Nakamura moves to 2-0

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/8/2014 – Nakamura keeps an implacable pace in Prague as he defeated Navara again. This time the game was quite interesting, Black sacrificed a pawn early in the opening to obtain counterplay and it seemed as if this would be sufficient for a draw; his pressure being too strong and White having difficulties untangling. But again Navara slipped and Nakamura precisely punished his opponent.

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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 Two

The Chess hostess inviting people to the match on the Charles Bridge

Vlastimil Hort gave a lecture before round one

The Michna Palace, venue of the event

The prize: The Cez Chess Trophy. Well, one of the prizes.

Navara will need to come up with something in game three to put himself on the scoreboard

Nakamura meanwhile solidifies his position in the top 10 in the World

Some analysis after the game

Nakamura's face is everywhere in Prague!

[Event "CEZ Chess Trophy 2014"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2014.06.08"] [Round "2"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Navara, David"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D46"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2724"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. O-O O-O 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. a3 Rc8 12. Rd1 (12. Ng5 c5 $1 {Was the famous Aronian-Anand game from last year that was won by the then World Champion.}) 12... c5 13. Bxb5 Bxf3 14. gxf3 cxd4 15. Rxd4 Be5 {The first new move of the game.} (15... Nd5 {Georgiev-Predojevic, 2011}) 16. Rd1 Rc5 $1 {A typical idea in such positions. Swinging the rook to the kingside allows Black to take advantage of the slightly exposed White king. Black should have just about enough counterplay for his material, but nothing more.} 17. Qe2 Qb8 $6 {This move doesn't make any sense to me, especially since a similar but more natural move was available.} (17... Qc7 18. f4 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nd5 $1 20. Bb2 (20. Bxd7 Nxc3 21. Qf3 Nxd1 22. Qxd1 Rd5 $19) 20... N7b6 $11 {Surely White has nothing in this position.}) 18. f4 Bxc3 19. Bxd7 Nxd7 20. Rxd7 Bf6 21. b4 $1 {An important move. Thanks to this White is able to get rid of othe bind at least somewhat.} Bxa1 22. bxc5 Qc8 23. Qb5 $6 (23. Rd1 {was key and it seems that White can hope to keep his extra pawn without any difficulties; although converting it would still require hard work.} Qxc5 $2 24. Bd2 $1 Qxa3 25. Qe1 $1 Bf6 26. Bb4 {not an easy variation to find, but it was necessary to keep White's advantage.}) 23... a6 24. Qd3 Qxc5 {With material balance restored, White's advantage is symbolic. He has some control thanks to his more active pieces but between the reduced material and his still somewhat weak king it should be sufficient for Black to retain the balance.} 25. Bd2 a5 26. h3 g6 $6 (26... h6 27. Rb7 Qh5 28. Kg2 Bf6 29. Rb5 Qd1 $132) 27. Rb7 Bf6 (27... Qh5 28. Kg2 Bf6 29. Qb5 $1 {Is the difference with the previous variation. Here Black doesn't have access to g6.}) 28. Rb5 Qc6 29. Bxa5 {White collects a pawn, but Black still has some trumps.} Qf3 30. Qf1 Rc8 31. Rb1 Kg7 32. Bb4 Rc2 {Black is very active. Clearly only White can win, but it seems difficult to untangle. } 33. Qg2 Qe2 34. Qf1 Qh5 $2 {It is strange why Navara did not repeat moves, if nothing else to see how his opponent would try to improve.} (34... Qf3 $11 35. a4 e5 $1) 35. Qd3 $1 {A powerful move which must have escaped the Czech player. Now White untangles without problems as the rook cannot remain on the second rank.} Rc8 (35... Ra2 36. Qc4 $1 {Traps the rook on a2 and Black would be forced to trade queens into a very difficult, if not just lost, endgame.}) 36. Kg2 Rd8 37. Qe4 Qe2 38. Rc1 h6 39. a4 Qd3 $2 {It's hard to see how Black can improve his position, but trading queens is suicidal. Nakamura mops up easily.} 40. Qxd3 Rxd3 41. a5 Rb3 42. Rc4 Rb2 43. Ba3 Ra2 44. Ra4 {The self-pin is not dangerous as White's pawn is very far advanced.} Be7 45. a6 Bxa3 46. a7 {Navara will have to go in damage control mode after this.} 1-0


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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SierraSunset SierraSunset 6/9/2014 08:01
I am curious as to who chooses Navara's opponent each year for this tournament?