Kamsky Moves to Final Four!
By Jennifer Shahade   
December 7, 2007
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Gata Kamsky's fifth victim in the World Cup was Ruslan Ponomariov. Photo Misha Savinov.


In round 5.2 of the World Cup, Gata Kamsky defeated Ruslan Ponomariov. Now Kamsky moves to the Final Four, where he will face Magnus Carlsen on Sunday, Dec.9 at 5 AM EST.

Today's game was a complicated Sicilian in which Ponomariov passed up on the chance for the poisoned pawn variation of the Najdorf in favor of more positional play with 8...Nc6. They reached a typical Classical Sicilian position in which Black has a f7-f6-e6-d6 pawn phalanx, against which Kamsky used a classic plan: Hammer the e6 pawn. Ponomariov was forced to place his rook on e5 to defend e6, and in the following position, Kamsky showed that the weakness  of the unusual rook placement outweighed the strengths.

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Position after 28.Nb4



Kamsky just played 28. Nb4! 29. Bxa6 is a very serious threat, so Black was forced to capture the knight on d4. Here is the full game:



In other matches, Shirov advanced with a second victory against Jakovenko. Cheparinov tried hard to defeat Carlsen with White, and he had a shot in a pawn-up rook endgame, but Carlsen managed to hold the draw.





 Karjakin and Alekseev drew again, so they will play a tiebreak tomorrow. The other three players, including Kamsky, will get to rest and prepare for the semifinals. Good luck to Gata in the Final Four!