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FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 (4.2)

Svidler's magical combination, along with luck, beats Kamsky

Svidler mostly did without the help of the translator because his English is so good. Photo ©

Svidler mostly did without the help of the translator because his English is so good. Photo © |

"You could say I got lucky in both games but I always tend to think I got lucky if I win. " was Peter Svidler's considered opinion of his day's work which allowed him to beat Gata Kamsky 2-0. After missing 18.Bb1 in his calculations he was slightly lucky not to be lost straight away. Kamsky's main winning chances went with 20.exd6 instead of 20.Qe4, not that either player knew that at the time. Svidler found his way through the complications to get to play a wonderful rook sacrifice that will make the game collections. An extremely happy Svidler talked of his respect for Kamsky, his delight in the combination, his view on Navara's gesture against Moiseenko and finally went through the game itself in a wonderful press conference and broadcast on the Official Video starting at 15:40 on the HD version at least. He goes on to face the winner of the Polgar-Dominguez playoff. Extracts of all below.

The Press Conference

Peter Svidler at the Press Conference

Peter Svidler at the Press Conference. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Below are extracts from the virtuoso bi-lingual performance by Svidler in Russian and English in press conference after his win.

The scoreline doesn't really reflect how the match was going. In the first game I won a game very similar to how Gata won a couple of games against me. We play some position, the position is roughly equal, at least towards the end of the game, the endgame was abolutely equal and then perhaps due to shortness of time, or maybe he was tired, I really have no idea why because it's very, very unlike him to do that, he allow my king into the centre and lost in three moves.

Today I didn't want a long game, for obviously reasons, because Gata is very good at lasting the distance. He is very unlikely to give you any free chances to equalise so I I wanted to equalise by force and doing that blundered Bb1 after which, well, almost lost, but not quite and I haven't checked yet but I have spoken to a couple of people who said that I was worse but not lost. What Gata did seemed very critical and actually my first impression was that white is winning but then I found this fantastic Re2 shot after which black is simply crushing.

You could say I got lucky in both games but I always tend to think I got lucky if I win.

Q: How is the World Cup going for you?

Good so far [laughs] I even have a rest day, which is unexpected. I'm through to the round of 8. This is a good result, obviously, and looking forward to maybe going event further than the last time. This was where I lost to Malakhov in the quarters. I will be looking to progress slightly further this time.

On Navara's draw offer against Moiseenko

Peter Svidler at the Press Conference

Peter Svidler at the Press Conference. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Svidler's opinions are very close to almost everyone I've heard express a view on this but they are very well thought out.

My opinion is that if there was no intention of moving the piece which was touched accidently, it is not touch move, and if it is not touch move, the whole subject, it is just a non-story.

There was never anything wrong he has done and therefore there was absolutely no reason for him to do what he did and offer a draw in a winning position because he felt he has done something wrong.

And I want to stress that this is in huge part due to what kind of a man David is. He is constantly worried he will do something wrong and in fact never does. In all my years of knowing him he hasn't done one thing wrong ethically and yet he constantly worries about it.

By doing what he did he punished himself and made himself work for another day and actually jeopardised his qualification into the next round.

I for one am glad he won the tie-break because I think he won the game and it would be a huge injustice if the tie-break ended in Moiseenko's victory because I think the match finished on the second day frankly.

The whole situation should be settled by arbiters. It's not for the players to decide what is ethical and what is not. If the rules, and as far as I understand, from what I read on the internet, the rules state that touch move applies to situations where you touch the piece with the intention of moving the piece which is according to everyone, Moiseenko included, never the case in this particular game. Then it's just a non-issue. There was no touch-move, game continues and if you win, you win. He hasn't taken a move back, it was a brush and a brush doesn't not as far as I can understand constitute touch-move.

He is a great guy but sometimes he is his own worst enemy. I think because he wants so badly to be absolutely perfect in every respect. I think in this case it just, jeopardised his tournament.

Svidler in conversation with Konstantin Landa

Yesterday was an interesting game but it was drawn for a very, very long time and then Gata just blundered the whole game away in about 2 moves in the endgame.

For me this is a huge deal. Over the years I've struggled in matches against Gata. Gata was the one who knocked me out in 2007 here. For me to get out of this match with this result is obviously a fantastic achievement. I respect Gata whether he is American Champion or not, it doesn't really concern me. My attitude towards him has been the same for many years. I respect him greatly as a chess player and it doesn't really matter who owns the title right now.

He is a very, very strong player and also a player who has been very difficult for me style-wise. He has this very slow style and he generally, which was why the first game was so surprising for me. Generally he very easily lasts 7 hours whereas I normally collapse much faster. He won at least two games against me by simply by playing on and playing on and simply waiting for me to forget how pieces move. Which I successfully did both times. For me this was always going to be a very hard match and I'm very happy I'm through.

Svidler on his Game 2 win against Kamsky

Svidler talked over the game afterwards. These notes won't be a perfect recreation of that but they are entertaining. Also Svidler had only just finished the game so there are some lines that aren't quite correct. It seems that 20.Qe4 dxe5 21.dxe5 Nf6 22.Qh4 which was discussed a little but not in depth is indeed what Kamsky should have gone for.

Kamsky,Gata (2741) - Svidler,Peter (2739) [C78]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.2), 07.09.2011
[Notes based on Comments by Peter Svidler to Konstantin Landa]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5

I only play this variation occasionally. Gata has been doing some, I thought, non-critical stuff against this variation. It looks innocuous but it's not very pleasant.

7.a4 Rb8 8.axb5 axb5 9.c3 d6 10.d4 Bb6 11.Be3 0-0

[11...Bg4 12.Nbd2 exd4 (12...0-0 13.h3 Bh5 14.Qc2 a longish game ensues.) 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Bxf7+ Kxf7 it isn't something you want.]

12.Nbd2 h6 13.h3 Re8 14.Qc2

Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 14.Qc2 which Svidler called a poisonous little move.

Poisonous little move.

[14.Qe2 Bd7 15.Bc2 Nh7 16.Bd3 exd4 17.cxd4 Nb4 18.Bb1 Nf8 19.Rc1 Ra8 20.Ra3 c6 21.Rb3 Na6 22.Bd3 Nc7 23.Nf1 Nfe6 24.Ng3 c5 25.d5 Nf8 26.Rbc3 Ba5 27.Ra3 Bb4 28.Rxa8 Qxa8 29.Nh5 f5 30.exf5 Nxd5 31.f6 c4 32.fxg7 cxd3 33.gxf8Q+ Rxf8 34.Qxd3 Bf5 35.Qd4 Rf7 36.Bxh6 Bc5 37.Qh4 Bg6 38.Qg4 Ne7 39.Nf4 Kh7 40.Nxg6 1-0 Van den Doel,E (2440)-Lane,G (2420)/Wrexham WLS 1997]


Svidler was unsure what to do. "It doesn't seem that white is threatening much". Svidler came up with a "slightly ridiculous" idea.

[14...Bb7 is stopped compared to Re1. 15.d5 Bxe3 16.dxc6 Bxd2 17.cxb7 Rook not en-prise on e1.]

15.cxd4 Na5

[15...Bb7 maybe better.]

16.Ba2 Bb7 17.e5

[17.d5 Bxe3 18.fxe3 c6 black holds quite comfortably. 19.b4 Nc4 20.dxc6 Bxc6 21.Nxc4 Bxe4]


Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 17...Nd5

Normally this set up is very much in black's favour. I just assumed Nb4 and take the bishop. He played Bb1 and I'm very lucky I'm not just losing immediately.


Just missed by Svidler in his calculations.

18...g6 19.Bxh6 Nc6

Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 19...Nc6

I'm not saying I'm fine but it's trickier than it looks.


It seems that this is the move that loses white the advantage not that it was possible to tell that over the board. [Mark Crowther]

[20.Qe4 dxe5 21.dxe5 Nf6?! (Not the best suggestion by Svidler, 21...f5 or even 21...Nxe5 need looking at) 22.Qe1 (22.Qh4 is the critical continuation which Svidler was pushed to discuss by Landa. 22...Nxe5 23.Bg5 when Svidler's immediate suggestion of 23...Nxf3+ loses out of hand. 24.Nxf3 Kg7 25.Qh6+ Kg8 26.Bxg6) 22...Nd4]

20...Qxd6 21.Ne4 Qb4 22.Ba2

My initial reaction is I must be lost now. Actually by this point I already saw it. [Svidler tries to recall when he started to see the ideas that won him the game]

[22.Bd2 may have been Kamsky's original idea. 22...Nxd4 23.Bxb4 Nxc2 24.Bxc2 Nxb4 (24...f5 is even stronger.) 25.Nf6+ Kh8 26.Nxe8 Nxc2 27.Rac1 Bxf3 28.Rxc2 (28.gxf3 Nd4) 28...Be4 29.Rxc7 Rxe8 30.Rxf7 objectively black should be fine here. With his two bishops.]


Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 22...Nxd4

My thought process. First of all there are no other moves.


[23.Nxd4 is a mistake as the moment I occupy the long diagonal I'm just perfectly fine here. 23...Qxd4 24.Nc3 Kh7 25.Rad1 Nb4 and I think I might even be better.]

23...Kh8 24.Nxd4 Nxf6 25.Nc6

my first reaction is that I have to take.


Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 25...Qh4

Here I'm probably already better but it isn't obvious immediately.

25...Bxc6 26.Qxc6 Qh4 but the problem is this that white has this horribly strong move Be3 otherwise I think I'm fine. 27.Be3 I realised black is in a huge amount of trouble because my pieces are discoordinated and as soon as this bishop is exchanged away. All my potential initiative is gone. f7 is hanging, c7 will be hanging, I think I'm close to lost here. So I started looking at some romantic variations starting with Qh4.


Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 26.Nxb8.Black to play and win.

There really isn't much white can do here. [Given that Svidler only needs a draw]

[26.Be3 Rxe3 27.fxe3 Re8 For a single exchange I'm getting this horrible attack on the kingside and there really isn't much he can do. I definitely have a draw everywhere here and probably I'm already winning even.]


Peter Svidler


Gata Kamsky

Position after 26...Re2!! Certainly deserves a diagram on it's own. This move deflects the white queen or just adds a rook to the attack. The main point is 27.Qxe2 Qg3 and white has to throw pieces away just to stop immediate mate and when he runs out of them he's done.

It's something you see in Anderssen games. Put on the cover of a book. Suddenly white is just completely lost.

[26...Be4 27.Qd2 Qg3 (27...Ng4 28.Bf4 and the whole thing collapses because I'm running out of pieces.) 28.Qg5 was Svidler's initial idea.; 26...Qg3 27.Nc6 Re2 was Svidler's next idea which of he says "I think is actually quite decent. But before I started analysing this further I thought, why am I starting this with Qg3? This is where it dawned on me what was happening. I was pacing outside where the food is."


He just didn't want to resign with Re2 on the board here.

27...Rxf2 28.Nc6 Rxf1+

and I'm just collecting the entire chess set. It's a very nice feeling to make a move like Re2 on the board. It really doesn't happen every day. It's a great feeling. It's something you don't really see in the modern game because you never have an opportunity to do anything like that.


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