Kamsky beats Almasi, wins on tiebreak in Reggio Emilia

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Almasi & Kamsky lead in Reggio EmiliaHe was the last-minute replacement for Malakhov and never lacks fighting spirit: Gata Kamsky today won in Reggio Emilia after beating Zoltan Almasi in a fantastic last-round game. The American and the Hungarian both scored 6.5/9 but Kamsky had the better tiebreak.

The 52nd edition of the “Torneo di Capodanno” took place December 28th - January 6th at the Astoria-Mercure hotel in Reggio Emilia. It was a 10-player round-robin with GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Michele Godena, GM Daniele Vocaturo, IM Sabino Brunello (all from Italy), GM Gata Kamsky (USA), GM Eltaj Safarli (Azerbajan), GM Baadur Jobava (Georgia), GM Konstantin Landa (Russia), GM Viktor Bologan (Moldavia) and GM Zoltan Almasi (Hungary).

Rounds 6-9

After five rounds, Almasi and Kamsky were leading the field with 3.5 points out of 5 games. The two kept the lead for one more round thanks to victories with the black pieces in round 6. Kamsky beat Brunello with Black in a g3 Grünfeld; the Italian's exchange sacrifice was interesting but 29.Nd3 too passive. Almasi, who played the Berlin Wall regularly long before Kramnik used it to beat Kasparov, got under serious pressure against Bologan. However, a few moves before 40 the picture suddenly changed completely and with 44.Rf7? Bologan even lost what was probably a drawn ending.

The next round Almasi beat Safarli, who tried the Norwegian Variation of the Ruy Lopez (4...b5 and 5...Na5). The Hungarian was well prepared and played like Karjakin did to beat Mamedyarov at the World Blitz Ch in Moscow last month. Kamsky dropped back half a point after a draw with Landa, and the same scenario repeated was repeated in round 8: Almasi won, against Vocaturo, and Kamsky drew, with Bologan.

It's always nice when the two strongest players meet each other in the last round, and this is what happened today. And what a finale it was! This time no Berlin Wall, no, Almasi went for the Archangelsk which is quite popular again these days. Already on move 17 Kamsky came with a stunning exchange sacrifice in return for a pawn and a strong initiative.

Here Kamsy played 17.Rxa5!!

At first Almasi defended well, but soon after the second blow 24.Ba7 things went downhill for Black. Great stuff from Kamsky, and what a way to end a tournament for the organizers.

What about the young rising stars? Well, Brunello and Safarli played close to their expected score, but Vocaturo did much worse with a performance rating in the 2300s. As stated before, he played quite interesting chess and should have scored better. He will for sure, in the future. In fact he might be proving that theory already in the Corus C group which starts in ten days from now.

Reggio Emilia 09/10 | Round 9 (Final) Standings
Reggio Emilia 2009

Selection of games rounds 6-9

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

Konstantin Landa vs Daniele Vocaturo

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

Baadur Jobava vs Michele Godena

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

Eltaj Safarli vs Fabiano Caruana, who will play in Corus A

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

The crucial, and fantastic encounter Kamsky-Almasi...

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

...afterwards explained by the winner (with commentator GM Miso Cebalo)

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

An interview with a TV crew...

Reggio Emilia 2009/2010

...and receiving the trophy from Silvano Ferraroni, President of Chess Club "Ippogrifo" and on of the organizers of the Reggio Emilia Tournament

Thanks to Giorgio Gozzi for providing the photos


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