From June 12 to 16 2015, Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, hosted the CEZ Chess Trophy 2015 tournament. The city is home to David Navara who has been challenging world class players in this very event for thirteen years now. This time
he competed against the current number 9 in worldwide rankings, Wesley So. No doubt that this was going to be a tough one for the thirty year-old Czech. He has gone a little bit over board a few times before and has had to comply with bitter defeats on home turf at previous CEZ Chess Trophy tournaments. His score account from 2003 to 2014: two victories (against Viktor Korchnoi and Sergei Movsesian), two ties (against Anatoly Karpov and Boris Gelfand), and eight defeats (against Shirov, Short, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Polgar, Svidler, Yifan, and Nakamura).
During the four scheduled matches (90 minutes/40 + 30 minutes – 30 seconds/move from 1st move) Navara had the chance to finally come off winner at the event which he hadn’t managed to do since 2011.
The chess event began with a simultaneous introduction of the players at which Wesley So impressively demonstrated his skills. Within an hour and forty minutes, the American faced twenty-two opponents, eighteen of which he effortlessly beat. Three duels ended in draws, while one match, against the event’s manager and sponsor Libor Kicmer (ELO 1992), ended in So’s defeat. The two of them were no less than 800 ELO points apart.
Navara had relatively good chances on a victory this year, as he is at a high point in his career. His ELO amounts to 2751 points at the moment and in a live rating shortly before the tournament he ranked 13th in world rankings.
However, Navara had no luck this time and a suspenseful draw in round 1 was quickly followed by a defeat in round 2. Round 3 was again an agreed on tie, which meant suspense until the very end. Navara could have turned the tides to an overall tie with a victory, but his efforts were useless. The Czech had to admit defeat and lost the competition at a final score of 3:1 to Wesley So.
David Navara lost 26.7 points in the ELO live rating and again fell behind on rank 27 in worldwide standings. What a setback!
Find pictures and game sheets on the official website.
written by Sarah, translated by Birthe