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Round 1 Report

06 Mar 2019

The inaugural Prague International Chess Festival started today in Don Giovanni Hotel in Prague, with Masters and Challengers tournaments. Both events feature some of the strongest chess players in the World, as well as the best Czech players.

The ticket to Masters event for the winner of Challengers group seems to be a big motivation for the players, as already at start of the tournament we had 4 decisive results in the B tournament. The first one to score was Polish GM Mateusz Bartel, who defeated Indian rising star R.Praggnanandhaa, and he went in history as the first winner of the Prague Chess Festival.

Russian Grandmaster David Paravyan scored a nice attacking victory with White pieces, after his opponent Jiri Stocek mixed his prep and made mistake in the opening. In all Spanish derby between top two seeds of the event, the 23-year-old David Anton Guijarro celebrated a victory. After the game, he was very kind to share his impressions and thoughts about the game with the audience in the commentary room.

Peter Michalik celebrated an important victory with Black pieces against his fellow countryman Jan Krejci, after making few good strategic decisions in the middle game. The only draw in Challengers group was agreed between young Czech star Thai Dai Van Nguyen and Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun in an equal Bishop endgame.

In the Masters event the things were quite opposite. Four games ended with the peaceful result, although most of them were fighting draws. The only decisive result happened in the game Richard Rapport vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The young Polish Grandmaster, who is known for great speed chess performances, showed that he can do as well in the classical games too! The Hungarian had the edge after the opening, but he misplayed the position in the time trouble ended up with a piece down. Duda played precisely and kept his cool, to eventually win in 94 moves.

David Navara didn't manage to convert his game against Boris Gelfand, even though he had a veyr promising position. The game was opened with Petroff, and after several moves it was clear that Czech #1 was confident with his home preparation, as he was playing fast, leaving Gelfand much behind on clock. Navara sacrificed the exchange, and forced the Israeli player to give up his Queen, however it was not enough for a full point, and the draw was made in 100 moves.

Results of round 1


Wojtaszek vs Gujrathi 1/2
Rapport vs Duda 0-1
Láznička vs Vitiugov 1/2
Harikrishna vs Shankland 1/2
Navara vs Gelfand 1/2


Nguyen vs Ju 1/2
Paravyan vs Štoček 1-0
Praggnanandhaa vs Bartel 0-1
Shirov vs Guijarro 0-1
Krejčí vs Michalík 0-1

Round 2 pairings


Gujrathi vs Gelfand
Shankland vs Navara
Vitiugov vs Harikrishna
Duda vs Láznička
Wojtaszek vs Rapport


Ju vs Michalík
Guijarro vs Krejčí
Bartel vs Shirov
Štoček vs Praggnanandhaa
Nguyen vs Paravyan

Round 2 starts on March 7 at 3.00 pm in Don Giovanni Hotel.  Tune in for the live games on the official website of the Festival  www.praguechessfestival.com , and follow the Festival updates on social media: facebook @PragueChessFestival, instagram @praguechessfestival and twitter @PragueChess. Check out the photo galleries by our briliant photographer Vladimir Jagr, on the  media page, as well as on  Zonerama.