2015 CEZ Trophy won by Wesley So

by Albert Silver
6/17/2015 – Every year, the Prague Chess Society and CEZ have organized a match for their top Czech player, David Navara, often against opponents that outrank even him. Last year he lost to Nakamura in a lopsided match but the American is also world Top 3-4, no exactly lightweight. This year it was Wesley So, also challenging the establishment, and was a remarkable victory for the American.

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The match was met with interest and had a steady flow of spectators and media covering
it. Aside from guest lecturer Mark Dvoretksy, the live commentator GM Robert Cvek also gave
lectures to the audience. This one is on transitioning a middlegame into a favorable endgame.

Prior to the match, top Czech player David Navara had released his newest chess book (in
Czech). Here he is signing copies.

The stalwart GM David Navara had a tough time against...

... Wesley So, who showed why he is one of the brightest stars on the rise.

Wesley So - David Navara (game four)

[Event "Cez Trophy 2015"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2015.06.16"] [Round "4"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Navara, David"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. Nf3 {0} d5 {0} 2. d4 {0} Nf6 {0} 3. c4 {0} c6 {0} 4. Nc3 {0} e6 {0} 5. e3 {0 } Nbd7 {0} 6. Qc2 {0} Bd6 {0} 7. Bd3 {0} O-O {9} 8. O-O {0} dxc4 {12} 9. Bxc4 { 0} b5 {27} 10. Bd3 {12} Bb7 {14} 11. a3 {3} a5 {8} 12. Ng5 {1037} h6 {95} ( 12... Bxh2+ {Doesn't offer anything special since after} 13. Kxh2 Ng4+ 14. Kg1 Qxg5 15. f3 (15. Bxh7+ {would be a serious mistake since} Kh8 16. Bd3 Qh4 { wins for Black.}) 15... Ngf6 16. e4 {with a huge center and space advantage, and Black's queen will lose further tempi trying to find safe haven.}) 13. Nge4 {12} Be7 {8} 14. Rd1 {672} Qb6 {116} 15. Nxf6+ {472} Bxf6 {475} 16. Bd2 {512} e5 $6 {584} ({The engines prefer} 16... Be7 {with the idea of Nf6 followed by Rfc8 or Rfd8}) 17. Bh7+ {156} Kh8 {9} 18. Bf5 {7} Rad8 {308} 19. Ne4 {110} Be7 {24} 20. b4 {221} axb4 {207 An error in judgement that will soon lead to a compromised position. Black needed to play ...a4. The reason is simply that now the dark-squared bishops will be exchanged and as will be seen, this is going to be disastrous for Black.} 21. Bxb4 {22} Bxb4 {12} 22. axb4 {4} exd4 { 39} 23. Rxd4 {129} Nf6 {65} 24. Nd6 {716 Possiby the move Navara overlooked or underestimated.} Nd5 {77} 25. Qc5 {27} Qxc5 {191} 26. bxc5 {6 Now the issue is crystal clear. Black's white squared bishop has nowhere to go} Ra8 {13} 27. Rxa8 {24} Bxa8 {186 If ever there was a textbook ilustration of the 'bad bishop' this is one. A bishop stuck on a8, with no hope of leaving, facing a monster knight on d6. The game is strategically lost.} 28. e4 {86} Nc3 {64} 29. Nxf7+ {574} Kg8 {10} (29... Rxf7 30. Rd8+ {is mate.}) 30. Rd7 {2} Na4 {17} ({ Again the knight is untouchable since} 30... Rxf7 31. Rd8+ Rf8 32. Be6+ {wins the rook.} Kh7 33. Rxf8) 31. Ra7 {139} Nxc5 {16} 32. Nd6 {34} Rb8 {532} 33. e5 {24} Bb7 {219} 34. f4 {69} Kf8 {75} 35. Kf2 {23} Ra8 {29} 36. Rxa8+ {254 White feels that this continuation is the one that offers the least counter play or chances for Black, and it works perfectly.} ({White could easily settle now for two pieces for the rook with} 36. Nxb7 Rxa7 37. Nxc5 {and there is nothing wrong with it.}) 36... Bxa8 {13} 37. Ke3 {3} b4 {453} 38. Kd4 {121} Na4 {255} 39. Kc4 {88} c5 {122} 40. g3 {0} Bf3 {0} 41. Kb5 {747} Bd1 {180} 42. Nc8 {390 The threat of e6-e7, protected by the knight, with a bishop check to free e8, is clear.} b3 {192} 43. Kxa4 {6} b2+ {115} 44. Ka3 {120} Bg4 {10} 45. Kxb2 {5} Bxf5 {10} 46. Nd6 {2} Be6 {14} 47. Ne4 {5 The c-pawn will fall, and with two extra pawns in an elementary endgame, Black resigns.} 1-0

Pavel Matocha, chairman of the Prague Chess Society, gives Wesley So his victor’s trophy

Navara and So analyze their game for the benefit of the audience

GM Wesley So giving an interview for Czech television

Pavel Matocha bestowing gifts to So and his adopted mother

Wesley So with his adopted mother, chief arbiter Pavel Votruba, Vaclav Pech, GM Robert
Cvek, Robert  Pošvicová, and Paul and Anna Matocha.

Photos by Anežka Kružíková


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Topics CEZ Trophy, prague

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Rfield Rfield 6/20/2015 01:04
Czech's chess establishment is quite supportive. GM Navarra couldn't ask for more. GM So should switch federation and turn a Czech citizen. It's a beautiful country. Minnesota the state of 10,000 lakes where he resides still with his adoptive mother and manager.
alekhina alekhina 6/19/2015 06:13
A beautiful game when the knight is stronger than the bishop.
Oscar Lito M Pablo Oscar Lito M Pablo 6/18/2015 02:26
Great match between two gifted, wonderfully nice GMs. Game 4 is especially noteworthy for Wesley's engine-like accuracy and masterful handling of all the phases of the game.
Bob Tausworthe Bob Tausworthe 6/17/2015 09:32
What a beautiful game.