Nakamura strikes first in Prague

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/7/2014 – The Cez Chess Trophy is underway in Prague. The mini-match features a duel between World number three Hikaru Nakamura and Czech Republic's number one David Navara. The opening party gave Nakamura black on the first game, and he played an absolutely brilliant game. Exploiting his opponent's slips perfectly Nakamura won a pawn and converted it with gorgeous technique.

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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 seven 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.

The chairman of the Prague Chess Society, Pavel Matocha, and Hikaru Nakamura by the
Prague Astronomical Clock.

Nakamura was given a tour of the beautiful city of Prague.

Nakamura gave a simultaneous exhibition

One player even prepared with his own copy of Fighting Chess
with Hikaru Nakamura by Karsten Muller!

The opening party was to determine the colors.

Also to honor Vlastimil Hort for his lifetime of chess success!

Hort giving advice to Katerina Nemcova. She originally played for the Czech Republic
but will represent America in the Tromso Olympiad.

David Navara enjoying the fancy buffet

Things started off well for the American as he played a beautiful King's Indian today:

[Event "CEZ Chess Trophy 2014"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2014.06.07"] [Round "1"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Robot 3"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O {Nakamura uses his trusty King's Indian, Navara employs a line that is becoming more and more popular.} 6. h3 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Bg5 Na6 9. Nd2 Qe8 10. Be2 Nd7 11. a3 Nb6 12. Be3 Bd7 13. b3 f5 14. Nb5 {Only this move is new.} (14. O-O Qe7 15. Rb1 Nc5 16. Nb5 $14 { Zhigalko-Berg, 2010}) 14... Qd8 15. Bxb6 $6 {White grabs the pawn on d6, but I believe that the compensation Black receives on the dark squares is too much. White could still try to play more solidly.} (15. O-O Nxc4 $5 (15... f4 16. Bxb6 cxb6 17. Nxd6 $14 {is completely different as now the f4 pawn is not well placed.}) 16. bxc4 f4 17. Ba7 {and the game is very messy.} b6 $1 $13) 15... cxb6 16. Nxd6 Nc5 17. O-O Bh6 $1 {A very strong move, highlighting how badly coordinated White's pieces are. It is already difficult for White to keep his extra pawn.} 18. b4 $1 {Probably the only way to avoid being immediately much worse.} Ba4 19. Qb1 Qxd6 20. bxc5 Qxc5 21. Nf3 $6 {But this gives Black too much activity.} fxe4 22. Qxe4 Rae8 23. Qh4 Kg7 {even more precision. Bg7 was tempting, threatening e4 in some cases, but this is more precise as it keeps control over more squares.} 24. Ng5 Rf4 25. Qg3 Bxg5 26. Qxg5 Bb3 {The pressure is mounting on White's pawns, and his rooks are still rather useless.} 27. a4 Re4 (27... Bxc4 $17 {seemed to win a pawn, Nakamura plays more patiently.}) 28. Rfe1 Qd4 29. Bf1 (29. Bf3 $1 Rxe1+ 30. Rxe1 Bxc4 31. Rd1 $15 { Gave White some interesting counterplay.}) 29... Rxe1 30. Rxe1 Bxa4 31. h4 Bd7 32. h5 Qf4 $1 {With this move The deal is sealed. Black's extra pawn and better piece placement; specifically the king being much closer to the action, will be the death of White.} 33. Qxf4 (33. h6+ Kf7 {only helps Black.}) 33... exf4 34. Rb1 b5 $1 $19 {A very nice and important resource. Black gives up his pawn to shatter his opponent's structure.} 35. cxb5 b6 36. Rc1 Rc8 {The bishop endgame is hopeless. Navara cannot afford to trade on c8.} 37. Re1 Re8 38. Rc1 Rc8 39. Re1 Kf6 40. hxg6 hxg6 41. d6 Rc5 {b5 is oomed, and with that the game is over.} 42. Re4 $2 {A blunder in a lost position.} Rc1 43. Rxf4+ Ke6 44. Re4+ Kxd6 45. Rd4+ Ke6 46. Rc4 Rxf1+ {An extremely clean game by Nakamura who proved to be the superior player this time around.} 0-1

The match will continue tomorrow and Nakamura will have the white pieces. Follow the action live on!

Players Rtng
David Navara 2724
Hikaru Nakamura 2775


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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: Nakamura, Navara, Prague

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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Chump Chump 6/7/2014 11:35
Too bad Pavel Matocha abandoned his Mohawk hairdo. He used to be the most photogenic chess organizer...