Falling Apart at the 4NCL GM Danny Gormally

30 November 2016

Tagged: Gorm

I’ve been playing in the 4NCL for more or less twenty years now. At the moment I represent Blackthorne Russia, we play in the first division, and I play on board one which ensures I get to test my skills against a number of very strong players.

Surely I should be satisfied with such a scenario? Well, apparently not.

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Shock and Awe 2 - Cracking The Caro-Kann GM Danny Gormally

22 November 2016

Tagged: Opening Theory, Gorm

The Caro-Kann is one of the most difficult openings to beat in chess. It was a favourite of Capablanca, and in more recent times has been used with great success most famously by Karpov, and also by British players like Jon Speelman.

My great rival and friend Keith Arkell has also used this opening in countless number of games - he likes the solidity of Black’s set-up, and believes that the extra e-pawn that Black enjoys is very useful for any endgame. How to crack it? Not easy.

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Carlsen vs Karjakin - Who Will Prevail? GM Danny Gormally

04 November 2016

Tagged: Gorm, Opinion

The World Chess Championships starts in New York in a few days time and already commentators are falling over themselves trying to predict the outcome. Most are forecasting a comfortable win for Magnus and indeed the odds reflect that - generally speaking the bookmakers make Magnus about a 75 percent favourite to win. In an effort to stand out from the crowd I made some comments on Facebook saying I think the match would be closer than many people think - saying that perhaps only Magnus would just edge it.

However to at least manage some research for this article, I decided to check their lifetime score against each other, and it revealed that Magnus leads 18-9 in decisive games, if you include rapid and blitz as well. This rather suggests that Carlsen is a much heavier favourite than I was giving him credit for.

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Shock and Awe 1 - Destroying the Najdorf GM Danny Gormally

28 October 2016

Tagged: Opening Theory, Gorm

No possible opening is safe from “SHOCK AND AWE”. Firstly we’re going to take on the most popular Sicilian of all, the Najdorf. I managed to find a funky way of taking on this opening where there’s very little theory.

Often I’ll speak to a player about a game and they’ll say how they played the c3 Sicilian or the Bb5 check variation, anything to avoid playing one of the main lines. I’ll say fine but why aren’t you taking the Sicilian head-on? What they’re afraid of is spending hours learning all the vast amount of theory associated with the main-line Sicilian.

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Isle of Man - Eljanov wins without a Playoff GM Danny Gormally

20 October 2016

Tagged: Gorm, Opinion

Pavel Eljanov from the Ukraine won the third Isle of Man Masters on tiebreak from Fabiano Caruana, who also had an excellent tournament and moved up in rating to clear world number two behind Mighty Magnus. In fact their scores were tied, but Eljanov had the better tie break which was done on progressive scores.

I am apparently not alone in finding this antiquated rule completely ridiculous. Even the mild-mannered Harry Potter lookalike Caruana expressed irritation that he wasn’t given a chance to win the tournament in a tie break. It’s time these ridiculous tie-break rules were scrapped. It’s another way that chess needs to get up to date.

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How to Analyse GM Danny Gormally

01 October 2016

Tagged: Gorm, Middlegame

What is more important, getting results or having the right approach? Even if your results are good in the short term, there is a danger that eventually your luck will run out if you don’t have the right approach.

I realized that last year, that when I was up against strong players. You can’t get away with the sort of stuff that you can against players of a lower level, you quickly get found out. They analyse better. They see through your tricks. Basically I understood that I wasn’t calculating well enough, so I had to go back to the drawing board, I got the dusty old chess set out of the cupboard and trained myself to calculate again. I’d set up a sharp middlegame position from a game I’d find online or something like that, and try to work my way through the complications.

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