Kamsky Leads in Vegas
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 8, 2008
A packed tournament hall in Las Vegas. Photo Betsy Dynako

After four rounds of the National Open (Las Vegas, June 6-8), World Championship Candidate Gata Kamsky has 4/4, half a point ahead of the field. On Saturday, Kamsky defeated two 2500+ players, starting with GM Mark Paragua in round three.


After the game Paragua said that he should have played 24...Qxa4 instead of Rxa4. Toward the end after Qf3, Paragua had a choice between an unpleasant ending with Qd5 or an unpleasant middlegame with Rxf1. He chose the ending and went down quickly.
Kamsky won against Altouinian in round four. Photo Betsy Dynako

Kamsky went on to defeat IM Levon Altounian with Black


National Open

Standings after four rounds
1. Gata Kamsky- 4/4
2-6- GMs Laurent Fressinet, Dmitry Gurevich, Tigran Petrosian, Varuzhan Akobian and IM Josh Friedel

Click here for complete standings , including under sections and the Susan Polgar World Open for Boys and Girls.
Susan Polgar with fans from her namesake tournament. Photo Betsy Dynako

The much-awaited Nakamura-Kamsky may not happen, as Nakamura gave up two draws on Saturday. The first was to GM-elect Josh Friedel, who was in a sacrificial mood.

Nakamura faced off against Friedel in round three. Photo Betsy Dynako

Nakamura's other draw was to GM Darwin Laylo, a game that went on till past midnight.

Daniel Rensch scored an upset over IM Ben Finegold in round three. Rensch reached the following position after 55 moves. For the past 20 moves, Rensch had been avoiding perpetual yet unable to force a queen trade into a winning endgame. Can you find his crushing blow?

Rensch-Finegold White to Move, Position after 55...h6

Show Solution

Here is the full game:


Rensch was stopped by GM Petrosian in round four in an instructive game that combined positional chess with a fierce attack.


Check CLO tonight and tomorrow for final results and photos. Watch the final games live on monroi.com. Also be sure to look for Jerry Hanken's upcoming in-depth report in Chess Life Magazine.