Gata Kamsky

dogmatagram

Watching him in interviews for the first time during the Grand Prix, he seemed exceedingly odd.  For others who are familiar with his personality, is there something to that?

dogmatagram

To clarify - I'm not saying anything negative here; just curious if he is as eccentric as it seemed to me etc

blueemu

Odd = Ivanchuk.

trysts

He's a chess playerLaughing

apawndown

As a young kid and teenager, Kamsky's chess career was molded and controlled by his father, Rustam Kamsky.  By all accounts at the time, Rustam was, well, "not a nice guy," especially to Gata, who had to endure Dad's constant verbal and,  by some reports, physical abuse,  especially when Gata lost, when the sounds of angry shouting and breaking furniture could be heard from their hotel room.

If this was true, it had to have a negative, stifling effect on Gata's personality. 

Javan64

I once saw a phrase, "the Rustam Kamsky Charm School."  From everything I've read, that little piece of sarcasm hit the nail on the head.

zBorris

Kamsky doesn't express emotions in exuberance. Other than that, he's not eccentric.

dogmatagram

In the recent grand prix, his press conferences following I believe his draw with Mamedyaraov and win over Giri in last round were ... interesting.  The former was awkward at the least, with Kamsky possibly being openly hostile to his opponent ("you call that a move?"); in the latter -- in response to his last question of the tournament, "What are your overall impressions," he took the opportunity to explain, in detail, why Zug is a crap city.  Awkward.

zBorris
mjk71 wrote:

In the recent grand prix, his press conferences following I believe his draw with Mamedyaraov and win over Giri in last round were ... interesting.  The former was awkward at the least, with Kamsky possibly being openly hostile to his opponent ("you call that a move?"); in the latter -- in response to his last question of the tournament, "What are your overall impressions," he took the opportunity to explain, in detail, why Zug is a crap city.  Awkward.

Shak seems a little more awkward to me, eating during the interview - what time during the interview did the rudeness occur?

Kamsky - Giri, Zug question

indurain
apawndown wrote:

As a young kid and teenager, Kamsky's chess career was molded and controlled by his father, Rustam Kamsky.  By all accounts at the time, Rustam was, well, "not a nice guy," especially to Gata, who had to endure Dad's constant verbal and,  by some reports, physical abuse,  especially when Gata lost, when the sounds of angry shouting and breaking furniture could be heard from their hotel room.

If this was true, it had to have a negative, stifling effect on Gata's personality. 

Indeed, Mortal Games by Fred Waitzkin makes for fascinating reading regarding Kamsky.

Natalia_Pogonina

He is a very nice guy, but a rather reserved one. You can't expect him to share his thoughts with a random stranger.

tliu1222

Odd=You know who wears purple

zBorris

He sometimes mixes it up with the rest of us patzers, kibitzing as "Dark Nolan" (link) on another chess-related website - 55 times to be exact - always using a very pleasant tone.

dogmatagram

what a tournament from Kamsky.  It's amazing how tenuous life can be at that level.  Compare Naka vs. Kamsky 2 weeks ago and today.  I also must say that I found his press conferences at THIS grand prix fairly normal and always interesting.

TomHaegin

I live in Zurich Switzerland not far from Zug, where that recent FIDE GP took place. I went to see them 2 times. Kamsky did not say "Zug was a crap city". In fact their hotel and playing venue was not in Zug itself, which is actually a very pretty, very affluent, scenic small town, but in a neighboring village called Cham which by all means is a pretty dreadful place and certainly one a visitor to Switzerland can miss and need not feel sorry about. Basically Cham serves as a sleeping suburb for the working professionals in Zug.

Kamsky said something along the lines of gaining inspiration from the place you are in and the atmosphere and such. I can fully sympathize with what he meant, and he was dead right. In that bland village of Cham, the hotel was actually on the outskirt in a small newly built industrial zone right off the motorway where you could walk nowhere on foot (which is rare in Switzerland). In addition to the absolutely horrible spring weather we are having this year, the players were stranded pretty much at their hotel with nowhere to go and nothing to do (outside of playing chess of course). The hotel was a soul-less modern, efficiently comfortable new construction with no additional amenities other than a restaurant and a bar. A decent business hotel to stay for a night or two, but not a hotel anybody in his right mind would want stay for 2 weeks.

If you compare this to the splendid city and site in Thessaloniki (just look at the pictures from their free days to get an idea), you have to come to the same conclusion as Kamsky.

So while I am usually fairly proud of my country, I can totally feel with him about the Cham GP and do not think that he was off at all. Whether to share these thoughts in a press conference, I don't know. But they asked him, so they must be willing to hear the answer.

I would agree - just from seeing him in Cham and on video feeds - that he is very reserved, but probably a really nice guy once you have a chance to know him.

apawndown

Does Kamsky bear a physical resemblance to Akiba Rubinstein?  (Did he inherit R's endgame wizardry?) 

dogmatagram
TomHaegin wrote:

I live in Zurich Switzerland not far from Zug, where that recent FIDE GP took place. I went to see them 2 times. Kamsky did not say "Zug was a crap city". In fact their hotel and playing venue was not in Zug itself, which is actually a very pretty, very affluent, scenic small town, but in a neighboring village called Cham which by all means is a pretty dreadful place and certainly one a visitor to Switzerland can miss and need not feel sorry about. Basically Cham serves as a sleeping suburb for the working professionals in Zug.

Kamsky said something along the lines of gaining inspiration from the place you are in and the atmosphere and such. I can fully sympathize with what he meant, and he was dead right. In that bland village of Cham, the hotel was actually on the outskirt in a small newly built industrial zone right off the motorway where you could walk nowhere on foot (which is rare in Switzerland). In addition to the absolutely horrible spring weather we are having this year, the players were stranded pretty much at their hotel with nowhere to go and nothing to do (outside of playing chess of course). The hotel was a soul-less modern, efficiently comfortable new construction with no additional amenities other than a restaurant and a bar. A decent business hotel to stay for a night or two, but not a hotel anybody in his right mind would want stay for 2 weeks.

If you compare this to the splendid city and site in Thessaloniki (just look at the pictures from their free days to get an idea), you have to come to the same conclusion as Kamsky.

So while I am usually fairly proud of my country, I can totally feel with him about the Cham GP and do not think that he was off at all. Whether to share these thoughts in a press conference, I don't know. But they asked him, so they must be willing to hear the answer.

I would agree - just from seeing him in Cham and on video feeds - that he is very reserved, but probably a really nice guy once you have a chance to know him.

That all makes sense, particularly after having seen him in subsequent interviews.  It's actually interesting that these super GM's tend to be unrestrained in what they say -- in part, I suspect, due to a sort of unyielding analytical nature that they have cultivated in themselves.  So, for example, Carlsen -- who is generally regarded as unusually press-friendly -- has no problem saying, after the Candidates, that he deserved to win because, "Let's be honest; Kramnik got lucky in various games" (paraphrasing).  Naka blurts out in a press conference at Norway Chess something like, "I'm only a point behind and unlike others I still have Hammer, so I'm looking good."  These statements are undoubtedly true but ... better left unstated.  Anyway off topic I suppose

MrDamonSmith
I got to spend a half hour chatting alone with Rustam Kamsky at the 1993 World Open. This was in Philadelphia at the Adams Mark hotel. I used to live in Philly. Anyway I used to smoke back then (cigarettes :-) and so did Rustam and I was sitting at the small entrance that wasn't so busy at the end of the hall where the td's had their rooms set up, the hall that had the main playing areas and top section. I was smoking and Rustam came out and lit him up one (a cigarette) and he was very polite and open. into."and "how are you" intros we were
MrDamonSmith

Never mind the end of the last posy I'm on an android and I hate the way it causes problems with my posts. Anyway, I think we were discussing family because he asked me if I lived there or something and asked of my family was with me. I can't remember all the details but I think that's how it got started. I had mentioned I wasn't with family that I lived there by my self and he told me how important he thought family was. Ill finish in a couple of minutes.

MrDamonSmith

He mentioned how important family was to him and he thought I should go back home where mine was. In NC. He sounded like he cared a lot and loved Gata. Anyway we smoked a couple of cigs together and talked about what he thought were the most important things in life. He seemed sincere but you know, people can always show a different side when they're in public. It wasn't until well after that that I read all the negative stuff about him.

Iwonder if he still smokes?