GM John Nunn Sweeps 2022 British Senior 65+

British GM John Nunn

decided to play some Chess and entered the 65+ section of the 2022 British Senior tournament. He was head and shoulders above the other players as he was rated over three hundred points above his closest competitor. GM Nunn easily won the event when scoring a perfect seven out of seven.

Ian G Matthew 1816 vs Roger D De Coverly 1918
2022 British Senior 65+
C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. f4 Bc5 5. Nc3 d6 6. f5 Nd4 7. Na4 b5 8. Nxc5 dxc5 9. Bb3 c4 10. c3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Qxd3 0-1

As regular readers know the AW was overly fond of playing the Bishop’s Opening ‘back in the day’, especially during the swashbuckling Stein Club daze ( ‘Back in the day’ it was de rigueur to play 3…Nc6, but Stockfish informs us that the best move is 3…c6. There is no doubt in my mind that I had the position on the board after 4 f4 at some time in the 1970s. Nevertheless, it is not a good move, as it violates opening principles by moving a pawn rather than developing a piece when behind in development. 4 Nf3 is the best move, according to Stockfish. In reply De Coverly made a developing move, when the oracle says taking the pawn with 4…exf4 is best. Mr. Matthew decided to develop his knight, but developed the wrong knight, as 5 Nf3 would have been a better choice. The next move, 5…d6 has been the overwhelming choice of human players, having been played six and a half times more often than the second choice of 5…exf4. Next comes the reason this game was chosen.

Position after 5 Nc3 with Black to move

It was astounding to learn Stockfish will play 5…h5! contains three games in which the move 5…h5 has been played, only one of which contains the best following move, at least according to the Fish:

Vladimir Damjanovic (2440) vs Levente Vajda (2370)
Event: Bucharest
Site: Bucharest Date: ??/??/1996
Round: ?
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.f4 h5 6.h3 d6 7.Nf3 exf4 8.Bxf4 Nd4 9.Nxd4 Bxd4 10.Qd2 Be6 11.O-O-O Qd7 12.Be3 Bb6 13.Rhf1 O-O-O 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.Bb3 Bxb3 16.axb3 Rh6 17.Rf5 Ng8 18.Rdf1 f6 19.Nd5 Ne7 20.Nxe7+ Qxe7 21.h4 Rdh8 22.Qe2 Rg6 23.Rg1 Rg4 24.g3 Qd7 25.Rf4 Rg6 26.Rg2 Qe6 27.Rf5 Rg4 28.Qf3 Rh6 29.Kb1 Kb8 30.b4 Rh8 31.b5 Kc8 32.b3 Qf7 33.e5 dxe5 34.Rxe5 Rf8 35.Rd5 Kb8 36.Re2 g6 37.Kb2 Rxg3 38.Qxg3 Qxd5 39.Re7 Qd4+ 40.Kb1 Qc5 41.Rd7 g5 42.d4 gxh4 43.Qg7 Qa3 44.Re7 Rd8 45.Qxf6 Rg8 46.Qxh4 Qb4 47.Qe1 Qxb5 48.Re5 Qd7 49.Rxh5 Qxd4 50.Rh1 b5 51.Rh4 Qb6 52.Kb2 Ka7 53.Qa1+ Kb8 54.Qe1 Qf6+ 55.Kb1 c5 56.Re4 b4 57.Re6 Qd4 58.Qe5+ Qxe5 59.Rxe5 Rc8 60.c3 bxc3 61.Kc2 Ka7 62.Kxc3 Ka6 63.b4 Kb5 64.Kb3 b6 65.bxc5 bxc5 66.Re3 Rh8 67.Rg3 Rh4 68.Rf3 Kc6 69.Rf8 Rd4 70.Kc3 ½-½

The next game is given because everyone loves an upset, unless you are the one being upset!

Andrew Peredun vs Duong Thanh Nha (2332)
Event: Financial Concept op 6th
Site: North Bay Date: 08/06/1999
Round: 5 Score: 1-0
ECO: C28 Vienna game
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.f4 h5 6.Nf3 Ng4 7.Ng5 Nf2 8.Qf3 Nxh1 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.Qxe3 exf4 11.Bxf7+ Kf8 12.Qxf4 Qf6 13.Nd5 Qxf4 14.Nxf4 Ne5 15.Bb3 Rh6 16.Ke2 c6 17.Rxh1 Ke7 18.Rf1 b5 19.h4 d6 20.d4 Bg4+ 21.Kd2 Nc4+ 22.Bxc4 bxc4 23.e5 d5 24.Kc3 Rf8 25.g3 Kd7 26.Re1 Kc7 27.b4 cxb3 28.axb3 Bf5 29.Ra1 Kb6 30.b4 a6 31.Kb3 Rhh8 32.c4 dxc4+ 33.Kxc4 Ra8 34.Ra5 g6 35.Rc5 Rhc8 36.Nf7 Be4 37.Nd6 Bd5+ 38.Nxd5+ cxd5+ 39.Kxd5 Rd8 40.Rc6+ Ka7 41.Rc7+ 1-0

The next game is given because gives three games, and everyone likes short games, even short people:

Patrick Priser (1940) vs Gilles Lemoine (2154)
Event: Fouesnant op 10th
Site: Fouesnant Date: 10/28/2004
Round: 7 Score: 0-1
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.f4 h5 6.Na4 Bxg1 7.Rxg1 Ng4 8.g3 b5 9.Bxb5 Nd4 10.h3 Nh2 11.Rg2 Nhf3+ 12.Kf2 Nh4 13.Bc4 Nxg2 14.Kxg2 d6 15.f5 Bb7 16.c3 d5 17.Nc5 Bc6 18.Bxd5 Bxd5 19.cxd4 exd4 20.exd5 Qxd5+ 0-1

Back to the game… After 5…d6 was played white responded with 6 f5, which looks very much like the kinda move your writer would have played ‘back in the day’. Stockfish will play 6 Nf3. After 6 f5 was played on the board De Coverly replied 6…Nd4. Stockfish would have played 6…h6. This brings us to this position:

Position after 8…Nd4

In response to 6…Nd4 Ian G Matthew played 7 Na4. What opening principle does this move violate, class? How many opening principles have been violated after only seven moves have been played? The word “plethora” comes to mind… The move is so bad Stockfish considers Mr. Matthew to have a lost game…after only SEVEN MOVES HAVE BEEN PLAYED! Surely Mr. Matthew considered the move played in the game, possibly figuring he had an antidote. Good thing he had not been bitten by a viper while thinking he had an antidote! Ian Matthew played the correct 8th move after his opponent had forked his knight and bishop when playing 8 Nxc5. Now this is the position and it is black to move:

Black to move after 8 Nxc5

8…dxc5 (WRONG CHOICE!) 9 Bb3 c4 (and Ian G Matthew has found himself back in the game…until, that is, his next move…) 10 c3 (Stockfish displays this in RED, while attaching not one, but two question marks while showing, also in RED, “Blunder. dxc4 was best.” Who am I to argue?) The game ended after 10…Nxb3 11. axb3 Qxd3 0-1 (I love what is given after the last move was made: “Inaccuracy. cxd3 was best.” It mattered not because Mr. Matthew threw in the towel, having seen enough to know the remainder of the game would bring nothing but much misery prior to DEATH, metaphorically speaking, that is…

Just for the hellofit I decided to let Stockfish produce the moves that could have been played to show how difficult is is to win a “won game,” something this player had trouble doing on a regular basis. But hey, I “won” many an opening! What follows emanates from the fertile algorithms of the Stockfish program at

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. f4 Bc5 5. Nc3 d6 6. f5 Nd4 7. Na4 b5 8. Nxc5 dxc5 9. Bb3 c4 10. c3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Qxd3 12. Qxd3 cxd3 13. Nf3 Nxe4 14. Nxe5 Bb7 15. b4 Bd5 16. Bf4 O-O-O 17. O-O d2 18. Nf3 Bc4 19. Nxd2 Nxd2 20. Rfe1 Kb8 21. Re7 Nb3 22. Bxc7+ Ka8 23. Rxa7+ Kxa7 24. Bxd8+ Ka6 25. Bc7 g6 26. fxg6 hxg6 27. h4 Nc1 28. g3 Rg8 29. Kf2 Nd3+ 30. Kf3 Kb7 31. Kg4 Be6+ 32. Kg5 Kc6 33. g4 Nxb2 34. Be5 Nc4 35. Bd4 Nd6 36. Ra7 Kd5 37. Kf4 Re8 38. Bf6 g5+ 39. hxg5 Bc8 40. Be7 Ne4 41. Rc7 Be6 42. Bf6 Rc8 43. Rxc8 Bxc8 44. Bh8 Bd7 45. Bd4 Bc6 46. Kf5 Be8 47. Kf4 Bd7 48. Bh8 Nf2 49. Ke3 Nxg4+ I ended the madness here for what should be obvious reasons…

The following game was contested by two giants of the Chess. Jacques Mieses

was a German-born British chess player. He was one of the inaugural recipients of the title International Grandmaster from FIDE in 1950. ( › wiki › Jacques_Mieses). George Alan Thomas

was better known as a badminton player, ( and was no doubt wishing during this game that he were on the court with a racket in his hand in lieu of sitting at the board moving the pieces around…

Jacques Mieses vs George Alan Thomas
Event: Baden-Baden
Site: Baden-Baden Date: ??/??/1925
Round: ?
ECO: C25 Vienna game
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 d6 5.f4 Nc6 6.f5 Nd4 7.Na4 b5 8.Nxc5 dxc5 9.Bb3 c4 10.dxc4 Nxb3 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.axb3 bxc4 13.Nf3 Nxe4 14.Nxe5 Re8 15.Bf4 Bxf5 16.O-O cxb3 17.cxb3 f6 18.Nc6+ Kd7 19.Nxa7 Be6 20.b4 Reb8 21.Rfd1+ Nd6 22.Bxd6 cxd6 23.Ra6 d5 24.Re1 Bg8 25.Nc6 Re8 26.Rxe8 Rxe8 27.Nd4 Rc8 28.Ra7+ Rc7 29.Rxc7+ Kxc7 30.Kf2 Bf7 31.Ke3 g6 32.Nb5+ Kc6 33.Nc3 Kd6 34.Kd4 f5 35.b5 Be8 36.b6 Bf7 37.Nb5+ 1-0

Nguyen Hoang Hiep vs Vo Khac Ninh
Event: VIE-ch U13
Site: Ho Chi Minh Date: 07/23/2001
Round: 7 Score: 0-1
ECO: C26 Vienna game
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.f4 Nc6 6.f5 Nd4 7.Na4 b5 8.Nxc5 dxc5 9.Bb3 c4 10.dxc4 Nxe4 11.Nf3 Nxf3+ 12.Qxf3 Qh4+ 13.Kf1 Bb7 14.Kg1 O-O-O 15.Be3 bxc4 16.Ba4 Rd6 17.h3 Rhd8 18.Kh2 Nc3 19.Qf1 Rd1 20.Rxd1 Rxd1 21.Qf2 Qxf2 22.Bxf2 Rd2 23.Kg3 Ne4+ 0-1

Who woulda ever thunk anyone could turn an eleven move game into such a long post? That is only one reason why it has been said that ‘Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe’.

Frontispiece of A Book of Chessmen by Alex Hammond (London, 1950)

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