Back to Brighton Beach

Black (Boris Gelfand) to mate Kamsky in two moves. How? Click here for the answer.

There will not be an American player in September’s World Chess Championship in Mexico City. Gata Kamsky, the only candidate from the United States, was knocked out today in the fifth game of his qualifying match against Boris Gelfand in Elista, Kalmykia. Kamsky had the advantage of White today and needed to win to even the score.

But he chose a lackluster opening to sidestep Gelfand’s trademark Najdorf Sicilian and then lost after he pressed too hard to try to give himself winning chances. And so his Israeli opponent, a fellow Russian emigre, advances to the world championship after two wins against Kamsky and three draws (The sixth game will not be played because Gelfand has already secured victory).

I was rooting for Kamsky and admired how he got back into the game after a six-year break, during which he earned a law degree. But, like “The Sopranos” and Flatland, all good things must come to an end. Still, Kamsky is young enough that he could take another shot at the World Championship. And for that matter I suppose HBO could resurrect “The Sopranos” since they didn’t kill off Tony.

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