Chess Classic Mainz – Kamsky wins with 10.0/11 points

by ChessBase
8/10/2010 – The final result of this rapid chess world championship was decided in the final rounds, partially on the basis of nerves. The reigning US Champion Gata Kamsky stormed through the field of 700 players with 9.0 in the first nine games, to clinch it with two final draws. Kamsky's secret: a New York cap worn backwards. Big illustrated final report.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


701 participants in Grenke Open

The tenth edition of the Chess Classic Mainz took place from 6th - 8th August 2010. The event has been cut down to three days, but the Chess Classic is still the main rapid chess event in the world, with many top grandmasters in the entry list.

The winner of the Open Grenke Rapid World Championship received € 6000 in prize money, and also received the prestigious title “Rapid Chess World Champion”.

The main sponsor of the event is Wolfgang Grenke, chairman of the GrenkeLeasing AG. He has sponsored the Chess Classic since 2005.

Hats off to the man with the cap!

By Eric van Reem / Photos Carsten Straub

Gata Kamsky is the one and only winner of the Grenke Open! After eleven hard fought rounds, the current United States Champion had scored ten points and remained unbeaten. The man with the cap played fighting chess, never just for a draw, even with the black pieces, and deservedly won the first Open Grenke Rapid World Championship. Hats off to the man with the cap!

The second day of the Grenke Open started with no less than 12 players with a perfect 5/5 score, but soon that number of 100% scorers was reduced. After eight rounds, only Gata Kamsky was able to keep the pace and he was the only player with a perfect score. He won in great style against Markowski, Aronian and Karjakin in rounds 6, 7 and 8. The 45-minute lunch break was used to get some fresh, air and after that the Kamsky train kept rolling. The 36-year old United States chess champion played against ex-world champion Rustam Kasimdhzanov in the ninth round and was on the brink of losing his first game of the tournament, but he escaped somehow and even won in the end. That’s rapid chess, sometimes you need a little luck.

In the penultimate round he scored a draw against Vugar Gashimov, who also played a great tournament and remained unbeaten as well.

In the last round against Grishuk, Kamsky played a Grünfeld Variation, which he had not played for a long time, against Grischuk and had to survive some critical moments. But in the end he got the draw he needed to clinch home the title. With 10 points (+9=2-0) he won the Grenke Open, €6000 and the traditional winner’s jacket. Vugar Gashimov, Levon Aronian and Evgeny Bareev scored 9,5 points.
The final round in Mainz, with the tigers which snared Kamsky to participate

Clearly the 36-year old was happy with his result. “I like to play in Mainz and I almost won the Chess960 tournament last year, but I am happy that I won this tournament this time. Hans-Walter Schmitt invited me to Mainz a few years ago and I accepted, mainly because I love tigers. I asked him after my first tournament in Mainz if I could get one of the tigers they had on stage. Schmitt agreed, and I took one of the big tigers with me to New York. It is placed on a nice spot in my apartment and sometimes I hug my tiger.”

Winners: Gata Kamsky, Vugar Gashimov, Levon Aronian, Evgeny Bareev and Sergey Karjakin

Top female players: IM Anna Zatonskih, WIM Olga Dolgova, GM Alexandra
Kosteniuk, WGM Elvira Berend-Sakhatova, WGM Natalia Zhukova

With Kamsky’s win in the Grenke Open, another big “Mainz” title was taken to the USA: last year Hikaru Nakamura won the Chess960 Open and the American chess program Rybka by Vasik Rajlich, won the Chess960 computer world championship. How about a Chess Classic USA?

The next tournament on the Kamsky agenda is the Baku Open, from 22-30 August and after that Kamsky will play the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansysik. Next year, as a finalist of the previous cycle, Kamsky has been given direct entry to the eight player Candidates Tournament to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012. The Candidates Tournament will begin with best-of-four game match format, and Kamsky will most likely face Veselin Topalov in the quarterfinals in Kazan, Russia. And next year, he has to come back to defend his world title.” I hope that I can play a rapid match against Vishy Anand in Mainz next year, which would be a real challenge!”

Kamsky rules in Mainz

A key game: Gata Kamsky faces top seed Levon Aronian with black in round seven

Aronian,L (2783) - Kamsky,G (2713) [D15]
GRENKE Rapid WCh Mainz GER (7), 08.08.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.Bg5 a5 7.e3 Be7 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 Na6 10.Qb3 Nb4 11.Na2 Na6 12.Rac1 h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Ne4 15.Rfd1 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Bf6 17.Nc3 Bg7 18.e4 g4 19.Nh4 dxe4 20.Bxg4 f5 21.Bh3 Bxd4 22.c5 Nxc5 23.Qc4 Nd3 24.Nxf5 c5 25.Nxe4 Nxc1

White has been in a bit of trouble, but has managed to defend the position. Now he can expect to draw after simply capturing on c1. But: 26.Nxh6+? Kg7 27.Qxc1. This idea leads to his downfall. 27...Qd5 28.Re1 Qh5 29.Ng4 e5 30.Nh2 Bxh3 31.gxh3 Ra6 32.Kg2 Rh6 and Kamsky went on to win the game in convincing style. 33.h4 Rg6 34.Qd1 Qxh4 35.Nf3 Qg4 36.Qb3 b6 37.Nxd4 exd4 38.f3 Qf5 39.g4 c4 40.Qd1 d3 41.Ng3 Qd5 42.Re4 d2 43.Kf2 Kg8 44.Nf5 Rxf5 45.gxf5 Qc5+ 46.Re3 Rd6 47.Ke2 Qxf5 48.Re4 Kf8 49.Kf2 Rd3 50.Rxc4 Rxf3+ 51.Kg2 Qh3+ 0-1.

Another decisive game in round eight: Sergey Karjakin vs Gata Kamsky

Kamsky,G (2713) - Karjakin,Sergey (2747) [C91]
GRENKE Rapid WCh Mainz GER (8), 08.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.d4 Bg4 10.d5 Na5 11.Bc2 Qc8 12.Nbd2 c6 13.b4 Nb7 14.dxc6 Qxc6 15.Bb2 Nd8 16.Nf1 Qb7 17.Ng3 Re8 18.h3 Bd7 19.Bb3 Ne6 20.Nf5 Bc6 21.Nxd6 Bxd6 22.Qxd6 Nxe4 23.Qxe5 N6c5 24.bxc5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Nxc5 26.Bxf7+ Kh8 27.Rad1 Bxg2 28.Rd4 h6 29.Ba3

Here Serge Karjakin, who has a queen for a rook and bishop, needed to find 29...Bh1! But he didn't: 29...Bxh3?? 30.Bd5 Qc8 31.Bxc5 Qxc5 32.Bxa8. Now the material balance is two rooks and a knigh for a queen and a pawn, and Kamsky has no trouble bringing home the beef – in spite of a spirited defence by his young Ukrainian opponent. 32...Bf5 33.Re3 Qa3 34.Bd5 Kh7 35.Kg2 Qe7 36.Nf3 Qf6 37.c4 bxc4 38.Bxc4 a5 39.Rd5 Bb1 40.Rxa5 Qf4 41.Be6 Qb4 42.Rae5 Qa4 43.a3 Qf4 44.Bd5 Qg4+ 45.Kf1 Qh3+ 46.Ke2 Qc8 47.Be4+ Bxe4 48.R5xe4 Qc1 49.a4 Qb1 50.Nd2 Qa1 51.Rg3 Qf6 52.a5 h5 53.Rb3 h4 54.Rb6 Qg5 55.Nf3 Qxa5 56.Rxh4+ Kg8 57.Rb8+ Kf7 58.Rf4+ Kg6 59.Rbb4 Qa6+ 60.Rbc4 Qb5 61.Kf1 Qd5 62.Kg2 1-0.

A critical game: Kamsky vs Kasimdzhanov, which decided the final outcome of the tournament

Kasimdzhanov,R (2699) - Kamsky,G (2713) [C84]
GRENKE Rapid WCh Mainz GER (9), 08.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Bd2 0-0 10.h3 h6 11.Re1 b4 12.a5 Rb8 13.Ba4 Re8 14.Be3 Bf8 15.Nbd2 Ne7 16.Bb3 c5 17.c3 Nc6 18.Nc4 Be6 19.Ba4 Qc7 20.Nb6 bxc3 21.bxc3 Red8 22.Bxc6 Qxc6 23.d4 cxd4 24.cxd4 Qxe4 25.d5 Bc8 26.Nxc8 Rbxc8 27.Bb6 Qxd5 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.Qe2 Qa8 30.Nd2 Nd7 31.Nc4 Nc5 32.Rab1 e4 33.Nb6 Qc6 34.Rec1 Qe8 35.Nd5 Qe5 36.Qc4 Be7 37.Rc2 Bg5 38.Re2 Qf5 39.Rf1 h5 40.f3 exf3 41.Rxf3 Qb1+ 42.Rf1 Qd3 43.Ne7+ Kh7 44.Qxf7 Qxe2 45.Qf5+ Kh8 46.Qxg5 Ne6 47.Ng6+ Kg8 48.Ne7+ Kh8 49.Ng6+ Kg8 50.Qf5 Qe3+ 51.Kh1 Qe2 52.Ne7+ Kh8 53.Ng6+ Kg8 54.Rf3 Nd4

For ten moves now Rustam Kasimdzhanov, former FIDE world champion and current second of Vishy Anand has wound in and out of a clear win. Now he misses his final chance: 55.Qf7+ Kh7 56.Rg3 Ne6 57.Ne7 Qe5 58.Qg6+ Kh8 59.Nc6 etc. with a winning advantage. However now he practically forces Black to save the game: 55.Qd5? Qe6 56.Ne7+ Kh7 57.Qxh5+ Qh6 58.Qxh6+ Kxh6 59.Rd3 Nb5 60.Kg1 Kg5 61.Rf3 Nd4 62.Rf7 d5 63.Rxg7+ Kf6 64.Rh7 Ke6 65.Ng6 Nb3 66.Ra7 Rd6 67.Nf4+ Kf5 68.Nd3 d4 69.Re7 Kf6

Now the demoralised Kasim plays a move that would keep him away all night: 70.Re5?? Nc1 0-1.

Gashimov vs Kamsky in round ten was a safe Dragon in which neither side had winning chances

Karjakin drew Gashimov in the final round to take fifth place to Gashimov's second

Rustam Kasimdzhanov lost in the final round against Jan Gustafsson and finished
in tenth place (in the background Viktor Bologan vs Vadim Zvjaginsev)

Top female players

IM Anna Zatonskih, USA, scored 8.0/11 for the best result of a female player

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk with her daughter Francesca Maria, who is now three years
old. The reigning women's world champion scored 7.5/11 points in Mainz.

WGM Natalia Zhukova from Ukraine, 7.5/11 points

IM Almira Skripchenko (above next to Vlastimil Hort) scored 7.5/11

WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran scored 7.5/11 points

7.0/11: WGM Sabina Francesca Foisor from Romania, now living and studying in Baltimore, USA

WGM Shadi Paridar from Iran, who like Cristina Foisor, scored 7.0/11

Top results (8.5 pts and higher – total 701 players)

# Name Ti FED Elo + = Pts
1. Kamsky,Gata GM USA 2713 9 2 0 10.0
2. Gashimov,Vugar GM AZE 2719 8 3 0 9.5
3. Aronian,Levon GM ARM 2783 9 1 1 9.5
4. Bareev,Evgeni GM RUS 2663 9 1 1 9.5
5. Karjakin,Sergey GM RUS 2747 8 2 1 9.0
6. Kempinski,Robert GM POL 2612 9 0 2 9.0
7. Grischuk,Alexander GM RUS 2760 8 2 1 9.0
8. Shirov,Alexey GM ESP 2749 8 2 1 9.0
9. Naiditsch,Arkadij GM GER 2684 9 0 2 9.0
10. Kasimdzhanov,Rustam GM UZB 2704 8 1 2 8.5
11. Gustafsson,Jan GM GER 2643 8 1 2 8.5
12. Bologan,Viktor GM MDA 2713 8 1 2 8.5
13. Markowski,Tomasz GM POL 2628 8 1 2 8.5
14. Inarkiev,Ernesto GM RUS 2671 8 1 2 8.5
15. Movsesian,Sergei GM SVK 2723 6 5 0 8.5
16. Howell,David GM ENG 2619 7 3 1 8.5
17. Tregubov,Pavel GM RUS 2610 7 3 1 8.5
18. Istratescu,Andrei GM ROU 2620 8 1 2 8.5
19. Andersson,Ulf GM SWE 2567 7 3 1 8.5
20. Pelletier,Yannick GM SUI 2589 8 1 2 8.5
21. Ghaem Maghami,Ehsan GM IRI 2585 8 1 2 8.5
22. Volokitin,Andrej GM UKR 2674 6 5 0 8.5
23. Zvjaginsev,Vadim GM RUS 2656 8 1 2 8.5
24. Berczes,David GM HUN 2551 8 1 2 8.5
25. Gozzoli,Yannick IM FRA 2520 7 3 1 8.5
26. Zatonskih,Anna IM USA 2470 8 1 2 8.5


ChessBase reports

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register