Vladimir Kramnik Successful in Prague

CEZ Chess Trophy 2008 took place on 14-18th May

Rapid match between Vladimir Kramnik and David Navara was the main event of the festival CEZ Chess Trophy 2008 that took place on 14-18th May in Prague. Kramnik started strong by winning first three games and already by the rest day on Friday he held the 3.5-0.5 lead. A three-hour simul didn’t tire Kramnik up and on Saturday he secured the overal win in the match. David Navara succeeded to score in the last game in typical Kramnik’s style, by exchanging the pieces and converting better ending, for the final result 5.5-2.5 in Kramnik’s favor (games bellow).

Viktor Novotný reported that there were quite a lot of spectators, enjoying the live commentary of GM Vlastimil Hort and GM Lubomir Kavalek. A number of other events, many of them involving these two legendary Grandmasters, were held over the course of six days. Kramnik noted that Prague is similar to Paris and he wants to return for more sightseeing later. David Navara talked about Baku Grand Prix on Czech TV – his final result was acceptable, prior to the last two rounds it looked disastrous.

Kramnik-Navara press 1

Press conference on the day before the match

Kramnik-Navara blind intro

Introductory event: blindfold game WIM Nemcova – GM Vokac 1-0

Kramnik-Navara party

The party after the opening ceremony

Kramnik-Navara game 2

Speeches before the beginning of the rapid match

Kramnik-Navara game 1

Then it was time to get on the business – game one

Kramnik-Navara press 2

Press conference at the end of the first day

Friday was rest day for the main rapid match and dedicated to simultaneous exhibitions. The current Czech champion, GM Vlastimil Babula, played a handicap match with clock against ten rivals. As the time was running out, Vladimir Babula turned into athlete jumping from one board to another. The final score was 5:5.

Next was Vladimir Kramnik, who faced 20 opponents in a more relaxed atmosphere. After three hours of play, Kramnik scored 16 wins and four draws. Václav Klaus Jr. and his brother were among the participants and the president of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, entered the hall to watch the games.

Kramnik-Navara simul 1

Chief organizer Pavel Matocha opening the simul with Vladimir Kramnik

Kramnik-Navara simul 2

“I will start with 1. e4″

Kramnik-Navara simul 3

President of the Czech republic Vaclav Klaus is watching his sons in action

Kramnik-Navara simul 4

The atmosphere is heating up, Kramnik had to lose his jacket

Lubomír Lichý won the Quiet Checkmate prize, the best humorous chess drawing competition. Also awarded in the competition, held by Prague Chess Society and the Czech Union of Cartoonists, were Miroslav Barták, Pavel Major Vorel, Jiří Slíva and Jan Hrubý. 37 authors sent in almost a hundred of artworks. A six member jury, consisting of Václav Klaus – the director of PORG grammar-school, GM Vlastimil Hort, Radan Wagner – an art historian, Jana Žižkova – the director of SAS Institute ČR, Ivan Hanousek – the deputy chairman of Czech Union of Cartoonists and Pavel Matocha – the chairman of Prague Chess Society, was choosing not only winning drawings but also other cartoons that would be exhibited during the chess festival.

Kramnik-Navara cartoon

The winning cartoon

All photos by Petr Boleslav

Info by Viktor Novotný and Novoborsky SK