Czech Extraliga: Novy Bor dominates

by André Schulz
1/10/2023 – The Novoborsky SK, led by David Navara (photo), has dominated the Czech Extraliga for more than ten years. The team also leads in the season 2022/2023. Last weekend rounds five and six of the current season were played and with two wins Novy Bor managed to increase their score to 18:0 team points. | Photo: Chess Society Prague

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The first Czech league, the Extraliga, played its third double-header last weekend, 7 and 8 January 2023, with rounds five and six of the 2022-23 season.  For many, many years, the Novoborsky SK has been the top club for many, many years. Novoborsky SK is also a top club on the international stage, with several medal wins in the European Club Cup, including two gold medals, in 2013 and in 2022.

Novy Bor is led by Czech top player David Navara. A number of other Czech grandmasters form the core of the team, but international grandmasters also add strength to the team. No less than three Indian grandmasters play for the Czech club: Pentala Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi and Krishnan Sasikiran, though Harikrishna and Vidit have not yet played this season. Team manager and spiritus rector is Petr Boleslav, who is also the leading man behind the Prague Chess Festival (to be held again in June).

Other teams also feature strong international guest players, many from the neighbouring countries of Poland and Slovakia, but on the whole the teams are made up mainly of local forces.

The Czech team championship is played with 12 teams, which play a round robin. Each team consists of eight players. Each match win yields 3 points, but in case of a 4:4 tie both teams get 1 point.

In round 5 Novy Bor played against ŠK Líně and though they again played without their two Indian super grandmasters they came to a clear 6.5:1.5 victory.

The Sunday match against relegation candidate OAZA ended with the same result.

In this match David Navara demonstrated the aggressive potential of the Nimzoindian.


The closest rival of Noby Bor is the team of Lysá nad Labem which defeated ŠK Dopravní podnik Praha 7:1 on Saturday and then narrowly defeated Siesta Labs Unichess 4.5:3.5 on Sunday. On board four for Lysá nad Labem played the well-known Czech grandmaster Vlastimil Jansa, who celebrated his 80th birthday last November. He won one game and lost one.

With five wins and one draw Výstaviště Lysá nad Labem is two points behind Novy Bor butthe two teams still have to play against each other.

Standings after six rounds

Rk. Team  Tb1 
1 1. Novoborský ŠK 18
2 Výstaviště Lysá nad Labem 16
3 GASCO Pardubice 13
4 ZIKUDA Turnov 13
5 BŠŠ Frýdek-Místek 13
6 Šachový klub Moravská Slavia 10
7 INGEM - ŠK Líně 8
8 Slavia Kroměříž 7
9 Siesta Labs Unichess 3
10 ŠK Dopravní podnik Praha 3
11 OAZA 0
12 Šachy Hošťálková 0




André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.