Grandmaster (1990); World Championship challenger (1995).
Gata Kamsky was born June 2nd, 1974 in Novokuznetsk, Siberia and now lives in New York. After beginning his chess career in Russia, defeating GM Mark Taimanov in a tournament game at the age of 12, and winning USSR Junior Championships in 1987(1) (jointly with Boris Alterman) and 1988(2) (jointly with Mikhail Ulibin),
Kamsky relocated to the United States in 1989, shortly after which he won the Buffalo Open. In July 1990 he became the youngest player ever to be rated in FIDE's world top ten, moving straight into the number 8 position from outside the top 100 while still untitled, representing three unique and as yet unsurpassed feats. After a short while spent adjusting to this level of opposition, Kamsky scored some major tournament triumphs, including Tilburg 1990, the U.S. Championship of 1991(3), Buenos Aires 1993, clear first at Las Palmas 1994, and shared first in 1995 at Dos Hermanas. He reached his peak world ranking of number 4 between July 1995 and January 1996.
Kamsky's initial participation in the world championship cycle was to qualify for the right to contest the 1990 Interzonal in Manila, where he scored 5.5/13. Three years later he contested both the FIDE and PCA Interzonals that were held in Groningen and Biel respectively, coming third in both events and thereby qualifying for both sets of Candidates matches. He reached the finals of the 1994-1995 PCA World Championship Candidates' matches, eliminating Vladimir Kramnik and Nigel Short before losing to Viswanathan Anand. In the simultaneous FIDE Candidates he met with even greater success, defeating Paul Van der Sterren, Anand and Valery Salov and qualifying for a match with Anatoly Karpov. After losing the match, Kamsky announced his retirement from professional chess in order to study medicine and law. This period of inactivity was punctuated by his participation in the 1999 World Championship Knockout Tournament, where he lost in the first round to the eventual winner, Alexander Khalifman.
In 2004 he returned to active competition in the New York Masters rapid competition before entering the U.S. Championship in San Diego, California, scoring 5.5 points from nine games. The following year he was undefeated in the HB Global Challenge held in Minneapolis, and placed ninth at the FIDE World Cup (2005), defeating Zhao Jun, Dmitry Bocharov, Ilya Smirin and Alexander Grischuk in the preliminary rounds. He therefore qualified once more for the Candidates' matches. In the 2007 round of matches, he eliminated Etienne Bacrot in the preliminary round but lost the final to Boris Gelfand. He rebounded in the next World Championship cycle by winning the World Chess Cup (2007). Undefeated throughout the seven-round event, he beat Ahmed Adly, Boris Avrukh, Kiril D Georgiev, Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov and Magnus Carlsen in the preliminary rounds before beating Alexey Shirov in the final to qualify for a match with Veselin Topalov in 2008. Topalov emerged victorious by a 4.5-2.5 margin and thereby gained the right to play Viswanathan Anand in a match for the title. Although he unexpectedly bowed out of the World Cup (2009) in the third round to Wesley So, on the basis of his match against Topalov, FIDE seeded him into the 2011 Candidates Tournament where he again faced Topalov, this time defeating Topalov by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3 -0) to move into the semi finals against Gelfand. Kamsky conceded the semi final match in the blitz playoff by 1.5-0.5 after drawing the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+1 -1 =2). Kamsky qualified by reason of his rating to participate in the World Cup (2011) where he defeated Diego Rafael Di Berardino, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first three rounds but lost to the eventual winner Peter Svidler in the Round of Sixteen (round 4).
Following his success at the 2005 FIDE World Cup, further successes in 2006, including second place at the MTel Masters (2006) behind Topalov, and a bronze medal with the U.S. team at 37th Chess Olympiad (2006), helped reestablish his position as one of the world's leading players. In 2010 he won the Reggio Emilia (2009) (which finished in January 2010), the U.S. Championship for the second time in 19 years, the Philadelphia Open (2010), the President's Cup in Baku, represented the USA on 2nd board at the Chess Olympiad (2010), and won the Baku Open (2010). August 2010 also saw Kamsky becoming the world rapid champion when he won clear first at the World Rapid Chess Championship (Mainz Chess Classic) with 10.0/11, defeating world #5 and defending champion Levon Aronian, 2004 FIDE champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov, and Sergey Karjakin en route to the title. 2011 also saw him successfully defend his national title, winning his pool (US Championship (Group A) (2011)) and defeating Yury Shulman in the 2 game mini-match final for the title. This victory may have also contributed to his battle fitness in his successful match against Veselin Topalov. Subsequent to this, he won the 39th World Open (2011) on tiebreak from Michael Adams and played board 1 for the USA at the World Chess Team Championship (2011), scoring 5.5/9 and winning an individual bronze. Kamsky has since scored 7/13 (+3 -2 =8) at Tata Steel (2012) and was runner-up in the US Championship (2012) and in the inaugural ACP Golden Classic (2012), which showcased longer classical time controls and pre-computer style adjournments. In August 2012, he was outright winner of the 2012 Washington International and later that month he represented the USA in the Chess Olympiad (2012) scoring 8.5/11 and winning an individual bronze on 2nd board. In October 2012, Kamsky won team and individual gold playing board four for SOCAR Baku at the 28th European Club Cup (2012); this result propelled him to the top of the rating list for the Americas. However a poor 3.5/11 at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012) subsequently cost significant ratings points. Vugar Gashimov 's continued absence from chess due to ill health has resulted in Kamsky replacing him in the Grand Prix series 2012-13, starting with the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013) in Switzerland. He lead for much of the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), but finished with =2nd on 7.5/11 adding 125 GP points to his GP tally, leaving him in theoretical contention for the top two positions in the GP series.
2013 started with a modest 7.5/10 (=5th) at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013). He scored 5.5/11 placing =5th at the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), which when combined with his poor start to the GP series in Tashkent, has left his contention for the top 2 - and qualification for the 2014 Candidates tournament - in jeopardy. In May, he placed =1st in the US Chess Championships (2013) with Alejandro Ramirez-Alvarez, winning 2-1 in the 3rd game Armegeddon of the rapid game tiebreaker and the US national title for the fourth time.
As of 1 June 2013, Kamsky's standard FIDE rating was 2741, making him the number 2 player in the Americas and number 17 in the world. His rapid rating is 2762 (world #8) and his blitz rating is 2734 (world #21).
Kamsky has been a member of chessgames.com since early 2010, his userid being: User: DarkNolan
Live rating list: http://www.2700chess.com/
Wikipedia article: Gata Kamsky