World Cup: Kamsky Wins Brilliantly on First Day of Round 4

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  • on 8/20/13, 2:07 PM.

With just 16 players left, the World Cup in Tromsø continued with its fourth round and there were three winners: Fabiano Caruana, Gata Kamsky and Vladimir Kramnik. Caruana was the first winner; in an already slightly worse position, Julio Granda Zuniga blundered a full pawn and immediately resigned. Kamsky played a brilliant attacking game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov that involved several sacrifices and ended with a forced checkmate. Kramnik had the luxury of winning with Black; in a slightly worse but drawn position Vassily Ivanchuk let his position collapse in just a few moves.

Let's start this report with what was the game of the round: Gata Kamsky's win over Shakriyar Mamedyarov. It was the U.S. Champion versus the World Rapid Champion, and a duel between two of the greatest fighters around. With a rare move-order, Kamsky turned a Taimanov Sicilian into a Scheveningen, and it looked like Mamedyarov played inaccurately already in the opening. White's 15.Qh3 is hard to meet, and even Black's natural 16...d5 17.e5 Ne4 didn't do the trick because of the very strong piece sac that followed. Sit down and enjoy this game!


It would be too easy to (jokingly) ask whether the en passant rule is known in Peru, but the fact is that today Julio Granda Zuniga completely missed that an en passant capture was possible. He didn't forget about the rule; he just didn't see that it was tactically possible!

In the Mieses variation of the Scotch, Fabiano Caruana got a slight advantage ("I had some pressure," in his own words) when Granda suddenly played the horrible 20...f5. When his opponent took on f6, no doubt the Peruvian GM immediately saw that his planned 21...Qa6 could be answered by 22.f7! Rxe2 23.Bf5+! and so he resigned the game. A tough moment for the only 2600 GM left, but he has one more white game to try and make the headlines again!


The game between Vassily Ivanchuk and Vladimir Kramnik saw a dramatic finish, in favor of the Russian. "I would prefer this [to have happened] in London," said Kramnik, obviously referring to the last round of the Candidates Tournament, when he lost to the same opponent and finished second on tiebreak behind Magnus Carlsen.

The game started as a 5.Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined. Kramnik, who worked hard on this line for the Candidates Matches in 2011, didn't need any time on the clock for his first 22 moves (!) while Ivanchuk was thinking a lot. At some point Black got a slight edge, but normally Chucky would have drawn it easily. However, the Ukrainan became nervous, started to push pawns around his king, and suddenly missed a deadly check.


The other five games ended in draws. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Boris Gelfand was quite an interesting fight, even though it lasted only about one and a half hours! Vachier-Lagrave, who was playing against his own opening (the Grünfeld), had prepared one of the critical lines in the Exchange variation and so the game was a test whether Gelfand had worked out all the details there, or rather whether he would remember it. The Israeli, who worked on this opening for about a year to prepare for his match against Anand, didn't fail the test and got a draw with a nice variation that ended in perpetual check.


America's number one player (now 5th in the live rankings) Hikaru Nakamura didn't get much with White against former Ukrainian Champion Anton Korobov. The move 6.Be2 in the Najdorf might have been a surprise weapon, as it hasn't been very popular in recent years. Korobov reacted well, and at some point he was threatening the thematical break ...d6-d5 and so Nakamura decided to play it safe and repeat the moves.


Dmitry Andreikin followed more or less the same strategy. He got absolutely nothing with the white pieces against Sergey Karjakin in a Queen's Indian, and offered a draw himself as early as move 18. The fact that both players played a tough tiebreak the other day probably also played a role here.


If every round has one lucky man, it was Peter Svidler for this one. In an Anti-Grünfeld, the winner of the last World Cup simply got outplayed by Vietnam's number one Le Quang Liem, who could have decided the game on move 23. Le did see the move, but only realized how strong it was after he had played something else. This gave Svidler the chance to play a positional exchange sacrifice, which worked out well. It was enough to draw, and perhaps even more.


Alexander Morozevich and Evgeny Tomashevsky was the longest game of the round, but for a long time not much happened. Just when the center opened up and things became more concrete, the players suddenly decided to call it a day.



FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 4, Day 1 Results

Name Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Caruana, Fabiano 2796 1 1
Granda Zuniga, Julio E 2664 0 0
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784 1 1
Ivanchuk, Vassily 2731 0 0
Kamsky, Gata 2741 1 1
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2775 0 0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772 ½ 0.5
Korobov, Anton 2720 ½ 0.5
Karjakin, Sergey 2772 ½ 0.5
Andreikin, Dmitry 2716 ½ 0.5
Gelfand, Boris 2764 ½ 0.5
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2719 ½ 0.5
Svidler, Peter 2746 ½ 0.5
Le, Quang Liem 2702 ½ 0.5
Morozevich, Alexander 2739 ½ 0.5
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2706 ½ 0.5

Held every two years, the World Cup is part of the World Championship cycle. The winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. The World Cup takes place August 10th-September 3rd in Tromsø, Norway. Photos by Paul Truong courtesy of the official website; games via TWIC.

12297 reads 29 comments
3 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Thanks dashkee94, that was helpfulSmile

  • 3 years ago


    kamsky has played many wonderful games that has left an impression...remember his match with anand?

  • 3 years ago


    Kamsky exemplifies one of the oddities of this tournament. It is possible to lose rating points even while one advances. This happens when players draw lower-rated opponents in the rated classical games, then beat them in the unrated (or separately rated) rapid tiebreaks. According to the live chess ratings, Kamsky has actually lost 1.4 rating points over the course of the tournament. 

  • 3 years ago



    If 21.....Qxe2; 22.Bxe2, Rxe2?; 23.Rxd8+, Kxd8; 24.f7 and queens.  An alternative to Rxe2 is 22.....Rxd1+; 23.Kxd1, Nxb2+; 24.Kd2 with a fantasy mate if Bxg2; 25.f7, Rf8; 26.Bg4+, Kd8?; 27.Bc3, Bxg1??; 28.Bf6#.

    Hope that helps some.

  • 3 years ago


    The Caruana game has me a little puzzled. What happens if Black plays 21... Qxe2? I know the pawn at f6 is very dangerous, what is the exact winning line for Caruana?

  • 3 years ago


    Talsky !!!

  • 3 years ago


    after all these years, Kamsky finally plays a game that makes an impression.  beautiful win and quite un-Gata-esque

  • 3 years ago


    Dont underestimate peter svidler here remember he won this tournament previously!!

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen is preparing for the World Championship Match with Anand in November.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen and Anand are not playing because they already have passed this exam.This cup is a part of world chess championship.


  • 3 years ago


    i wonder why carlsen is not playing here anybody know? , answers please

  • 3 years ago


    kramnik is the monster in this group ...still very hard tournament

  • 3 years ago


    Kramnik has never been in serious trouble so far, so IMO he is the strongest candidate to win this tournament.

    I cant wait to see his games with (hopefully) Naka and Caruana in the next round

  • 3 years ago


    The Best Player Is Magnus caRlsen

  • 3 years ago


    @Aknim, Marcokim: You are wrong. It's the average of the August 2012 to July 2013 Elo lists that counts and you must have played 30 games during that period.

  • 3 years ago



    "who will play in Candidates tournament if Kramnik goes to the final here? i know it is next by average rating but can't find this rating"

    8months is a long time in chess. Any GM who is 2740+ at the moment has a chance depending on his form over the next 8months.

  • 3 years ago



    You can find the live chess ratings here: (for both men and women)

    It'll be whoever is 3rd highest at that time then

  • 3 years ago


    who will play in Candidates tournament if Kramnik goes to the final here? i know it is next by average rating but can't find this rating

  • 3 years ago


    Gata and Naka will fight it out in the finals!!

  • 3 years ago


    Boargo, after Qe3 white threatens mate by Qh6+ and Qxh7#. Like the sub variation provided shows, Bxh4 is not going to work for black so the only alternative is h5. After Qd4+ then Kh7 loses immediately to Rxh5# because the bishop pins the g6 pawn. So Kh6 is forced. Then Kamsky shows that Rxh5 still works! Kxh5 Qxd5+ will lead to a win for white with Qe4 next no matter where the black king goes and the king is without sufficient help to ward off the white mate. gxh5 also loses to Rf6+ where Kg5 Rg6# or Bxf6 Qxf6#.

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