American Chess Star Falters

Although he had the advantage of the White pieces today, Gata Kamsky played a timid sequence of opening moves known as the London System and went down to a stinging defeat in 58 moves. Born in Siberia, Kamsky is America’s only shot at winning the World Chess Championship in 2007.

Kamsky has proved himself to be a scrappy fighter, often excelling in time-pressure scrambles, but he has handicapped himself in his bid for the world crown by apparently not preparing any sharp openings. Or if he has cooked up some early-move novelties, he is strangely reserving them for lateralthough at this rate, they’ll unfortunately be no later. He is now behind 1-2 (with two draws and a loss) at the halfway point in the six-game match against the fiery tactician and fellow Russian ex pat Boris Gelfand.

After Kamsky thirtieth move as Black, the above position was reached. Now Gelfand as Black won a pawn on the spot. How did he do it?

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