2015 CEZ Trophy G3: Another fight, another lesson

by Albert Silver
6/16/2015 – Although the match has not been going his way, David Navara has been putting up a valiant fight against player on the rise, Wesley So. The third game saw a hard fought Semi-Slav with plenty of moments, but the American player failed to improve his slight edge held throughout the struggle. Also invited to the event was world renowned coach and author, Mark Dvoretsky.

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Michna Palace - the venue of the match

Mark Dvoretsky - long regarded one of the best coaches in the world,
and the author of many top-level books. In fact his famous Dvoretsky's
Endgame Manual
is available in ChessBase in a much expanded version.

Lecturing on heavy piece endgames. Beside him is Pavel Votruba, the match referee.

So how respected is Dvoretsky? You may notice in the audience on the left of the photo
carefully taking notes... Wesley So.

Mark Dvoretsky poses with Wesley So and his adopted mother Lotis Key

David Navara - Wesley So in game three

[Event "Cez Trophy 2015"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2015.06.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2778"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. Nf3 {(0s)} d5 {(0s) Though game one went well for So, he possibly does not want to see what Navara has in store should they repeat the Sicilian they transposed into in game one.} 2. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 3. c4 {(0s)} e6 {(0s)} 4. Nc3 {(0s)} c6 {(0s)} 5. e3 {(0 s)} Nbd7 {(0s)} 6. Qc2 {(0s)} Bd6 {(0s)} 7. Bd3 {(4s)} dxc4 {(0s)} 8. Bxc4 {(6s)} b5 {(0s)} 9. Be2 {(43 s)} O-O {(4s)} 10. O-O {(9s)} a6 {(2s)} 11. Rd1 {(292s)} Qc7 {(4s)} 12. e4 {(270s)} e5 {(4s)} 13. h3 { ( 293s) The most popular continuation here is 13.g3, with 13.Bg5 as a respected alternative.} Re8 {(127s)} 14. a3 {(830s)} exd4 {(997s)} (14... Bb7 { was played in a rapid game.} 15. Be3 exd4 16. Nxd4 g6 17. Kh1 Bf8 18. Nf3 c5 19. a4 b4 20. Nd5 Nxd5 21. exd5 Nb6 22. Bc4 Rad8 23. Bg5 Rd7 24. a5 Nxc4 25. Qxc4 Qd6 26. Bf4 Bxd5 27. Bxd6 Bxc4 28. Bxf8 Rxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Kxf8 30. Rc1 Bd3 31. Rxc5 Re2 32. Rd5 Be4 33. Rd4 Bxf3 34. gxf3 Rxb2 35. Kg2 Ke7 36. h4 Rb1 37. f4 b3 38. Rb4 b2 39. Rb6 Kf8 40. f5 Kg7 41. Kf3 Kh6 42. fxg6 hxg6 43. Rb7 f6 44. Kf4 g5+ 45. hxg5+ fxg5+ 46. Kf5 g4 47. Kf6 Rf1 48. Rxb2 g3 49. f4 Rxf4+ 50. Ke5 Rf2 51. Rb3 g2 52. Rg3 Kh5 53. Ke4 Kh4 54. Rg6 Kh3 55. Rh6+ Kg3 56. Rg6+ Kh2 57. Rh6+ Kg1 58. Rxa6 Kf1 59. Rg6 g1=Q 60. Rxg1+ Kxg1 {0-1 (60) Van Wely,L (2632)-Kramnik,V (2751) Monte Carlo 1999}) 15. Nxd4 {(36s)} Bh2+ {(339s)} 16. Kh1 {(16s)} Be5 {(7s)} 17. Bf3 {(504s)} c5 {(627s)} 18. Nf5 {(166s)} Nb6 {(3s)} 19. Bg5 {(248s)} Bxf5 {(146s)} 20. exf5 {(14s)} Rad8 {(2s)} 21. Rxd8 {(156s)} Rxd8 {(43s)} 22. Re1 {(149s)} h6 {(105s)} 23. Bc1 {(33s)} Bf4 {(490s)} ({Black has held a slight tug for a while, but unable to build on it. White's last move is judged a mistake by the engines, and they say that if there was a chance to push for more, it was here with} 23... c4 {making the most of the queenside majority.} 24. Be3 (24. Rd1 Rxd1+ 25. Nxd1 Nbd7 26. Be3 Nc5 $17) 24... Nfd5 25. Nxd5 Nxd5 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 {and Black has cleared the way to start rolling the pawns forward.}) 24. a4 {(453s)} Bxc1 {(85s)} 25. Rxc1 {(80s)} Qf4 {(329s)} 26. Ne2 {(75s)} Qxa4 {(107s)} 27. b3 {(10s)} Qh4 {(395s)} 28. Qxc5 { (22s)} Nbd7 {(5s)} 29. Qd4 {(92s) The balance has been restored, and White's well positioned pieces are more than enough.} Qg5 {(744s)} 30. Qf4 {(429s)} Qxf4 {(249s)} 31. Nxf4 {(9s)} Ne5 {(3s)} 32. Bb7 {(8s)} Rd4 {(220s)} 33. g3 { (21s)} Nd3 {(28s)} 34. Nxd3 {(90s)} Rxd3 {(3s)} 35. b4 {(159s)} Rb3 {(102s)} 36. Bxa6 {(24s)} Rxb4 {(3s)} 37. Rc8+ {(79s)} Kh7 {(3s)} 38. Rb8 {(24s)} Ne4 39. Rxb5 {(32s)} Nxf2+ {(64s)} 40. Kg2 {(0s)} Rxb5 {(0 s)} 1/2-1/2

Both players, David Navara and Wesley So, with a board in the basket
of a hot-air balloon. It was more than jst a pose, as they hoped to actually
fly, but strong winds made it impossible.


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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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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