Grandmaster Gata Kamsky Vs GM Boris Gelfand – 2011 Candidates Tournament, Semifinals

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2011 Candidates Tournament, Semifinals Game 4: Gata Kamsky (USA, 2732) Vs Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2733) — Gelfand was in a must-win situation to stay alive in this semifinals match, as Kamsky had won game 3 and only required a draw in this game to proceed to the finals. I’m skeptical of Kamsky’s opening choice of e4 in this game, as Gelfand is very experienced in playing the Sicilian which allows black to achieve very sharp, dynamic positions. As Kamsky only needed a draw to move on to the finals, I think opening with d4 would have been a more prudent choice. Gelfand responded with a strange move order including an early qb6, and Kamsky failed to find an active plan as white. As black was able to skillfully exploit the tactical opening of the center, white’s position collapsed. A fantastic game by Gelfand, coming through in the clutch and forcing the 2nd tiebreaker in the form of blitz playoffs.

CORRESPONDING ARTICLE WITH INTERACTIVE BOARD, TOURNAMENT ANALYSIS, OTHER GAMES AND MORE: http://www.iChess.net/2011/05/21/2012-world-chess-championship-candidates-tournament-semifinals/

PGN:

[Event “World Championship Candidates”]
[Site “Kazan RUS”]
[Date “2011.05.16”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “2.8”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Gata Kamsky”]
[Black “Boris Gelfand”]
[ECO “B33”]
[WhiteElo “2732”]
[BlackElo “2733”]
[PlyCount “100”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3
e6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. a4 d6 10. Be3 Qc7 11. f4 b6
12. Qf3 Bb7 13. Nb5 Qb8 14. c3 e5 15. f5 a6 16. Na3 d5 17. Nd2
Qd8 18. Bf2 d4 19. Qe2 Re8 20. Nb3 Nd7 21. Kh1 Bxa3 22. Rxa3
Nc5 23. Bc4 Na5 24. Nxa5 bxa5 25. Qh5 Qc7 26. Bd5 Bxd5
27. exd5 Ne4 28. Bg1 Qc4 29. Raa1 Qxd5 30. Rad1 d3 31. Qf3
Rad8 32. Rfe1 Nf6 33. Qxd5 Rxd5 34. c4 Rd7 35. Bb6 e4 36. c5
Rc8 37. h3 h5 38. Kg1 h4 39. Bxa5 Rxc5 40. Bc3 Rc4 41. Bxf6
gxf6 42. b3 Rb4 43. Kf2 Rd5 44. Ke3 Rxf5 45. Rc1 Rg5 46. Rc4
Rxc4 47. bxc4 Rxg2 48. c5 Re2+ 49. Rxe2 dxe2 50. Kxe2 Kf8 0-1

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