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Kamsky Wins With White! Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
December 14, 2007
In game two of the World Cup final (December 13-17, Khanty-Mansisyk, Russia), Gata Kamsky defeated Alexei Shirov with White, taking him one step closer to serious World Championship possibilities. Gata and Alexei chose the Anti-Sveshnikov variation characterized by 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5. Black could try to insist on a Sveshnikov with e6 or Nf6 but then Black may end up defending a line of the Rossolimo he doesn't like after Bb5. Check out Joel Benjamin's articles on this line on IM Jeremy Silman's webpage. The game really blew up and it certainly looked scary for Gata after 21...Rxg2+, especially in light of Shirov's fearsome tactical reputation. After all,Alexei Shirov wrote: "Fire on Board!"


In the end, Gata extinguished the flames with style. Once Gata's king reached f4, it looked pretty bad for Shirov, although he made it easier with 35...Rf6, which allowed 36.Ng5!, winning on the spot. If Shirov hadn't played Rf6, Gata would not be able to play Ng5 in view of Rh4+

The match is only four games so long, so in order to win, Alexei definitely needs to bring it tomorrow, in his last White of the match. (unless the match goes to tiebreak.) We hope Gata can defend again with Black and bring home the World Cup first place. The final two games are on Saturday, Dec.15 and Sunday Dec.16, and they begin as usual at 5 AM EST.