CEZ Prague: Yifan neck and neck with Navara

6/14/2013 – The second round of the match between David Navara and Hou Yifan has not seen either player pulling ahead, and thus far three draws have ensued. Navara has chosen to avoid Yifan’s tactical strength, and attempt to impose his positional skills. but has been unable to break the Chinese teenager’s resistance, and has seen his chances evaporate one after the other. Illustrated report.

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The CEZ Chess Trophy 2013 pits the world's number two female player, 19-year-old Chinese GM Hou Yifan, against the best Czech GM David Navara. Hou Yifan was the Women's World Chess Champion in years 2010-2012 and is the current challenger for the title.

CEZ Prague: Yifan neck and neck with Navara

The first three rounds of the exhibition match between David Navara and Hou Yifan has not seen either player able to pull ahead, and thus far three draws have ensued. Navara has chosen to avoid Yifan’s tactical strength, and attempt to impose his positional skills. Although he has certainly earned a few chances, the most notable in game one, the top Czech player has not been able to break the Chinese teenager’s resistance, and has seen his chances evaporate one after the other.

Michael Negele gives a presentation on the history of blindfold chess...

... and get an autograph before the start of the game

The second round game is officially started by event organiser Pavel Matocha...

... and the action can begin

The moves are displayed on a big flat-screen for the spectators...

--- with experts analysing in the commentary room

The second game was a Queen's Gambit with the well-known Carsbad pawn structure, which leads to the development of a strategic battle. David Navara chose the plan of launching a minority attack on the queenside, while Hou Yifan fought for space with the black pieces, occupying the right defense squares with her knights. After a "small gunflight" (official commentators) in the centre of the chessboard the game transposed into a balanced position, and immediately after the time controls the players agreed to a draw.

[Event "Cez Trophy 2013"] [Site "Prague CZE"] [Date "2013.06.12"] [Round "2"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2595"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2013.06.11"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 ({In a game earlier this year Hou Yifan had lost in this line to her compatriot Wang Yue:} 5... Nf6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd3 c5 8. Nge2 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nc6 10. O-O Nxd4 11. exd4 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Bg4 13. Qb3 Qd7 14. Rfe1 Rac8 15. Bb5 Qd8 16. Bf1 b6 17. f3 Be6 18. Ba6 Rc6 19. Bb5 Rc8 20. Qa3 Bd7 21. Bf1 a5 22. Rab1 Re8 23. Be5 Bf5 24. Rbc1 Nd7 25. Bf4 Rc6 26. Qb3 Rxe1 27. Rxe1 Nf8 28. Qa3 Re6 29. Rxe6 Bxe6 30. Qd6 Nd7 31. Bb5 h5 32. Bd2 Qc8 33. Kf2 Kh8 34. h4 Kg8 35. Bf4 {Wang Yue (2706)-Hou,Y (2617) Xinghua 2013 1-0 (82)}) 6. e3 Ne7 7. Qb3 $146 Bd6 8. Bxd6 Qxd6 9. Bd3 b6 10. Nf3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Nxa6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rac1 Nc7 14. Rfe1 Ne6 15. Qa4 Rac8 16. b4 Rc7 17. Rc2 Rfc8 18. Rec1 h6 19. Ne5 Nf5 20. Nd3 Ng5 21. Qb3 Ne6 22. Qb1 Qd8 23. a4 Qg5 24. Ne2 Nd6 25. Ne5 c5 26. Nf3 Qd8 27. dxc5 bxc5 28. b5 Nc4 29. Qa1 Rd7 30. Ne5 Nxe5 31. Qxe5 d4 32. exd4 Nxd4 33. Nxd4 Rxd4 34. h3 Rxa4 35. Rxc5 Rxc5 36. Rxc5 Rd4 37. Kh2 Rd7 38. Qf4 Qf8 39. Rc6 Qe7 40. Rc8+ Rd8 41. Qc7 1/2-1/2

Afterwards David Navara shows Hou Yifan what he saw during their game

 

Pavel Matocha, the man behind the event (in a new, conservative hairstyle) opens round three

In her second white game 19-year-old Hou Yifan played 1.e4 and, as in the first game, a Sicilian Scheveningen occurred, with her opponent David Navara deviating from the first game on move six. This is how it continued:

[Event "Cez Trophy 2013"] [Site "Prague CZE"] [Date "2013.06.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Navara, David"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2595"] [BlackElo "2707"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2013.06.11"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. Be2 Qc7 8. g4 d5 {There is a lot of good sense in this choice as well. It challenges the center as Nimzowitsch first preached, and was later confirmed in practice.} ( 8... b5 {Is the most oft-played continuation. Fight fire with fire.} 9. g5 Nfd7 10. a3 Bb7 11. Qd2 Nc6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. f4 Nc5 14. Bf3 Qb7 15. Qd4 e5 16. fxe5 Ne6 17. Qd2 dxe5 18. Nd5 Bd6 19. O-O-O O-O 20. h4 a5 21. h5 b4 22. h6 bxa3 23. b3 Rfc8 24. Nb6 Bb4 25. Qh2 Bxe4 26. hxg7 a2 27. Kb2 a4 28. c4 axb3 29. g6 h5 30. Qxh5 Ba3+ 31. Kxb3 {1-0 (31) Ni Hua (2673)-Le Quang,L (2703) Ho Chi Minh City 2012}) 9. exd5 Bb4 (9... Nxd5 {would be a serious mistake.} 10. Nxd5 exd5 {and Black not only has an isolated pawn to try to defend, but is badly underdeveloped.}) 10. Qd3 Nxd5 11. Bd2 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 Bxc3+ 13. Qxc3 Qxc3+ 14. bxc3 {Now it is reversed, and White is the one who will suffer. The shattered pawn structure and double-isolated pawns on the open c-file guarantee Black squares and targets galore.} Nd7 15. O-O-O Nc5 16. Bf3 Bd7 17. Nb3 Rc8 18. Nxc5 Rxc5 19. Bxb7 Bb5 20. Rd6 Ke7 21. Rhd1 h5 ({Black needed to play} 21... a5 {to avoid the game move played by White, simplifying and equalizing.} 22. Ba6 Bc6 { and White still needs to work for the draw.}) 22. a4 $1 Bxa4 23. Rxa6 { simplifying and eliminating a weakness.} Bb5 24. Ra5 hxg4 25. c4 Rxc4 26. Rxb5 Rxh2 27. Ba6 Ra4 28. Rb7+ Kf6 29. Rdd7 Rxa6 30. Rxf7+ Ke5 31. Rb5+ Kd6 32. Rg5 Ra1+ 33. Kb2 Rf1 34. Rgxg7 1/2-1/2

That said, the purpose of the match goes beyond setting the best local against an international celebrity, and the high quality promotion of chess with presentations by Vlastimil Hort, live grandmaster commentary, and more. And in this it has been an unequivocal success. Yifan has to feel particularly proud since a draw or win in the final round would make her the first female since Judit Polgar to successfully hold her own against a top 100 player in a match.

Postmortem for the spectators after the game

Top Czech grandmaster David Navara

Former Women's World Champion Hou Yifan

Links

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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics cez, hou, navara, prague, yifan
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