15th Championship in Czech Dama — Open Championship of the Czech and Slovak Republic 2012 was held in Prague November 24-25, 2012. This year´s championship was a special one. It was open to all players including foreigners for the first time in its history. The efforts were made by organizers, the Czech Federation of Draughts, due to the fact that Slovak players showed interest and their activities in both in live and internet competitions have risen significantly.
Total of 25 players from 4 countries took part in competitions, preliminary heat on Saturday November 24 and finals A and B on Sunday of November 25. Most of them played in our championship for the first time. But they demonstrated excellent level and 3 of them, Slovak Jan Chvala, Jaroslav Dvorak from Most and Pavel Korecky from Pribram, were close to finals A even if only Chvala made it finally. Dvorak failed in play-out with experienced Michajlo Bolban, former champion of the year 2005, and Korecky gave up play-out as he was not able to come on Sunday.
Preliminary heat started the usual way for the most of favourized contestants. +2 result usually ensured finals «A» before. Michajlo Bolban andVaclav Kristaachieved it just in two rounds. The latter added 2 more victories and finished up first. Bolban lost to Kareta in the 6th round which sent him, after drawing talented Jaroslav Dvorak in the 7th round, to play-out right against Dvorak. Dvorak and Jaroslav Tichy got +2 as in the 3rd round but the former lost to Krista in the 4th round. Surprising draws of Pavel Truhlar against steadily improving Petr Zvardon and well playing Martin Vondra in the first two round prevented him from reaching +2 before the 4th round. Another expected front-runner Filip Kareta started in the same pace drawing tougher opponents Vaclav Marek and Jaroslav Tichy. Other finalists, Robert Töpfer and Jan Chvala could have imagined a better start. Töpfer lost to another novice of the championship Petr Misik from Karvina in the 1st round and Chvala had to give up to Tichy in the 3rd round.
Thus, it was clear after 7 rounds, that final two places must be contested in play-outs. Both match between Bolban vs. Dvorak and Marek vs. Vondra were won by the older and more practised Bolban and Marek.
Finals A started a bit later than scheduled because Bolban had to resign at the very last moment due to health problems and Vondra got a chance play in the 2nd finals A of his life. Kareta and Krista were leading with 4 points after two rounds, followed by Truhlar with 3 points. Then Krista got into dispute with referee because of incorrect pairing, lost concentration and also a crucial game against Truhlar whom he was supposed to meet in the 6th round and not the 3rd one. After another loss in the 4th round against Tichy, his first loss ever to this opponent, he was out of race for defending the title from previous year. He recorded his worst result in the championships. Another important game was played in the 4th round when Kareta faced Truhlar. Truhlar won in a convincing way and made a decisive step to winning his 3rd title. As he scored 100 per cent points in the last 4 rounds, nobody could catch him. Unbeaten Tichy ended up the third as in the last year. He is a very stabile player but, if he wants to get higher, he must take more risk. 4th place of Slovak representative Chvala was most probably beyond anybodies´ expectations. He lost only one game to Kareta and stole a point from the champion. If he improves endings and concentration, he may become a serious candidate to the title in future.
Finals B were a big show of Dvorak who won all games except the one against the 2nd Slovak representative Peter Voznicky. Voznicky improved his game a lot and finished third while not losing a single game. Second place was taken by handicapped Roman Zak from Zlin.
Winners -Pavel Truhlář, Filip Kareta, Jaroslav Tichý
Results can be seen on http://www.damweb.cz/2012/MRCD2012results.html
and photos on http://damweb.rajce.idnes.cz/Mistrovstvi_CR_a_SR_2012/ .
Vaclav Krista, 30. 11. 2012