Gata Kamsky dominant in Washington

by Albert Silver
8/16/2015 – For the fourth year, the Washington International was held by the Maryland Chess Federation, and once more was a resounding success if one is to judge by the lineup. At the very top was five-time US Champion Gata Kamsky, far from the only GM, but in the mix was a very large number of juniors on the rise, seeking a chance to outshine their peers.

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Gata Kamsky was the name of the event, as he stormed to the lead with a perfect 4-0 but three draws in the second half put his ‘sure thing’ at risk, allowing GM Arun Prasad Subramanian, whom he defeated in round three, to join him in the lead.

The top was quite tight after that. A full point behind the leaders at 5.5/8 were GM Sergei Azarov, GM Michael Roiz, GM Victor Mikhalevski, IM Akshat Chandra, FM Ruifeng Li, and FM Nicolas Checa.

At this point there were several players in the running for norms. The most notable was FM Ruifeng Li, fourteen years old, who had already earned an IM norm at this point, and a 'mere' draw would earn him a coveted GM norm. There was only one hitch to this plan, and not an insignificant one: his opponent was Gata Kamsky. Gata Kamsky on the other hand, was in a win-at-all-costs situation, since he had allowed Indian GM Arun Prasad Subramanian to catch up with him with 6.5/8, and a poor roll of the dice might see him in second… or worse.

Gata Kamsky faces 13-year-old FM Akshit Gorti who never got the ball rolling for her event

FM Ruifeng Li had a fantastic event, nearly scoring a GM norm

Gata Kamsky - Ruifeng Li

[Event "4th Annual Washington Intl 2015"] [Site "Rockville"] [Date "2015.08.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "Li, Ruifeng"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A46"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2408"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [TimeControl "40/6000+30:1800+30"] [WhiteClock "0:50:22"] [BlackClock "0:09:01"] 1. d4 {0} Nf6 {0} 2. Nf3 {0} e6 {0} 3. Bf4 {10 This is a Kamsky specialty dating back to when he was just a teenager.} d5 {0} 4. e3 {55} c5 {0} (4... Bd6 5. Bg3 O-O 6. c4 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bc4 Nc6 9. Bxd5 exd5 10. Nc3 c4 11. Ne5 Ne7 12. O-O Bb4 13. a3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 f6 15. Nf3 Bg4 16. a4 Nc6 17. h3 Bh5 18. Qb1 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Na5 20. Qf5 Nb3 21. Ra2 Qa5 22. Bd6 Rf7 23. Bb4 Qd8 24. e4 a5 25. Ba3 Qd7 26. Qxd7 Rxd7 27. Re1 b5 28. axb5 Rb8 29. exd5 Rxd5 30. Re7 Rbxb5 31. Rc7 Rg5+ 32. Kf1 Rbf5 33. Re2 h6 34. h4 {1-0 (34) Kamsky,G (2763)-Ivanchuk,V (2733) Beijing 2013}) 5. c3 {5} Nc6 {8} 6. Nbd2 {5} Bd6 {11} 7. Bg3 {4} O-O {14 } 8. Bb5 {3} Ne7 {512} 9. Bd3 {11} Ng6 {363} 10. Ne5 {524} b6 {320} 11. h4 $1 { 70 Easily the most agressive and challenging move. Black can't have felt too comfortable with this.} Bb7 {1063} 12. h5 {38} Ne7 {6} 13. Qf3 {10} Ne8 {1120 [#]} 14. O-O-O $2 {1464 White misses an opportunity to finish the game in style here.} (14. Bxh7+ $1 {was not only winning but thematic.} Kxh7 15. h6 $1 g6 (15... Ng6 16. Qg4 $1 {Pinning the knight on g6 due to the threat of mate if it leaves.} Bxe5 17. Bxe5 f6 18. Nf3 Qe7 19. Bf4 {and the attack is relentless.}) (15... gxh6 16. Nxf7 Ng8 17. Bxd6 Nxd6 (17... Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Rxf3 19. Nxe8 Rf7 20. Nd6 {and White is up a pawn with a better position to boot.})) 16. Nxf7 Qc7 17. Ng5+ Kg8 18. h7+ Kg7 19. h8=Q+ Rxh8 20. Qf7#) 14... f5 {103} 15. Bf4 {231 Everyone misses moves, even players of his caliber. White is stil in the driver's seat.} Nf6 {346} 16. h6 {253} g6 {19} 17. Qg3 {2} Bxe5 {742} 18. dxe5 {251} Nd7 {109} 19. Bg5 {35} Qe8 {114} 20. Bxe7 {5 A dubious decision that costs White his advantage. There was no compeling reason to exchange off the bishop.} Qxe7 {7} 21. f4 {4} c4 {172} 22. Bc2 {64} b5 {10} 23. Nf3 {14} b4 {110} 24. Qg5 $2 {19 Missing Black's next move or underestimating it. The game could easily have gone sour here, but it doesn't hurt to be 260 Elo over your opponent, able to wield a bit of psycholgical intimidation.} Qc5 $1 {308} 25. Nd4 {8} bxc3 {133} 26. bxc3 {6} Qa3+ {105} 27. Kd2 {63} Nc5 {17} 28. Rb1 {69} Qxa2 $2 {119} ({Black absolutely needed to prevent White's queen penetration with} 28... Rae8) 29. Qe7 $1 {318 Once more White is better and this is unpleasant to the extreme for Black.} Ne4+ {37} 30. Ke1 {265} Rf7 {66} 31. Qxe6 {23} Nc5 {273} 32. Qd6 {6} Qa5 {108} 33. e6 {120} Qxc3+ {62} 34. Ke2 {13} Nxe6 {70} 35. Qxe6 {6} Ba6 {36} 36. Kf3 {83} Kf8 {65} 37. Qd6+ {82} Re7 {35} 38. Qf6+ {5} Ke8 {16} 39. Ba4+ {4} 1-0

As it turned out, Gata's no.1 rival lost his final game, finishing third with 6.5/9, just behind Michael Roiz on tiebreak. As a result, Gata Kamsky took clear first with 7.5/9 a full point ahead of the field.

Ashritha Eswaran showed grit, but was unable to produce her best form

13-year-old FM Nicolas Checa scored an IM norm

Sergey Azarov from Belarus came in fourth in spite of five draws at the end

ChessBase contributor IM Akshat Chandra scored a nice win against IM Andrew Tang. See the finale:

[Event "4th Annual Washington Intl 2015"] [Site "Rockville"] [Date "2015.08.11"] [Round "7"] [White "Chandra, Akshat"] [Black "Tang, Andrew"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C92"] [WhiteElo "2496"] [BlackElo "2387"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3brrk1/1b1q1ppp/pn1p1n2/1p6/1P1NP3/P6P/1BBN1PP1/R2QR1K1 w - - 0 20"] [PlyCount "9"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [TimeControl "40/6000+30:1800+30"] [WhiteClock "0:20:26"] [BlackClock "0:18:50"] 20. Nf5 $1 {344 It doesn't take a genius to see that White's pieces are all pointed in the same direction. Whether or not it is already technically won is not obvious, but one thing is certain:} h5 $2 {905 is not the saving grace.} ({ The engine suggests} 20... Re6 $1 {as Black's best try.}) 21. Qf3 {1081} g6 {36 } 22. Qf4 gxf5 {348} 23. Qg5+ {636} Kh7 {2} 24. e5 $1 1-0

GM Samuel Sevian (right) had a solid tournament, gaining a few Elo. Here he drew Kamsky.

Final standings

Rk
Name
Rtg
Pts
Prize
1 GM Kamsky, Gata 2670 7.5 $4000
2 GM Roiz, Michael 2595 6.5 $1500
3 GM Subramanian, Arun Prasad 2503 6.5 $1500
4 GM Azarov, Sergei 2602 6.0 $650
5 GM Sevian, Samuel 2553 6.0 $650
6 GM Steingrimsson, Hedinn 2550 6.0 $650
7 GM Mikhalevski, Victor 2526 6.0 $650
8 IM Chandra, Akshat 2496 6.0 $650
9 IM Yang, Darwin 2465 6.0 $650
10 FM Checa, Nicolas De 2362 6.0 $650
11 FM Li, Ruifeng 2408 5.5  
12 IM Eggleston, David J 2392 5.5  
13 FM Song, Michael 2319 5.5  
14 IM Ruiz C, Joshua D 2390 5.0  
15 IM Tang, Andrew 2387 5.0  

Click for complete standings


Links

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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