CEZ Chess Trophy 2015 begins

by Frederic Friedel
6/14/2015 – Every year Czech hero David Navara, rated 2751, faces a world-class opponent in Prague. This time it is Wesley So, 27 points higher and number seven in the world. The event started with a strong 22-board simul which the "Filipino Lightning" took all of 100 minutes to complete. The first match game was an amazing draw. GM Karsten Müller shows us how Wesley could have won.

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Filipino-American grandmaster Wesley So, rated 2778 and number seven in the world, winner of last year's Millionaire Tournament in Las Vegas and split of the second place in the Wijk aan Zee supertournament, is known for his attractive and aggressive playing style, is currently taking on the Czech number one David Navara, at 2751 the world number 14, in the ČEZ Chess Trophy. This is an annual event that has been staged by the Prague Chess Society during the last twelve years. Here's how David fared during that time:

Year Opponent
Navara's score
2003 Viktor Korchnoi
2004 Alexei Shirov
2005 Anatoly Karpov
2006 Boris Gelfand
2007 Nigel Short
2008 Vladimir Kramnik
2009 Vassily Ivanchuk
2010 Judit Polgar
2011 Sergei Movsesian
2012 Peter Svidler
2013 Hou Yifan
2014 Hikaru Nakamura,

Wesley So, arrival in Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe

Visiting the famous Chess Café Václavák

This chess festival started on Friday June 12th with a simultaneous display by So against 22 opponents, some rated over 2200. Wesley played 1.e4 on all boards and those who responded with 1...e5 had to face the King’s Gambit!

The display lasted just one hour and 40 minutes, after which the "Filipino Lightning" (official web site) had won 18 games, drawn three opponents (the manager of ČEZ Jan Hruška, the Brazilian Edouardo Moura, and the Czech chess talent of Vietnamese origin Thai Dai Van Nguyen).

The single loss was to another ČEZ manager, Libor Kičmer

The evening opening ceremony was held on a terrace with a view over the Franciscan garden,
with the mayor of Prague, Oldřich Lomecký (above middle) present to greet the participants.

The drawing of colours, performed by main organizer Pavel Matocha...

... gave Wesley So black in the first game. We cannot resist mentioning that while the main event painting
(by Martin Velíšek) is quite imaginative, the likeness of Wesley is not wholly convincing.

Still congenial: the hostilities were due to start the next day at
Michna Palace on Kampa Island in Prague at four p.m. local time.

Arriving at the playing venue with his adopted mother and former actress Lotis Key

Czech hero and top player David Navara, 2751 and world number 14

Filipino-American grandmaster Wesley So, rated 2778, number seven in the world

The games are commentated by GM Rober Cvek and Václav Pech

The first game saw an exciting, attacking game which culminated in an opposite bishop endgame in which Black had two extra pawns. However the Czech grandmaster was able to hold and the game ended in a draw.

Wesley So began with an attacking Sicilian, to which his opponent later remarked: “Somewhere around move 16 I was worried, that I might actually lose the first game.” Our endgame guru from ChessBase Magazine, GM Karsten Müller, found the game "really amazing" and sent us his comments. He shows us how Wesley So could have won.

[Event "Cez Trophy 2015"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2015.06.13"] [Round "1"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2778"] [Annotator "Karsten Müller"] [PlyCount "188"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 Be7 9. f4 exf4 10. Bxf4 Nc6 11. Qe2 Nd7 12. O-O-O Nce5 13. Kb1 O-O 14. g4 Rc8 15. Qe3 Re8 16. Nd4 Qa5 17. a3 Bf8 18. Nf5 Nb6 19. Qd4 Nec4 20. Bxc4 Nxc4 21. Nxd6 Nxa3+ 22. bxa3 Rxc3 23. Qb4 Qxb4+ 24. axb4 Bxd6 25. Bxd6 Rec8 26. Rh2 Re3 27. Rd4 Rc4 28. Rxc4 Bxc4 29. e5 h6 30. Kc1 Kh7 31. Kd2 Rf3 32. Bc5 h5 33. gxh5 Rf5 34. Ke3 Rxh5 35. h4 Be6 36. Bd6 b6 37. Bc7 a5 38. Bxb6 Rxe5+ 39. Kd4 Rd5+ 40. Kc3 axb4+ 41. Kxb4 Rh5 42. Bd8 Re5 43. Rf2 Re4+ 44. Kc3 Kh6 45. Kd3 Rc4 46. Rf4 Rxf4 47. Bg5+ Kh5 48. Bxf4 Kxh4 49. Be5 g5 50. Bf6 Kh5 51. Ke4 Kg6 52. Be5 f6 53. Bc7 Kh5 54. Bd8 f5+ 55. Ke5 Bc8 56. Kf6 f4 57. c4 Kg4 {Pure opposite colored bishop endings have a large drawish tendency and fortresses often play the main role. But the following is unusual due to Navara's active king:} 58. Kg6 $2 (58. Bb6 $1 {was forced and then} f3 59. Be3 Kh5 60. Bf2 $11 {is similar to the game.} ({However not} 60. Ke5 $2 Kh4 $19)) 58... Bf5+ $2 {So misses his only chance to break White's walls:} (58... f3 59. Bb6 Kf4 60. Kh5 (60. Bc7+ Ke4 61. Bg3 g4 62. Kg5 Ke3 $19 {[%cal Gf3f2]}) 60... Bd7 61. Bc7+ Kf5 62. Bg3 Be8+ 63. Kh6 Kg4 64. Bf2 Kf4 $19 {[%cal Gg5g3]}) 59. Kf6 Bd3 (59... f3 {is met by} 60. Bb6 Kf4 61. Bc7+ Ke4 62. Bg3 g4 63. Kg5 Bc8 64. Bf2 Kd3 65. Kh4 Ke2 66. Kg3 $11 {with a typical fortress.}) 60. Bb6 Bxc4 (60... f3 61. Be3 $11) 61. Bc5 Bd3 62. Bb6 Kh4 63. Bf2+ (63. Ke5 $2 f3 64. Bf2+ Kh3 65. Be1 g4 66. Kf4 Bf5 67. Bf2 Kg2 $19) 63... Kh5 64. Bb6 Ba6 65. Bc5 Bc8 66. Bb6 Kg4 67. Bc5 Bd7 68. Bb6 Bf5 69. Bc5 Bc8 70. Bb6 f3 71. Be3 $1 (71. Bf2 $2 Kf4 $19) 71... Bd7 72. Kg6 Be8+ 73. Kf6 Bh5 74. Bb6 Bf7 75. Bc5 Bb3 76. Be3 Bd1 77. Kg6 Bc2+ 78. Kf6 Ba4 79. Kg6 Bd7 80. Kf6 $1 Bf5 81. Ke5 Bc8 82. Kf6 $1 Kh5 83. Bf2 Bd7 84. Be3 Bh3 85. Bf2 Kg4 86. Be3 $1 (86. Kg6 $2 Kf4 87. Kh5 Bd7 88. Bb6 Be8+ 89. Kh6 g4 90. Bc7+ Ke3 91. Kg5 Bd7 92. Kh4 f2 $19) 86... Bg2 87. Kg6 Bf1 88. Kf6 Bh3 89. Kg6 $1 {Navara's active king stops any progress.} ( 89. Bf2 $2 Kf4 90. Bb6 g4 91. Bc7+ Ke3 92. Bg3 f2 $19) 89... Bf1 90. Kf6 Bd3 91. Bb6 Bh7 92. Be3 Bf5 93. Ke5 Bc2 94. Kf6 $1 (94. Bf2 $2 Kh3 95. Kd4 g4 96. Ke3 Kg2 97. Bh4 g3 $19) 94... Bd3 (94... Kh5 95. Bf2 g4 96. Bg3 $11) 1/2-1/2

All photos by Anežka Kružíková for the official website


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Topics CEZ Trophy, Prague

Editor-in-Chief of the ChessBase News Page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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