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GM Navara - GM Oral annotated by GM Naiditsch

User Rating: / 7
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 17 May 2014

By GM Arkadij Naiditsch, #1 German chess player
Best FIDE rating: 2737

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David Navara is by far the best Czech player of the last 10 years. David was already very talented in the young years, showing great results at the World Junior and his ELO rating has been above 2700 for a couple of years already. In the current Czech national Championship, Navara once again showed his class by winning it with a great score of 8/9. Here is one of his attacking wins.

View the game or check out the "text + diagrams" version below.

David Navara (left) won the Czech Championship 1.5 points ahead of the nearest rivals!
Image from the official site

Navara,David (2706) - Oral,Tomas (2515) [E60]
ch-CZE 2014 Ostrava CZE (5.1), 30.04.2014
[Arkadij Naiditsch]
 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 We've already commented on 3.f4 in a couple of previous issues and this move is usually made against players who are playing the Gruenfeld as Black.
is by far not the main move, but lately even on top level a few games havee been played in this tricky line by Black. [3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 00 8.Qd2 is the beginning of the very sharp and main line here.]
White is practi cally forced to play 4.e4. If Black was in time to play d5 next, the f3 move would simply not make any sense.
4...d5 5.cxd5
An interesting and quite new approach. [In previous games White usually liked to continue with 5.Nc3 dxe4 6.fxe4 and not so long ago Vachier Lagrave found the following very nice idea: 6...c5! (After 6...e5 7.d5 Bc5 8.Nf3 White's position looks better to me.) 7.d5 Bg7 8.Nf3 exd5 9.exd5 00 10.Be2 Re8 11.00 Bf5 With very unclear play.]
5...exd5 6.e5

Of course the black knight is going to h5 with the idea of playing Qh4 next. Now it is all about timing, Black is going to attack the white center with c5Nc6 and White will try to keep it safe and use his space advantage.
7.Ne2 c5
Black hurries with the attack on the most important d4 pawn, but maybe another idea could have been even more effective. [7...f6!? looks like an interesting option as well to destroy White's center.]
8.Nbc3 Nc6
[8...cxd4? doesn't work because after 9.Nxd4 Qh4+ Black is winning the exchange but losing the game. 10.g3! Nxg3 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Nxd5 With the killing threats of playing Nc7 or Nf6. White is totally winning.]
9.Be3 Be6
This move looks a bit too slow. [I think Black should have tried the more direct 9...cxd4!? 10.Nxd4 Nxe5 Of course things are looking dangerous, but it is not easy to see a direct win for White. 11.Qb3 White has a lot of other possiblities, but this is just the most natural one. 11...Bg7 12.Bb5+ Bd7 13.00 00 14.Nxd5 With some edge for White, but Black's position looks pretty solid.]
10.Qd2 Quite logical, but why not take the pawn on c5 ?! Not a bad move, Black is preparing to castle queenside, but I think Black had a better one. [10.dxc5!? looks pretty logical to me. 10...Bg7 Blacks tries to play for development. 11.f4 00 12.g3 White's position is looking pretty solid. 12...f6! Black's on ly chance, but I still think the advantage should be on White's side here.]
[10...Ng7! looks very logical and strong. 11.dxc5

(After 11.g4 h5 Black is gaining control over the f5 square.) 11...Nf5 and I can't imagine that White can have any advantage here as the black pieces are perfectly placed and the upcoming d4 idea or just Qa5000 seems to give Black great play for the pawn.]
[11.000 Ng7 12.g4 could have led to the same position as in the game.]
11...Ng7 12.Bg5
An interesting approach. White is trying to keep the black king in the center by not him allowing to castle queenside. [12.000 h5 13.dxc5 hxg4 14.fxg4 would also lead to a very complicated position.]
Of course Black is not losing any time.
A strong reply from Navara. The position is becoming very sharp.
13...hxg4 14.fxg4 Bxg4
A very tempting move, but a very exact calculation is needed for it. The game is now entering an endgame where both kings are under pressure. [A more solid choice could have been 14...Rh7 15.Bg2 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Qxd4 Rc8 with very unclear play.]
15.Nxd5 Qxd2+ 16.Kxd2

This is already a blunder. [Black should have been more careful with 16...Rc8! A silent but very important move. Not only is the black king feeling himself uncomfortable on e8, his colleague on d2 is also quite badly placed. 17.Bg2 White also has other moves, but it is tempting to develop the pieces first. 17...Bxe2 18.Kxe2 Nxd4+ 19.Kd3 Black is a pawn up, but White should have good compensation for it. The position is really hard to evaluate.]
Soon we will see what Oral missed...
17...Kd7 18.Nxa8 Bxh1 And now comes the moves that Black obviously missed when he played 16...Bf3:

A fantastic move! White is not only defending the pawn on h2, but also threatening to play Bh3 next, winning the bishop on h1.
19...Be4 [Not much better is 19...Bd5 because of 20.Nc3]
The white knight is out of game on a8, but the black king is too badly placed, which allows White to very quickly gain a decisive initiative.
Not a nice move to play, but there was nothing else left.
21.Bxf5+ gxf5 22.d5! An excellent move. Navara continues putting his opponent under pressure.
22...Ne7 23.Nf4
All white pieces are greatly placed, but the knight on a8 is still almost caught, which makes things more difficult.
Black panicks too early... [The only way to go on was 23...Rh7! Black's position looks on the verge, but it is very hard to find something concrete to break through and in caseof 24.d6 Nc6 25.Nc7 Black is in time for 25...Ne6! and maybe White is still better, but nothing too special has happened.]
24.Bg5 White just wants to play Re1 and e6 next.
Black is fighting. The bishop on g5 has to be exchanged of course.
A good move, now the g7 knight is White's target.
Black cannot handle the pressure...

[Thee only way for Black to continue the fight was 25...Rh7! Black needs to keep the knight on g7 to control the e6 move. 26.d6 Bxg5 27.Rxg5 White's position looks much better, but Black has a little trick. 27...f6! is the only chance, as the e5d6 pawns are just too powerful and need to be destroyed. 28.Rg6 fxe5 29.Nd3 Ne6 And now White already needs to find the very strong 30.Nc7! to be on top in this position.]
Too easy to miss.
Navara is accurate again.
Black can't avoid the loss of material now, at 27...Rh7 is following 28.Bxe7 and in case of Nxe7 Nf8 and Nxh7. Once again we could see an interesting game by Navara, who is usually playing very creatively and is excellent at calculation!


More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution "Top GM Secrets" bulletin. 25 pages total.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 May 2014 )
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