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Levon Aronian vs David Navara
"Navara Say Never Again" (game of the day Sep-08-2015)
37th Chess Olympiad (2006), Turin ITA, rd 11, Jun-02
Queen's Indian Defense: Opocensky Variation (E17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-16-06  Mameluk: Interview: Which olympic game would you recommend to readers?

Navara:´We were all amazed by Naiditsch-Carlsen opening, but then it was just another game. If you don´t have much time and you want to have fun, look at Aronian-Navara game.´

Jun-17-06  notyetagm: <Mameluk> That Navara is a humble fellow. I like him even more after this self-deprecating humor.
Jun-17-06  Shajmaty: <Mameluk: Navara: If you don´t have much time and you want to have fun, look at Aronian-Navara game.> Funny guy!
Jun-17-06  notyetagm: <Shajmaty> How much more humble can you be?
Jun-30-06  Mameluk: T Nalbandian vs Navara, 2005

Navara gives analysis of this game on Czech website, and reminds this Nalbandian-Navara game from his terrible last year Euro championship performance, where he failed in the same opening. He also says he saw Nf7, but not 14. e4! And that was the reason, why he responded Qd7 in a few seconds, otherwise he surely would have found Qc8.

Jun-30-06  Shajmaty: <Mameluk: Navara [...] says he saw Nf7, but not 14. e4! And that was the reason, why he responded Qd7 in a few seconds, otherwise he surely would have found Qc8.> Nice piece of info, <Mameluk>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Navara gives analysis of this game on Czech website, and reminds this Nalbandian-Navara game from his terrible last year Euro championship performance, where he failed in the same opening. He also says he saw Nf7, but not 14. e4! And that was the reason, why he responded Qd7 in a few seconds, otherwise he surely would have found Qc8.> I was not aware of David's game with Nalbandian. That explains much of what happened in this game, especially Davidek's quick response after white's 11th move. 11.Nf7 was not shocking surprize for David as he saw this possibility already during the game with Nalbandian played last year (I was very surprised that he could have missed such a "zwischenzug" trick and it is clear now that in fact he did not miss it at all) but he did not calculate its follow-up over the board accurately then, did not check his calculation with comp (that would have shown him devasting impact of 14.e4 in that line immediately) later and finally hastily followed his (in this time unfortunately) excellent memory right to the disaster. Well, David Navara and a little bit careless hastiness in the opening sounds to me like much more probable combination than David Navara and complete tactical collaps caused by panic after unexpected move of opponent. But still I would like to know, if Aronian played 11.Nf7 as a momental idea over the board or as a prepared continuation based on knowledge of Nalbandian-Navara game. In both cases he was quite lucky that David played 11...Qd7 instead of 11...Qc8.
Nov-08-06  extremepleasure: In my opinion Navara couldn't find the best defense against Nf7 because he was overestimating his opponent's strength and at the moment he saw the move he was sure that he fell into a home preparation of Aronian. If he played against a lesser player he would have certainly worked out the best possible variations and could have easily beaten his opponent from this position no matter even if his opponent made exactly the same moves with Aronian.

With respect to Aronian's move--Nf7-- all I can say is that this is a typical coffee house move which all of the strong coffee house players might make instinctively and almost instantly in this same position.

The reason of why Navara couldn't make the best moves after Nf7 is purely psychological. Players should avoid overestimating their opponents and should rely on their own skills in chess. IMO that was the secret behind Reshevsky's achievements in chess. He had a complete trust to his skills in chess and didn't lose heart even in very very difficult positions (he was a much better player while defending difficult positions) and he resolutely tried to find the best defense even in the most difficult positions.

May-11-07  notyetagm: 11 ♘f7!!, wow.
May-11-07  Davolni: 11 Nf7 was it a novelty?? Nobody had ever played that?
May-11-07  slomarko: I've played it in a couple of blitz games in 2005, Aronian merely copied my idea.
May-11-07  Davolni: <slomarko> Yeah, definitely Aronian copied 11Nf7 from you. I wonder how much did you charge him for releasing the "magic move"?
May-11-07  slomarko: <Davolni> nothing i've just asked him to intruduce me to Caoli.
Apr-08-11  ycpl: Why did white play 9. Ne5? After 9... Bxe5 dxe5, what has he got except doubled pawns?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <ycpl: Why did white play 9.Ne5? After 9...Bxe5 10.dxe5, what has he got except doubled pawns?>

click for larger view

Not much. Which is why White would play 10.Nxe4 instead, and Black loses at least a pawn:

10...Bxe4 11.Bxe4 fxe4 12.Qxe4 (attacking the ♖a8) and 13.dxe5

10...fxe4 11.dxe5 d5 12.exd6 followed by 13.Bxe4

10...Bxd4? 11.Nd6+ and 12.Bxb7, winning the exchange.

Nov-26-11  falso contacto: Guess Aronian is just challenging the opposition from time to time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: When I hear someone say "Never say never":

You just said it twice in the same sentence. >:( :p

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Good and worthy pun.
Sep-08-15  newzild: Unfortunately for the punner, Aronian has beaten Navara three times since this game was played.
Sep-08-15  RookFile: James Bond could not have played a better game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mate follows next move...
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Great game! Could be a game of the week.
Sep-08-15 <kevin86: Mate follows next move...>

I don't see an immediate mate after 25...Kd6, but at minimum white wins queen for rook on 26.Rxd4. Is there an immediate mate I'm missing?

Sep-08-15  The Kings Domain: Quite an exciting game; the daring and sacrifices displayed are reminiscent of the 19th-Century.
Jan-02-19  SpiritedReposte: <11. Nf7!>
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