Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gata Love It

American GM wins World Cup

It isn’t every day that an American chess player wins a major international title, but today is one of those days. Brooklyn-based Grandmaster Gata Kamsky, possibly the strongest player in the U.S., has just won the World Cup, beating GM Alex Shirov in the final round, in the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiysk.

Kamsky defected to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1989. A few years later he dropped out of chess entirely to go to school, eventually completing a law degree. He returned to chess a few years ago, and many observers say he has returned to top playing form. His World Cup victory over a field with some of the top grandmasters in the world would seem to confirm that.

I don’t know much else about Kamsky, other than the fact that he and GM Nigel Short sometimes still quarrel over the events at a match they played in the ‘nineties in which Kamsky’s father apparently harassed Short.

More on the World Cup from Jennifer Shahade at the USCF site and at Chessbase. Kamsky’s bio here.