CEZ Trophy: Wesley So strikes first

by Albert Silver
6/15/2015 – The second game of the match between top Czech player David Navara and challenger Wesley So was no less fascinating and was a powerful display by the newly minted American player. Hoping to neutralize White’s ambitions, Black exchanged queens quite early, but it was not enough and Wesley So outplayed his opponent and drew first blood.

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In a slightly unassuming Four Knights English Opening with g3, White had just enough life in the game to avoid petering out into a quick draw, which neither player wanted. It was thirteen moves of theory, following a game from 1988 between Uhlmann and Seirawan. On move fifteen the queens came off, but instead of watching the action fizzle up, the American showed skill as he completely outplayed his opponent.

The gorgeous trophy to go to the winner with a wonderful red cup thing in the middle surrounded
by breathtaking pieces

Vernissage chessmen

Jean-François Cantiere and Pavel Matocha

Pavel Matocha officially starts the second game of the match

[Event "Cez Trophy 2015"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2015.06.14"] [Round "2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Navara, David"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2751"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. c4 {0} Nf6 {71} 2. Nc3 {0} e5 {10} 3. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {6} 4. g3 {0} d5 {13} 5. cxd5 {0} Nxd5 {6} 6. Bg2 {0} Nb6 {8} 7. O-O {0} Be7 {10} 8. d3 {0} O-O {10} 9. a3 {2} Be6 {34} 10. Be3 {5} Nd5 {326} 11. Nxd5 {4} Bxd5 {8} 12. Rc1 {3} Bd6 { 103} 13. Qa4 {402} (13. Bc5 Qe7 14. Bxd6 cxd6 15. b4 {1/2-1/2 (15) Uhlmann,W (2505)-Seirawan,Y (2510) Thessaloniki 1988}) 13... Qe8 {640} 14. Rfe1 {(1499) The point is to prevent ...Nd4 and if Qxe8 Nxe2+ would win a pawn. Since Wesley spent 25 minutes on this move, it seems safe to say that he was no longer in preparation.} Ne7 {480} 15. Qxe8 {837} Rfxe8 {16} 16. Bc5 {7} Nc6 {16 } 17. b4 {6} a6 {19} 18. Nd2 {228} Bxg2 {21} 19. Kxg2 {2} Re7 {196} 20. Ne4 { 260} Rd7 {39} 21. g4 $1 {(77) Preventing ...f5 and securing the knight's perch. } Nd8 {28} 22. Bxd6 {295} cxd6 {15} 23. Nc3 {19} d5 {197} 24. Na4 {20} Rb8 {33} 25. e3 {425} f6 {194} 26. f4 {384} g6 {461} 27. Rc2 {800} Ne6 {89} 28. f5 {46} gxf5 {138} 29. gxf5 {1} Ng7 {209} 30. Rf1 {(78) White's advantage is clear. Black's knight is currently a passive spectator, and the only open file is controlled by the white rook(s).} d4 $2 {(206) Whether due to time shortage, or a misjudgement, this is a serious mistake. It allows White to secure the f5 pawn with e4, allowing him to use both his rooks to punch through the c-file.} 31. e4 {92} Nh5 {18} 32. Nb6 {45} Rg7+ {42} 33. Kf3 {56} Nf4 {28} 34. Rfc1 $1 { [#] (80)} Rf8 {277} ({The point is that} 34... Nxd3 $2 {is not possible due to} 35. Rc8+ Rxc8 36. Rxc8+ Kf7 37. Rb8 $1 {and incredibly the rook cannot protect the pawn as the king has no way to step aside.} h5 38. Rxb7+ Kg8 39. Rb8+ Kf7 40. Nd5 {and Black is far from resolving his problems.}) 35. Rc8 {100} Rgf7 {25 } 36. Rg1+ {427} Kh8 {169} 37. Rc2 {77} Rd8 {493} (37... Nxd3 {is still not possible due to} 38. Nd5 Rd8 39. Rd1 Nf4 40. Nxf4 exf4 41. Kxf4) 38. Nd5 {64} Nxd5 {14} 39. exd5 {1} Rfd7 {12} 40. Rgc1 {0} Rxd5 {0} 41. Rc8 {108} Kg7 {258} 42. Rxd8 {69} Rxd8 {9} 43. Rc7+ {1 The difference in rook activity is huge here, and So exploits it superbly.} Kh6 {27} 44. Rxb7 {42} Rc8 {118} 45. h4 { (495) It not only boxes in the king, but prevents it from protecting f6 with Kg5} Rc1 {169} 46. Ke4 $2 {(166) Returning the favor.} Re1+ $2 {37} (46... Rh1 47. Rb6 Rxh4+ 48. Kd5 Kg5 {would have held. Black's pawns are certainly no weaker or slower than White's.}) 47. Kd5 {1} e4 {81} 48. Re7 {248} Ra1 {(481) Desperation is the only explanation.} (48... e3 49. Kxd4 $18) 49. Rxe4 {40} Rxa3 {7} 50. Rxd4 {103} Kh5 {157} 51. Ke6 {63} a5 {63} 52. bxa5 {86} Rxa5 {13} 53. Kxf6 {3} h6 {14} 54. Rd7 {246} Ra4 {14} 55. Ke7 {129} Rd4 {(111) Black's last trap.} 56. f6 {20} (56. Rxd4 $4 {Stalemate!}) 1-0

GM Robert Cvek analyzes the game for the spectators


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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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Supposedly Supposedly 6/19/2015 06:40
"The gorgeous trophy to go to the winner with a wonderful red cup thing in the middle"
karavamudan karavamudan 6/15/2015 03:35
I had long advocated to chessbase to include time taken by each player for choosing their move. Glad that it is included now.
This way amateurs like me will be encouraged to think over each move instead of blitzing

1499 seconds - common guys how many can calculate 25 minutes x 60 = 1500 seconds. Please put hours :minutes:seconds as 00:25:00
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