David Navara won his tenth title of the Czech chess champion at the championship held in Pilsen. The highest-parted participant lived up to his status of favorite and conceded his opponents only three draws in nine rounds. The silver came to Viktor Láznička, the second-ranked Czech player; another favorite Zbyněk Hráček took bronze.
"I am glad that I managed to win the tournament. Maybe I played a little better than the others, but not by much, more like the first among equals," the champion humbly said. Navara won his first title of Czech champion back in 2004 when he was only 19 years old.
Navara went through a difficult moment in Round 8 when he had to defend an inferior position against Jiří Štoček, the winner of last year's Czech Open, but he managed to neutralize the opponent's pressure. It was one of Navarre's three draws for the entire tournament – he also slit points with the two other medalists. In Round 4 David had an almost six-hour battle with Zbyněk Hráček, his predecessor in the position of Czech number one and former 20th chess player in the world; in Round 6 he drew with the Czech number two Viktor Láznička.
Before the last round, Navara was a half-point ahead of four players and by defeating Karel Malinovsky he secured the title. Out of four pursuers, only Láznička scored a victory and took silver. Zbyněk Hráček tied for third place with several players but was awarded bronze thanks to better tiebreaks.
A young prodigy Václav Finěk turned in a solid performance and finished 14th, leaving behind GMs Peter Michalík or Pavel Šimáček.
1. David Navara (2719) – 7½
2. Viktor Láznička (2638) – 7
3. Zbyněk Hráček (2563) – 6½
4. Jiří Štoček (2595) – 6½
5. Thai Dai Van Nguyen (2569) – 6½
6. Milan Orság (2300) – 6½
7. Daniel Šorm (2343) – 6½
8. Karel Malinovský (2474) – 6
9. Daniel Kožúšek (2307) – 6
10. Josef Havelka (2367) – 6
Text and photo: https://www.chess.cz/