10 June 2013

Commentary - Thessaloniki Grand Prix

The recently-completed Thessaloniki Grand Prix tournament featured some high-level, exciting fighting chess.   It was particularly gratifying to see Gata Kamsky do well, so soon after putting forth a major effort to win his 4th U.S. Championship title.

I enjoyed following the tournament's news and games and selected ones of particular interest to go over.  A win by Kamsky in the English in round 6 against Svidler is featured below, with my own commentary, but two other games also stood out for me.
  • Kasimdzhanov-Kamsky from round 7 is a Leningrad Dutch where Kamsky makes what looks like a ballsy temporary sacrifice of a pawn, the commonly weak one on d6 in this variation, then sacrifices the exchange, which leaves his king looking exposed on f7 but prompts an immediate resignation because White has no defense against the coming Black attack.
  • Kamsky-Nakamura from round 8 is an unusual French Defense which has some similarities to potential structures that could also be reached from a Caro-Kann.  I selected this game because of that, but also because of moves like 12. b4! that show why it's important to look for dynamic, non-obvious choices as part of your candidate move selection.

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