Gata Kamsky in 1996
Dennis Monokroussos writes:
I don't intend to jinx Gata Kamsky (not that I believe in such things), who has made it to the finals of the World Cup, where he'll face Alexei Shirov. But in this week's Playchess show we'll take a look at one of the games from his 1996 world championship match with Anatoly Karpov. Kamsky lost the game we'll examine – game 6 – and the match as well. But the contest remained in a very close, dynamic balance until just before the end.
One of the marks of high-level chess that's generally absent from the game played by the rest of us is the competitors' ability to sustain the tension for a long period of time. In amateur chess, if one side finds a good idea or two, perhaps an attacking plan, a subtle tactical trick, or a strategic idea, the game is won. Their games generally aren't won by virtue of having super-GM-sized ideas, but by their ability to keep finding new ideas while stopping those of their opponents for hour after hour after hour.
And few players have been stronger in this respect than Karpov and Kamsky. It has made their chess somewhat less accessible (or rather, less seemingly accessible) than players like Kasparov, Topalov and Anand, but if we're willing to apply a little elbow grease, we can appreciate and learn from their play, too.
So that's what we'll do this week, Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET. We'll take this game apart, move by move, piece by piece, until we understand every bit of it. We'll see how both players keep the game tense and dynamic, until finally Kamsky stumbles and Karpov pounces. Maybe Karpov was objectively stronger than Kamsky, but where he had his big edge was in his extra experience. For all Kamsky's experience, patience, and strong nerves, this was his first time playing for the title, while it was Karpov's ninth – tenth if you count the 1974 match with Korchnoi!
In sum, the game was fascinating both for the chess and the psychology, so I hope to have encouraged you to attend tomorrow night. The show is free, as always – hope to see you then!
Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.
You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:
Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).
Monokroussos in Mexico: world championship 2007
Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.
At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.
Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.
When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.