David Navara wins Czech National Championship

by André Schulz
9/1/2020 – The Czech Republic is in the process of returning to normality after the corona crisis. Last week the Czech National Championships were held as over-the-board tournaments in Pilsen, without face masks nor Plexiglas walls. Rating favourite David Navara won the 9-round event after collecting 7½ points. | Photos: Official site

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Navara wins the national title for a tenth time

The Czech National Championship 2020 was held in Pilsen as a 9-round Swiss open tournament. Nearly 80 players took part, including numerous titleholders and nine grandmasters. Rating favourite was of course Czech Republic’s number one David Navara, although it would not have been a major surprise if any of the remaining grandmasters would have won the event.

Navara started with three wins, and gave up his first half point against Zbynk Hracek in round four. In the course of the tournament, Viktor Laznicka was Navara’s closest follower throughout. However, Laznicka drew one of his games in the first rounds and had to fight his way back to the top of the table. He succeeded in doing so by scoring four wins in a row.

Viktor Laznicka

Viktor Laznicka (right)

In the sixth round, the highest-rated participants faced each other. The match between Navara and Laznicka ended in a draw. Beneficiary of the point split was Jiri Stocek, who was able to draw level with the two leaders with a victory.

In round 7, Laznicka and Stocek also shared the point, while Navara defeated Peter Michalik.

David Navara, Peter Michalik

David Navara vs. Peter Michalik

 

23.Qb3! Bxc3 24.Bxg6 [Weaker is 24.Qxb7? Rb8]

24...fxg6 25.d6+! [The simple 25.bxc3 is also strong.]

25...Kh8 26.Qxb7 [Threatening d7.]

26...Rb8 27.Qf7 Bxb2 28.Rxa6 Rf8 [28...Rg8 29.Ra7 followed by mate.]

29.Qxg6 Qd7 30.Qxh5+ Kg7 31.Nh2 [The second rook will join the attack on the third rank, deciding the game.]

31...Bd4 32.Rd3 Rg8 33.Rg3+ Kf8 34.Rxg8+ Kxg8 35.Ng4 1–0

Navara took the sole leader and never gave it up. In round eight, he drew against Stocek. But Laznicka could not take advantage of this result, as he also split the point with Zbynek Hracek.

In the last round, Navara scored a full point against Karel Malinowsky, which secured him the championship. David Navara thus gained his tenth national championship title.

[Addendum: In the last round, Malinowsky had brought a notebook into the tournament hall, which was not allowed. The tournament arbiter asked him to either leave it with him or to take it back to the checkroom. Malinowsky refused and in the end left the tournament hall in protest, without playing his game.]

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Navara David 7,5 0,0
2 Láznička Viktor 7,0 0,0
3 Hráček Zbyněk 6,5 0,0
4 Štoček Jiří 6,5 0,0
5 Nguyen Thai Dai Van 6,5 0,0
6 Orság Milan 6,5 0,0
7 Šorm Daniel 6,5 0,0
8 Malinovský Karel 6,0 0,0
9 Kožúšek Daniel 6,0 0,0
10 Havelka Josef 6,0 0,0
11 Říha Vojtěch 6,0 0,0
12 Polák Tomáš 5,5 0,0
13 Babula Vlastimil 5,5 0,0
14 Finěk Václav 5,5 0,0
15 Rabatin Jakub 5,5 0,0
16 Hollan Martin 5,5 0,0
17 Miča Marek 5,5 0,0
18 Červený Petr 5,5 0,0
19 Stalmach Richard 5,5 0,0
20 Serrano Salvador Eduardo 5,5 0,0

...76 players

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

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