Nakamura Beats Navara 3.5-0.5 in Prague
Hikaru Nakamura won his match with David Navara convincingly. The final score was 3.5-0.5 in favor of the American, who started with two wins, got into trouble but drew the third and then finished with another win. Nakamura clinched the Cez Chess Trophy in Prague in a four-game match.
Games 3 and 4 were played on Monday and Tuesday - see our report on the first match here. The final, 3.5-0.5 score, was perhaps not a perfect reflection of the players' chances in this match, because Navara came quite close to a win in the third game.
Repeating the 6.h3 King's Indian, the Czech number one got a promising position when Nakamura “forgot” the move ...Bd7 before playing ...f5. About four times Navara could have played a more forceful move, while in the game he only kept a slight edge in the ending and Nakamura managed to hold it.
But in game four the roles were reversed again, and it was Nakamura who was dealing the cards. Right from the opening, a 6.Qc2 Semi-Slav, White held an advantage, despite the symmetrical pawn structure. While the American was developing his pieces to natural squares, Navara couldn't find a good setup. He did make some good practical choices, like giving an Exchange and then even his queen, but in the long run the Czech couldn't hold his fortress.
With these four games Nakamura won 12.2 rating points according to the live ratings website, and he climbed to #5 in the world, passing Anand & Kramnik.