will be nothing on ICC to go see.

Please keep in mind the nature, limitations and purpose of this forum when posting.

This illustrates why I think the mission of the Forums needs to be carefully thought out, not changed willy-nilly upon the whim of a few individuals.

Back to top


billbrock

Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Chicago, IL
Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 12:10 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allow me to make this thread forum-compliant:

"Kamsky is thinking very bad things about both Beatriz and Joel. After today's loss to Topalov, he is beginning to hate chess and would rather spend his time arguing chess politics on this forum in a manner that will bring discredit to USCF. That is, after all, the proper use of this forum."

Better?

Think of each as separate word, with the emphasis on the capitalized part:

GAH-tah COME-ski

Yes Ruslan, keep dreaming... Russia will never leave FIDE, even if the world turns upside down.

"Of course Yuriy thinks that winning someone because he blundered, it is an unworthy win."

Of course, I think that a term like "unworthy" is meaningless when it comes to discussing a chess game.

"When i was a bit critical about the impact of opening preperation, some of you rushed to say that "opening preparation is part of the game". Now i am wondering whether blunders are part of the game.."

Absolutely. Frequency and caliber of blunders are part of the level of skill of the person making them. They are part of Svidler's game and will go into my evaluation of him as a chess player.

"In contrast, outplaying someone in the opening playing 20-25 moves - which your seconds have found with the help of Fritz- is certainly a great demonstration of pure chess strength and talent...."

That's a pretty ignorant view of opening preparation. What, you think Bareev goes "Hey, Vlad, play 15. Nd2, it leads to a forced mate in 3?" No, the person whose team discovered the innovations has to be aware of analysis of what moves the opponent may make, of what opportunities it leads to for his opponent and what strength he should capitalize on in subsequent play. In other words, you have to learn, understand and remember dozens of potential chess moves. And yes, that is a measurement of one's pure chess skill as well as other intellectual aspects that we admire in a chess player, such as memory, dedication and willingness to prepare.

"Things are simple. These players are the best but their playing is subject to variations. Who of them is long -term consistent on his results?"

Everybody variates. The question is how far do they variate and how often. Kasparov and Anand have finished at top in every tournament they played since I started following chess. Topalov has won and co-won everything he played in in the past year (I think his lowest finish was second or third). Looking at Corus 2006, the higher ranked GMs are at the top, the lower ones are towards the bottom--this is of course merely a tendency as a top GM occasionally finishes towards the bottom and a lower one will occasionally soar, like Bologan a few years ago at Dortmund. But tendencies reflect rating.

"Nobody. For instance Kamsky was out of form in chorus, now he rocks...
His chess calibre is without doubt analogous to players like Adams, Leko, Svidler etc. And Sofia is just the right moment to prove it."

Kamsky has played two high-level tournaments since his return. He played badly in one and so far is playing well in another. His play at lower-level tournaments has varied. On the basis of this it is ridiculous to declare that his play is at the level of today's leaders.

Thank you, Yuriy!

Whether it be Kasparov, Topalov, Anand, Kramnik, or Kamsky who benefit from opponents's gross blunders to win games and tournaments...let's have some consistency. Agree to call each of them brilliant or each of them lucky.

Just to add to Yuriy's point, consistency is one of the traits that differentiates the best players from those who are merely very good. It will take a whole lot more than a three-game winning streak before Kamsky will have proved that he's in the same league as Anand, Topalov, Svidler, et al.

"Kasparov and Anand have finished at top in every tournament they played since I started following chess"

I guess Dortmund 2001 had occurred before you started following chess, right?

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter

     

    Archives

    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 14, 2006 3:43 PM.

    MTel 2006 Round 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

    90 Degrees of Annoyance is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.