Shock and Awe 3 - Taming the Taimanov GM Danny Gormally

02 January 2017

Tagged: Opening Theory, Gorm

The Taimanov defence is one of the most solid variations of the Sicilian. The flexibility and soundness of this opening is perhaps it’s key attraction. In many lines Black will develop quickly on the queenside with …b5 followed by …Bb7, put his queen on c7 and the rook will go to c8. Having the pawn on e6 rather than d6 often makes it much more difficult for White to break down the Black position with a convential pawn storm.

That’s why in this Shock and Awe series I’m going to be recommending a system where White quickly develops his queen to f3. White simply disregards systems involving a pawn storm and goes for speedy development of his queenside instead. This line is easy to remember and as it’s quite a new system there’s not a huge amount of theory around it. It’s a line that’s been adopted by players like Caruana, Karjakin and Shirov with real success.

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Is chess becoming an increasingly elite game? GM Danny Gormally

21 December 2016

Tagged: Gorm, Opinion

Unfortunately I was unable to play in the London Chess Classic this year. That’s because even though the grandmasters were offered £1250 to play in the FIDE open, you don’t get this money until after the event.

The way the fee structure is set up is that the £1250 is there as a guarantee against your prize. So therefore if you end up winning say £800 in the FIDE open, you don’t win anymore than the £1250 in any case. And as I didn’t have the money to afford to pay for a hotel in london for ten days, I had to withdraw.

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WHY CARLSEN’S LAID-BACK ATTITUDE NEARLY COST HIM THE WORLD CROWN GM Danny Gormally

08 December 2016

Tagged: Gorm, Opinion

In life your personality can be both a strength and a weakness. This was certainly the case with Magnus Carlsen, who’s rather laid-back attitude to defending his title nearly cost him.

No doubt the playing strength of his opponent, Sergey Karjakin, took him by surprise, as it did so many others including this commentator. Karjakin, through months of sheer hard work, raised his play to a level we have not seen from him before and subsequently was able to match Carlsen accurate move for accurate move.

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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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