Gata Kamsky is a living legend of the world chess elite. Despite the fact that he could not get the coveted FIDE crown, on the way to the heights of his career Kamsky earned a number of honorary titles and achievements, most of them at a young age. Elo rating also will not give an opportunity to downplay his merits. Kamsky's talent was recognized in all the republics of the USSR and, after some time, in the United States of America.
Gata Kamsky: biography
June 2, 1974 in the Tatar family was born one of the most brilliant chess players of our time. Now he is known to everyone under the name Kamsky, and the place of his birth is the city of Novokuznetsk. Then no one knew that the boy would glorify his family so much. At birth, the child was given the name Gataulla Rustemovich Sabirov. It is worth noting that his high mental abilities were manifested from an early age - already at two years old the boy read freely, and at four he mastered the piano. But genius really manifested itself at the moment when he first tried to play chess.
Having left the city of Novokuznetsk, his family settled briefly in Kazan, where the young genius began to grasp chess art. After some time, they moved to Leningrad. Studying at a local school was not easy for Ghat, since he studied with the guys two years older. This did not stop him from gaining the respect and trust of his classmates, because the boy had a good-natured character and was very simple in communicating with his peers, despite the fact that he already had a very solid position for his age. Gata Rustemovich Sabirov adopted the pseudonym Kamsky from his grandfather, who was at the origins of the Tatarstan Drama Theater. For the first time he became famous under this name in the city on the Neva.
How did the “little grandmaster” of Vladimir Zack start?
The beginning of Gata Kamsky's professional career was the training at the Palace of Pioneers with the legendary coach Vladimir Zack. In constant training, he spent hundreds of games with one of the strongest chess players - Vladimir Shishkin. The talent of the young chess player was so obvious that Vladimir Zak from the first rank called Gatu “my little grandmaster”. As it turned out later, he was absolutely right. Gata Kamsky, a junior chess player, gradually and confidently conquered new heights. First, he won the youth championship of Spartak, then won a landslide victory over Mark Taimanov, which endowed him with the title of champion of the USSR among young men already at the age of 12. Also, this circumstance significantly influenced in the future the rating of Elo.
Since then, the name Kamsky has sounded in different parts of a vast country. Newspapers often compared him to Kasparov; he made such a strong impression on the general public. However, this did not mean that there was nowhere to strive further. After some time, under the auspices of the Soviet Chess Federation, the famous match between Kamsky and Alexei Shirov took place.
The match was very hot and long, because the rival of the child prodigy was much more experienced, but Gata Kamsky confidently won the confrontation already under the leadership of Gennady Nesis. This victory opened the way for the chess player to the youth championship of the world in which he represented the USSR.
Relocation to the United States
After a landslide victory on the world stage, Kamsky and his family received an offer from millionaire James Kane, which they could not refuse. In 1989, unexpectedly for Soviet functionaries, they moved to live in the USA. However, this did not affect the genius of the great chess player, on the contrary, once again, Gata Kamsky was able to reach the heights of professionalism by winning the US Championship. With the new title of grandmaster, he becomes the best of the best and is being selected for the interzonal tournament. This is followed by an equally significant triumph: in 1990, Gata Kamsky won the super tournament in Tilburg, which earned him an honorable place among the world chess elite.
After these events, Gata’s career continued no less significant. Many experts before the next tournament no doubt relied on Kamsky. During the split of the chess world in 1993, he again won by playing in the United States team. Then at the team world championship there was a meeting of two legends - Kama and the strongest Russian chess player Vladimir Kramnik. The next victory in the representative memorial of Naydorf paved the direct path for Kamsky to the candidate matches according to FIDE and PSA.
Peak career: Kamsky defeated challenger matches
The qualifying stage of the PSA ended with the defeat of Vladimir Kramnik 4.5: 1.5 and Nigel Short 5.5: 1.5, who at that time was a recent contender for the award. It is only logical that after a series of victories in the qualifying round, he decided to give up the match with Kasparov to the chess player Vichy Anand.
Participation in FIDE competitions was much brighter. Kamsky remained invincible in the battles with Van der Sterren (4.5: 2.5) and Valeria Salova (4.5: 1.5). Ananda expected the same outcome, who fought with the legendary tie-break chess player.
Based on the results of Gata at world championships, in particular the victory in Linares (1994), everyone immediately realized that the grandmaster was striving for the champion title, which at that time belonged to Anatoly Karpov.
Defeat in the legendary battle for the title of chess king
A few years later, in 1996, the tournament for the FIDE crown was held. The venue for the battle was the largest city of Kalmykia - Elista. The match for the crown occurred with a series of incidents. Given the rapidly developing computerization at that time, Karpov, being in old age, achieved a game with shelving. A serious conflict broke out between the father of Kamsky and the organizer, which led to a fight with the subsequent knockout of the second Gata. The reason for this behavior of Gata's father was a groundless suspicion of helping the Karpov camp by transmitting valuable information. The match ended in Kamsky’s defeat with only 3 points behind. A disappointed father showed a lack of confidence in refereeing and stated that the young applicant was left without a crown completely unfairly. Now, as instructed by his father, Gata Kamsky was to quit chess and begin his studies at the university.
Hermit and further fate
For many years there was no news related to the name of Kamsky. For almost 10 years, the chess player has not appeared in public. During this period, he managed to graduate from college, having received the specialty of a chemist, and the Military Medical Academy, earning a law degree. After that, Kamsky opened his own company, intending to become a lawyer. In a ten-year period, he managed to get married and find family happiness.
Kamsky’s retreat didn’t stop for long: only once did he try to win a prize at the start of the 1999 FIDE knockout world championship, where he lost to the tournament winner Alexander Khalifman in the early stages. Despite this, Gata’s desire did not completely fade and reappeared in 2004, when his triumphant return took place. Having received a law degree at the University of Arizona, Kamsky was able to thoroughly prepare for the conquest of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk (2005), which again opened the way for him to the applicants. Returning with renewed vigor to Elista, he defeats Etienne Bacrot with a crushing score of 3.5: 0.5. But an insurmountable obstacle to the world title is the fight with Boris Galfand, who nevertheless managed to stop the talented chess player.
The return of the legend of chess
Having gained invaluable experience, Kamsky reaches the peak of his career at the next World Cup. The grand return of the American ended in defeat for Adli, Avruhe, Georkiev, Svidler, Ponomarev, Karles and Shirov. This series of victories brings him an honorary trophy. Then he again encounters the strongest person involved in the world of chess - Veselin Topalov, which led to another defeat and, as a result, the impossibility of the desired match with Anand.
Grandmaster: chess today
In 2011, he again took part in contender matches, taking revenge from Topalov, but the next match against Gelfand once again ended in defeat. At the moment, he is a multiple holder of the title of champion of the United States, the winner of a number of open tournaments of the first magnitude and the repeated bronze medalist of the Olympics. Behind him is the threefold possession of the Eurocup as part of Linex-Magic, Ural and Socar.
Recently, Kamsky moved to Russia. Now he runs the Kazan Chess School, which he himself founded. As a competition, he chose to participate in club championships for the Kazan "Rook."