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Robert Durkin vs Sonja Graf-Stevenson
corr (1955), ?
Sodium Attack: General (A00)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-29-08  neverfallen: How is he able to win despite disobeying opening theory? (and Is he a Grand Master?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Basically, white just gives black the first move advantage in development and then outplays her. The opening looks like a reasonable way to take someone out of the book. The position after 4. d3 looks fairly even, but I can't see the point of 4...a6 unless black still wanted to defend against the Ruy Lopez that wasn't coming. I suspect white wins because he was a much better player and was just having fun.
Sep-30-08  neverfallen: So I shouldnt take this opening seriously (It seems pretty powerful to me although it disobeys modern school chess)?
Sep-30-08  Resignation Trap: 1.Na3 is either called the Durkin Attack (after the player of the White pieces here), or the Sodium Attack (Na is the symbol for Sodium). Durkin frequently started his games with 1.Na3, with mixed results. However, if you were to check our database, you may be led to believe that it's White's best first move! See: .

One possible improvement for Mrs. Stevenson would be to turn the game into a type of reversed King's Gambit with 3...f5!?, trying to exploit White's oddly placed knight on c4.

Jun-03-10  soach: Robert Durkin was a master (National?).

Black is generally ahead in this game until move 17. She could have played a better move at 9 or 10 by 9 ... Nxe4 10 dxe4 Bxh4 giving her a pawn advantage. Her move 10 ... Ng4 ends this possible attack. She did not play a strong game after this and slowly gives up her advantage.

But she does hold a small advantage until move 17 where she gives it up with 17 ... Nd8. She would have have a better move 17 ... Qd6 which would have resulted in keeping her advantage.

At move 20 she blunders and gives Durkin the winning advantage with 20 ... Re8. A better move would be 20 ... Qd6 where she is still behind white but not critically wounded.

Jun-03-10  soach: The Sodium attack has been used several times recently by Carlsen Magnus and Topalov Veselin. In fact, Veselin played it against Magnus in Nanjing, October 5, 2009 which led to a draw.
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