Sofia 2007: Kamsky beats Sasikiran with black

by ChessBase
5/19/2007 – He may not have his notebook, but he is in fighting spirit. Top US grandmaster Gata Kamsky defeated the tournament leader Krishnan Sasikiran to move into joint second place, together with Topalov, Mamedyarov and Nisipeanu. On the free day there was a soccer match between the chess players and a selection of the Bulgarian champions. Pictures and videos.

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Third M-Tel Masters in Sofia, Bulgaria

There are six participants in this double round robin tournament that goes from May 10 to 20. Time control: 2 hours for 40 moves + 1 hour for 20 moves + 30 minutes to the end the game. The players are not allowed to offer draws, they must consult the arbiter, who will decide (usually against) allowing the offer to be made.

Round eight: Kamsky defeats Sasikiran and moves to second

India's Krishnan Sasikiran (pronounced Shashi-keeran, incidentally) was on a high, leading the tournament by a full point, when he was brought down to the harsh world of reality when he was brought down by the still notebook-less Gata Kamsky, who had the black pieces. Romaina's Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu beat Brit Michael Adams to relegate him to last place in the table.

Round 8: Friday, May 18 2007

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
 Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov 
 Shakriyar Mamedyarov
Krishnan Sasikiran 
 Gata Kamsky

Sasikiran-Kamsky was a Slav which saw the Indian player picking up a pawn on move 32 and then giving the exchange for it on move 41. After the queens left the board on move 48 Black had the initiative with rook vs knight and a passed pawn on e4. After that there was no stopping him and the game ended in a sweet revenge victory for Gata Kamsky, who had lost to Sasikiran with white in round three.

Sasikiran,K (2690) - Kamsky,G (2705) [D15]
MTel Sofia BUL (8), 18.05.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5 6.c5 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.h3 Bf5 9.Bxf5 gxf5 10.Qc2 Qc8 11.Ne5 Ne4 12.Nd3 Nd7 13.Ne2 Bf6 14.Bd2 Rg8 15.g3 e6 16.0-0-0 h5 17.Rdg1 Qc7 18.Nef4 Nxd2 19.Qxd2 h4 20.g4 e5 21.Ne2 e4 22.Ndf4 fxg4 23.hxg4 Bg5 24.Nh3 f6 25.Nef4 Nf8 26.f3 exf3 27.Rf1 0-0-0 28.Rxf3 Re8 29.a4 Bh6 30.Nf2 Nh7 31.Ng2 Re6 32.Rxh4 Bg5 33.Rhh3 Rge8 34.Kb1 Nf8 35.Nf4 Bxf4 36.Rxf4 Nh7 37.axb5 axb5 38.Rf5 Ng5 39.Rh1 Rxe3 40.Rxf6 Nf3 41.Rxf3 Rxf3 42.Nd3 Ref8 43.Qe2 Qf7 44.Rh6 Rf1+ 45.Kc2 Rf6 46.Rxf6 Qxf6 47.g5 Qg6 48.Kc3 Qe4 49.Qxe4 dxe4 50.Ne5 Kc7 51.Kd2 Rf2+ 52.Ke3 Rxb2 53.Kxe4 Rg2 54.d5 cxd5+ 55.Kxd5 Rxg5 56.Kd4 Rh5 57.Nd3 Rh4+ 58.Kc3 Kc6 59.Kb3 Kd5 60.Kc2 Kc4 0-1.

Nisipeanu.Adams was a complex Chigorin which tipped in favour of the top Romanian player just after the time control when he unleashed a serious kingside attack.

Nisipeanu,LD (2693) - Adams,Mi (2734) [C96]
MTel Sofia BUL (8), 18.05.2007
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.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nd7 12.Kh1 Re8 13.d5 Nb6 14.b3 Bd7 15.Be3 Qc7 16.g4 c4 17.b4 Nb7 18.Nbd2 a5 19.a3 Ra6 20.Nf1 Rea8 21.Bc1 Nd8 22.Ne3 axb4 23.cxb4 f6 24.Nf5 Bc8 25.Rg1 Nf7 26.h4 Bd8 27.Rg3 Kh8 28.g5 g6 29.Ne3 fxg5 30.hxg5 Kg8 31.Kg2 Na4 32.Qe1 Bd7 33.Qh1 Qc8 34.Qh2 Nc3 35.Kf1 Be7 36.Bb2 Na4 37.Bc1 Bf8 38.Qh4 Be7 39.Qh2 Bf8 40.Qh4 Be7

41.Nf5 Qf8 [41...gxf5 42.Qh5 wins quickly for White] 42.Nh2 h6? [42...h5 puts up more resistance] 43.Ng4 hxg5 44.Bxg5 Nxg5 45.Ngh6+ Kh7 46.Nf7+ Kg8 47.N7h6+ Kh7 48.Nf7+ Kg8 49.Nxg5 Bxg5 50.Rxg5 Be8 51.Kg2 R8a7 52.Rh1 Qf6 53.Nh6+ 1-0.

Veselin Topalov played a lot of fearless moves against the man who had beaten him in the first half of the tournament, second seed Shak Mamedyarov. But the latter showed similar precision and saved the day with a neat fortress in the ending.

Topalov,V (2772) - Mamedyarov,S (2757) [B46]
MTel Sofia BUL (8), 18.05.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Re1 Be7 10.Qf3 0-0 11.Bg5 d4 12.Na4 e5 13.b3 Nd7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.c3 c5 16.Rac1 Qd6 17.Qg3 Bb7 18.Rc2 Rac8 19.Rec1 Qh6 20.Nb2 f5 21.exf5 e4 22.Bc4+ Kh8 23.cxd4 cxd4 24.Bf1 Qxc1 25.Rxc1 Rxc1 26.Qf4 Rc5 27.g4 Ne5 28.Nc4 Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Nh4+ 30.Kh3 Nxf5 31.b4 Rc6 32.gxf5 Rxf5 33.Qb8+ Bc8 34.Kg2 Rf8 35.Qe5 Rg6+ 36.Kh1 e3 37.Qe7 Rgf6 38.Ne5 exf2 39.h4 Be6 40.Kh2 Bxa2 41.Nd7 R6f7 42.Qc5 Re8 43.Qxd4 Rd8 44.Qb2 Rfxd7 45.Qxa2 Rd4 46.Kg3 Rxb4 47.Qxf2 a5 48.h5 h6 49.Qf7 a4 50.Bc4 a3 51.Qe7 Rdb8 52.Qd6 a2 53.Bxa2 R4b6 54.Qd3 Rb2 55.Bc4 R2b4 56.Qd6 R4b6 57.Qd5 Rb4 58.Bd3 Rb3 59.Kf4 Rxd3 60.Qxd3 Rf8+ 61.Ke5 Rf6 62.Qd8+ Kh7 63.Qxf6 gxf6+ 64.Kxf6 Kh8 draw.

Current standings

Soccer match Levski vs Chess United

On the free day the Bulgarian organiser staged a soccer match between the six players of the chess tournament ("Chess United)" and a selection of six players from the football champion of Bulgaria Levski, a team that participated in this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Topalov in action – on the soccer field

The game took place at the Georgi Asparuhov stadium, the referee of the match was Josef Vinatzer, CEO of the sponsors M-Tel and the Levsky football club. The game was played over two half-times of 10 minutes each.

Gata Kamsky breaking through, assisted by Krishnan Sasikiran

First Levski went into the lead with two goals, then Sasikiran scored and Topalov was fouled in the penalty area. The Bulgarian chess star scored from the spot to level the match.

Sasikiran and reserver player Cheparinov in a complicated manoeuvre

After that Mamedyarov took Chess United into the lead, but two consecutive goals by Stanimir Stoilov made it 5:3 for Levski. The game ended with a final score 6:4 for Bulgaria’s football champions.

Pictures by Dagobert Kohlmeyer


After the match the official site published the following humorous statement, which we bring you unedited and unabridged.

The match Levski – Chess United to be replayed

The game Levski-Chess United will be replayed. The reason for that is the scandalously disallowed goal of Ivan Cheparinov just a second after the last whistle of the referee that marked the end of the game. Chess United sent a letter of complaint to FIDE and UEFA as soon as yesterday.

The complaint of the GMs from M-Tel Masters has been examined late last night by the FIDE Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who is a special guest of the tournament. The official decision was already announced. Due to the heavy schedule and the numerous engagements of the two teams the game will be replayed on May 13, 2008, which is the rest day of M-Tel Masters 2008.

“We so much want the game to be replayed. We are pleased with our display. I was right when I said that we would score four, but Levski scored six. I think that we will play even better next year”, the manager of Chess United Silvio Danailov said.


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