Nakamura clinches in Prague

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/10/2014 – Even though he had some problems in the opening, Hikaru Nakamura was able to overcome his bad position and salvaged a draw to move into a 2.5-0.5 position against David Navara. The Czech has no chance to win the match as it is only four games long, but the players will still play the last game. We bring you a report of what was certainly a missed opportunity.

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The classic Prague Chess Match is currently underway. The Čez Chess Trophy 2014 is a 4-game duel between World number three Hikaru Nakamura and the Czech Republic's number one player, David Navara. The games will take place at the Michna Palace and as usual it includes a series of side events.

Round Three

Vlastimil Hort giving the young guns an important lecture

Nakamura was faced with the same opening as game one, but he had a refinement

Navara however responded very, very well

Commentators Robert Cvek and Jan Markos

Prague is known for its many beautiful views

Today Navara had good chances, but he was unable to bring the point home. With this draw Nakamura clinches the match but the fourth game will still be played.

[Event "Cez Trophy 2014"] [Site "Prague CZE"] [Date "2014.06.09"] [Round "3"] [White "Navara, D."] [Black "Nakamura, Hi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2014.06.07"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Bg5 Na6 9. Nd2 Qe8 10. Be2 Nd7 11. a3 f6 {Nakamura is the first to deviate from the first game, even though it brought him a victory there were certainly good chances for Navara from the opening.} 12. Bh4 Nb6 {With the bishop on h4 the knight on b6 feels much safer.} 13. b3 Bh6 14. Rb1 Nc5 15. O-O f5 16. b4 axb4 17. axb4 Nxe4 $2 {this underestimates White's advance on the queenside.} 18. Ndxe4 fxe4 19. c5 $1 {An important move. After this White's initiative is hard to stop.} dxc5 20. bxc5 Na4 21. Nxa4 Qxa4 22. Be7 $6 (22. d6 $1 {was already much stronger.} cxd6 (22... Qxd1 23. Rfxd1 cxd6 24. cxd6 {likewise leaves Black with no good way of defending against d7 as the b7 pawn is hanging.}) 23. Qd5+ $1 Kh8 24. cxd6 $16 {It seems very hard to hold Black's position here.}) 22... Rf7 23. d6 cxd6 24. cxd6 Be6 25. Qxa4 Rxa4 26. Rxb7 {White still holds the advantage, but the bishop is not well placed on e7 as it hinders the advance of the pawn in some variations.} Bf8 $1 {Exploiting the pin to buy some time.} 27. Rfb1 Ra2 28. Bxf8 $2 (28. Kf1 $1 {planning Rb8 keeps Black pinned down and challenges Nakamura to find an accurate defense.}) 28... Kxf8 29. R7b2 Rxb2 30. Rxb2 Ra7 {White is still better but now his winning chances are minimal.} 31. Kh2 $6 {This makes Black's task even easier.} (31. Rb5 {kept the game alive for now.} Rd7 32. Rxe5 Rxd6 33. Rxe4 {and this should end in a draw nonetheless.}) 31... Ra4 32. Rb5 Rd4 33. Rxe5 Kf7 34. Bg4 Bxg4 35. Re7+ Kf6 36. hxg4 Rxd6 37. Rxe4 {this is completely drawn.} Rd5 38. f4 h5 39. Kg3 hxg4 40. Kxg4 Rd2 41. g3 Rd5 42. Ra4 Rb5 43. Kh4 Rh5+ 44. Kg4 Rb5 45. Ra6+ Kf7 46. Rd6 Rc5 47. Kf3 g5 48. Ke4 {Navara certainly missed his chances in this game.} 1/2-1/2

Players Rtng
David Navara 2724
Hikaru Nakamura 2775

Photos from the official website by Agnes Kruzikova


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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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