[Event "Chessable English Seniors Championships"] [Site "Holiday Inn Kenilworth"] [Date "2022.05.04"] [Round "1.8"] [White "Stokes, Michael"] [Black "Norman, Dinah M"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "2030"] [BlackElo "1691"] [Annotator "MJDonnelly"] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2022.05.04"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceVersionDate "2008.05.10"] {[%evp 0,35,20,25,59,57,74,73,73,73,63,63,82,48,42,42,55,37,55,65,74,118,118, 113,262,252,275,275,233,231,245,140,424,421,507,554,1432,1391]} 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 {The Centre Counter (also known as the Scandinavian Defence) long held to be marginally dubious continues to be played at all levels. The opening has remainded very popular at club levels but has also seen even the likes of World-class GMs such as Carlsen, Mamedyarov and Grischuk utilising this opening often.} 3. Nc3 Qa5 {the older line favoured by the last two top GMs mentioned in the previous note. Instead} (3... Qd6 {the newer line is favoured by Carlsen.}) (3... Qd8 {was the way the Centre Counter was played over 100 years ago. One old game went} 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bc4 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Qe2 Nbd7 9. Re1 Nb6 10. Bb3 {with some advantage for White although Black remains solid if somewhat passive as in Alekhine-Sclechter, Karlsbad 1911. Interestingly GMs Carlsen, Duda and Namamura have all tried the queen retreat to d8 in more recent games.}) 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O { Black appears to have an easy game having developed the often problematic queen's bishop. However, the position holds many subtelties in that, for example, the queen is actually exposed on a5 to ideas such as Bd2 and Nb5 or d5.} c6 8. Re1 Be7 9. Ne5 (9. Bd2 {here was not effective in the game Duda-Kramnik, Levitov Blitz match 2020 as after} Qd8 10. Nh4 Bg4 { Black obtained a good game and went on to win.}) 9... Qd8 $2 {Whilst a typical idea in this opening here the queen retreat is not yet forced and after White's next Black is already in real trouble. Continuing to develop with} ( 9... Nbd7 {gives Black an acceptable game.}) 10. g4 {Good play-White advances pawns in front of his own king as Black is quite unable to take advantage of the open king's position.} Bg6 11. h4 Nd5 (11... h5 {was of no use either as following} 12. g5 Nd5 13. Nxg6 fxg6 14. Rxe6 {White was easily winning as in Spassky-Sandberg, San Francisco Simul 2006 which concluded} Qd7 15. Qe2 Nc7 16. Rxg6 Qxd4 17. Be3 Qg4+ 18. Qxg4 hxg4 19. Re1 {1:0.}) 12. h5 f6 13. hxg6 fxe5 14. Rxe5 hxg6 15. Nxd5 {A somewhat surprising idea after which Black collapses and loses quickly. White could have played more prosaically in exploiting Black's weak pawns with either} (15. Rxe6 {or}) (15. Qd3) 15... exd5 (15... cxd5 {gives some hope but the lines are not too attractive for Black. For example} 16. Bb5+ (16. Bd3 {is less clear since} Nc6 17. Rxe6 Qc7 ({Not} 17... Nxd4 18. Bxg6+ Kd7 19. Qxd4 Kxe6 20. Bf4 $18) 18. Bxg6+ Kd7 {gives some play for the two pawns lost.}) 16... Nc6 17. Rxe6 Qc7 18. Qf3 Qh2+ 19. Kf1 Rf8 20. Bxc6+ bxc6 21. Qg2 {and White is just a clear pawn up with Black's attack going nowhere and the serious pawn weakness are still present.}) 16. Bg5 dxc4 { Black now actually wins material but the centrally placed king is too vulnerable to survive long.} 17. Qe2 Qxd4 (17... O-O {escapes from the centre but not mate after} 18. Bxe7 Qc7 19. Bxf8 Kxf8 20. Re8+ Kf7 21. Qe6#) 18. Rxe7+ (18. Rxe7+ {wins outright following either king move:} Kd8 (18... Kf8 19. Re8+ Kf7 20. Qe6#) 19. Rd1) 1-0