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Understand The Position 19: A Gentle Touch of Navara

GM Ján Markoš | September 26, 2011 – 11:57One Comment | 493 views
Understand The Position 19: A Gentle Touch of Navara

Slovaks, Czechs and Moravians are very close to each other. Finally, it was not a long time ago when we used to live together in one country. So when none of the Slovak players qualified to the World Cup tournament, we started to cheer for both Czech players. After the first round only one of them remained – David Navara – however, he was keeping his end up.

Translated by: Dusan Turcer

After the 114th move of Black, the following position arose:

Moiseenko – Navara, Khanty Mansijsk 2011

There is no defense against the checkmate and everybody expected Moiseenko to resign and David to forward to the next round. Suddenly, however, an incomprehensible result was displayed: 0.5 – 0.5.

After that, all the chess players on the Slovak and Czech internet forums were confused. Is the result correct? And if so, what happened? Finally, the explanation came from Navara himself.

This was a result of the incident that had occurred much earlier in the game. When Navara was making his 35th move with the bishop, he accidentally touched the king, which stood right on the next square. His opponent responded immediately: “The king must move!” A dispute had begun and the referee made a stand for David. But then, during the whole rest of the game, David was worried that his opponent was damaged this way. And so in the final position, he offered a draw, in order to avoid unfair elimination of Moiseenko from the next rounds.

It must be added that in terms of the rules of FIDE, David did not make anything unfair. He touched the bishop and the king at the same time; therefore there was no reason to move with the king. Furthermore: if he had accidentally touched the king first, he would not have to move him unless the contact was intentional. FIDE rules clearly say that accidental contact with pieces does not imply the obligation to move this piece.

David Navara, however, conforms to the stricter rules than the ones of FIDE. I know him well; he is just a few months older and we played all the World and European championships in the same category. And I have never experienced that he would do something that he considered being incorrect. Thus, his decision did not surprise me; thousands of dollars as a reward for the advance to the next round was of smaller value than a clear conscience.

FIDE reacted promptly and both players were awarded the Fair Play prize. Whether David’s opponent deserved it, we could argue about. But David certainly deserved this prize. And he also got a reward from the goddess Caissa. He advanced through Moiseenko in rapid games, knocked out another Ukrainian Zherebukh in the fourth round and he only got eliminated by Alexander Griscuk in the round number five.

I admit, today’s story is a little strange. I usually show how to be the most successful in chess, how to get a good position and to win as often as possible. How to defeat the opponent; the best to beat on the head. And today I am writing about the game where a player could win, and quite easily. But he did not.

And yet he won!

This post is also available in: Slovak

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Comments (1)

  • Apu says:

    Welcome to my blog. You are abselutoly right. Every experience teaches us [email protected] Very aptly [email protected] welcome to my space. Absolutely, I have seen that [email protected] I agree with you. Sometimes, I have seen parents go downright ballistic if they see their child lose and also publicly reprimand them. It is not as if this is the Olympics. And even if they were, parents are meant to support and encourage. Perhaps, they are trying to do through their kids what they could not achieve, and thus end up messing up their children’s [email protected] You are right Alka. I feel at this age, my son has the intelligence to understand and even logically debate values and moral issues. This is the right time to mould him.

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