U.S. Championship 2012 / Round 9
Kamsky played a beauty today and (personal opinion) is playing the ‘best’ chess of the 2012 U.S. Championship. His wins smack of complete domination; speculation is in the background and his wins give a very commanding style where the result appears inevitable. His win today put him in sole possession of first place; a half point ahead of Nakamura who drew. On the receiving end of a Kamsky onslaught was former U.S. Champion Yasser Seirawan. Seirawan played his favorite Caro Kann defense – classical variation. The players castled on opposite wings; that means that a common motif is to open up lines against the opposing King. In this case, using Black’s ‘h6′ as an excuse/target, White played ‘g4′ on move 17. Yasser took the Pawn giving White an open ‘g’ file; if he did not, you can bet that the ‘g’ Pawn was destined to play to ‘g5′ opening lines whichever way Black decided to go. Even here, although passive, Black was OK. Yasser has stated on several occasions that he enjoys grabbing Pawns when he can, holding onto the material advantage while he diffuses the ‘attempt’ at attack against his position. His Pawn Grab on move 21 (Diagram) was NOT the Pawn to grab. Rad8 would have gotten another piece into play, contested the ‘d’ file, left his Bishop defending the Kingside and leaving White to think about what he was eventually going to do with that Pawn on ‘c5′. AFTER that grab, Kamsky showed why he is the current U.S. Champion. The attack he unleashed beginning with a Bishop sacrifice on ‘h6′ was so overwhelming with a Rook penetration (sacrifice again) on ‘d7′, that Yasser had to part with he Queen. The finish of the game was forcefully executed. Wow – One of the best games of this tournament. For the remaining decisive games of the U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women’s Championship – See Comments.