Gata Kamsky plays chess!

6/15/2004 – After a five year absence, American GM Gata Kamsky returned to the chessboard on Tuesday night. He came to play in the 106th New York Masters at the famous Marshall Chess Club. The former world championship candidate showed considerable rust in tying for first and giving up two draws in the four rapid games. Is he back to stay?

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Gata Kamsky back at the board after five years

It wasn't exactly the return of the conqueror, but chess fans will take it. Former US champion and FIDE world championship challenger Gata Kamsky appeared at the Marshall Chess Club Tuesday night to play in the weekly New York Masters rapid tournament run by John Fernandez and IM Greg Shahade.

You can replay the four games online and download the PGN here. Kamsky gave up two draws to woefully outrated opponents, but rallied to wipe out GM Blatny in the final round.

106th New York Masters Action
June 15, 2004
1. Kamsky, Gata g 2717 3.0 2. Yudasin, Leonid g 2553 3.0 3. Scekic, Milos m 2405 3.0 4. Bercys, Salvijus 2279 3.0 5. Maltese, Adam 3.0 6. Blatny, Pavel g 2451 2.5 7. Privman, Boris f 2268 2.5

It was the first time Kamsky has played in public since his very brief appearance at the FIDE KO world championship in Las Vegas in 1999. That was also a surprise comeback after an absence of three years. Kamsky and his volatile father Rustam emigrated to the United States in 1989 from Russia. (Photo of the recently arrived 15-year-old Kamsky by Nigel Eddis.)

He soon became the highest-rated American player since Bobby Fischer and became a fixture of the top ten and the supertournament circuit. Like Fischer he played in a FIDE world championship match, but he lost to Karpov in 1996. Like Fischer Kamsky then disappeared from chess, but to go back to school. We recently had more on what Kamsky and his father have been up to here.

Now recently turned 30, married, and apparently finished with law school, Kamsky has come back to play chess. But for how long? There are some big and lucrative events coming up on the calendar, particularly the World Open in Philadelphia next month. Perhaps this was the start of a warm-up campaign? Our thanks to Gary Bryant for the tip and the ICC for the games.


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