Reports | June 17, 2013 9:14

Cez Chess Trophy: Hou Yifan beats Navara in Armageddon

Cez Chess Trophy: Hou Yifan beats Navara in Armageddon

Hou Yifan defeated David Navara on Friday in the Cez Chess Trophy match by the smallest possible margin. The 19-year-old Chinese won the all-decisive Armageddon game after all four classical games had ended in draws, and both players had exchanged victories in two blitz games.

All photos © Anežka Kružíková

The short match between Hou Yifan and David Navara lasted only four games, and it turned out that the two grandmasters were well matched. The first two games ended in draws, and so did the other two. On Thursday Hou Yifan deviated from her first white game and chose a sharper setup against Navara's Scheveningen. However, the Czech grandmaster was prepared for the early g4 thrust, and replied with an interesting pawn sacrifice that had been seen in two games by Ivanchuk (with both colours). Hou Yifan did not go for the most principled continuation, and in an ending the draw was agreed after 34 moves.

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The players go through their game in front of a big audience

In the last match game, Navara switched from 1.d4 to 1.e4 and then had to play against his own weapon: the Sicilian Scheveningen! His early a2-a4 prompted Black to reply with an early ...b6 and ...Bb7 (preventing the a4-a5 bind), and this in fact combines well with the development of the queen's knight to d7. Hou Yifan then wisely declined a piece sacrifice and continued healthy development instead. In a better endgame the former women's world champion missed a good chance, after which Navara managed to hold it. 

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Game 4: another fighting draw

Later that day there was a play-off to decide the match, with two blitz games (3 minutes + 2 second increment) and one Armageddon (6 against 5 with draw odds for Black). These three quickplay games clearly showed that both players were quite tired, as they were full of mistakes. You can replay all three below.

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Hou Yifan won a trophy with chess pieces and a red cup, all made of glass

The Cez Chess Trophy match was organized by the Prague Chess Society and took place at Michna Palace. Hou Yifan also gave a simul, there was an exhibition on chess themes in heraldry, a quiz by GM Vlastimil Hort, a lecture by GM Robert Cvek on chess improvement and a lecture on the history of blindfold chess.

Match score



The 3rd match game in progress

David Navara

Hou Yifan

Hostess Marie Konrádová

A lecture on "how to make progress in chess" by GM Robert Cvek was one of the many side events...

...another was a "World Chess Champions" quiz...

...hosted by IA Pavel Votruba and GM Vlastimil Hort


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


ChessFan's picture

Nice event. Funny to see Navara listening to the lecture on "how to make progress in chess" by GM Cvek.

Fishy's picture

Well done Yifan! She is really becoming a world class player. Hope she breaks in the men ranks like Judit did. More women should be competing with the top men!

Anonymous's picture

Judit needs to be removed from FIDE live rankings. She doesn't play that much anymore, only enough to stay on the live ratings list, and when she does play she gets thrashed.

RG13's picture

It doesn't mean much that she won a rapid game off of Magnus Carlsen but it does mean something that in the last World Cup she actually performed better than her rating.

Anon's picture

Not to mention the fact that she only got "trashed" in London, where almost all opponents were higher rated. And, wait, her previous tournament was the Olympiad, where she scored an undefeated 7.5/10 and a 2744 performance. Nah, that was against lower rated players. So yes, let's just remove everyone from the live ratings who scored most of their points against lower rated players (start with Carlsen) and play one bad tournament (Kramnik will be next).

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