Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kamsky and his seconds, is it a matter of poor coordination?

Please allow me to deviate for a moment to air some of my thoughts on Topalov -Kamsky match before the already much discussed defeat of Wesley So last night at the hand of a young IM Pavel Ponkratov of Russia. Let me put it this way. Kamsky graduated from law school in New York and he attended medical school for about a year. You have zero chances of finishing law without time management. But here's what happened in game two of the challengers match. Kamsky lost on time on his 32nd move and in a completely hopeless position by the time his flag fell. Track these: Kamsky spent 4 minutes on his 4th move (he's up against Topa's Berlin defence), 20 minutes on his 5th move, 11 minutes on his 7th move, 8 minutes on his 8th move, 27 minutes on his 10th move (an hour and a half on his first 10 moves!), and 13 minutes on his 15th move. My point is, this is supposed to be the second's job, if I'm not mistaken? Unless of course, Kamsky hires them just for flaunt. Kamsky has a solid team of seconds namely GM Emil Sutovsky, GM Evgeny Najer, GM Andrei Volokitin. Their responsibility with their chief is done once the opening variations and theory run out of water. After that Kamsky is on his own. But still, the indecision, doubt, and shilly-shally is something not to be expected in top level competition. His seconds might also be the ones who are shaking their heads. Migg Greengard's blog The Daily Dirt Chess Blog even go through of saying that "Watching game two of the Kamsky-Topalov candidates final match was like living in one of those Salvador Dali paintings with the melting clocks."

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