Dominate with the Slav Defense, Chebanenko Variation – Gibraltar Chess 2013
The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2013 has been a very exciting event so far, as many of the world’s toughest Super-GMs are fighting to distinguish themselves from the rest in the mid to late rounds. With a well-deserved victory in round 7, Gata Kamsky maintains his chances for a first place finish as he continues to hover in 1st and 2nd place throughout the latter rounds of the tournament. GM Iturrizaga opens with 1. d4 and the Queen’s Gambit, to which Kamsky responds with his preferred weapon with black – the Chebanenko Variation of the Slav Defense. Kamsky began to apply the pressure with 7. …Bb4, 10. …b6, and 11. …Ba6 – attentively highlighting the drawback of white’s aggressive set-up with 9. Qd3 and 10. Nd2 – the overwhelming weakness of the a6-f1 diagonal. Although white’s position looked preferable as he had much more space, in reality black was already much better as Kamsky remained without weaknesses while white’s position was very close to being disastrously overextended. With 13. …dxc4 black embarked on a very strong forcing series of moves that resulted in black winning a pawn and then giving the pawn back to achieve a very dangerous initiative against white’s king, specifically the f2-square. Kamsky powerfully maintained the pressure against white’s uncoordinated position, resulting in a convincing victory with 40. …Qe1.