The Ginger GM Blog

How to Cut Out Mistakes GM Danny Gormally

18 April 2017

Tagged: Gorm

“The unexamined life is not worth living”

is a typically profound quote from Socrates. And exactly the same logic can be applied to chess. Quite simply you must analyse your own games if you want to improve. Only that way will you be able to identify where you have been going wrong, what mistakes you have been making and what to do about them.

READ MORE [How to Cut Out Mistakes] »

Shock and Awe - Pulverising the Philidor with g4! GM Danny Gormally

22 March 2017

Tagged: Opening Theory, Gorm

The Philidor defence is one of Black’s most solid defences to 1.e4. He aims to hunker down with as flexible position as possible and expand later. Recently this defence was given a boost by the “Black Lion” (I thought this might be something from one of David Attenboroughs programmes), a rather scary sub-variation that has been extolled by no less than the Ginger GM himself.

However, I wish to circumvent Black’s usual way of playing by recommending a system involving an early g4. This system is risky but it does have the benefit of immediately giving Black huge problems to solve. The whole idea of playing g4 in the Philidor I believe was first popularised by the ever inventive Latvian Alexey Shirov, who also created a similar idea against the Semi-Slav.

READ MORE [Shock and Awe - Pulverising the Philidor with g4!] »

How to Attack in the Opening with Boris Spassky GM Danny Gormally

07 March 2017

Tagged: Gorm

As we are on the eve of another world chess championship match, it seems like a pertinent time to talk about the oldest former world champion still alive, Boris Spassky, who was born in 1937. The reason I find Spassky interesting is because he’s the only world champion I’ve ever played. Before I played him I thought “yes, great player but nothing really more than that”.

Editors note: Danny sent us this article a long time ago, it’s my fault it wasn’t published earlier!

Spassky was always considered perhaps the first great “universal player”. During our analysis I got the distinct impression that his instincts lay in the area of attacking the opponents king, so really to be considered such an all-round talent was a great compliment.

In this article I want to look at some of the earliest games of Spassky, and try and explain how he was able to use these attacking skills at an early stage in the game.

READ MORE [How to Attack in the Opening with Boris Spassky] »

Psycho-Analysing Eric GM Danny Gormally

17 February 2017

Tagged: Gorm

I got a good response to my request for chess players to send me their games to try and look at some of their more obvious mistakes, and try to analyse the reasons for those mistakes.

A guy called Gerben sent me a game on Twitter, and (GM!) Bogdan Lalic also sent a selection of his games. I’ll look at their games later. But in this article I’m going to be looking at the games of Eric Gittrich. Eric is a 1500 plus rated player from the US and is very honest about some of his losses, coming out with comments like “I folded like a cheap suit”, and “I knew I was better but was intimidated by his rating”.

READ MORE [Psycho-Analysing Eric] »

Shock and Awe 4 - Flattening the French GM Danny Gormally

01 February 2017

Tagged: Opening Theory, Gorm

I must admit out of all the openings I chose to do a shock and awe article against, the one I had most trouble with was the French. It seemed so solid that the only serious way to take it on was by choosing one of the main lines with 3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3.

The problem is for this series I only want to cover openings that haven’t been analysed to death, and there’s a SERIOUS amount of analysis that comes with either of those choices. I thought about a system involving an early 1.b3, but somehow combining 1.e4 with b3 has never made a lot of sense to me.

So, to cut a long story short, I finally settled on a system which might not be completely sound, but seems a lot of fun and at a lower level at least, is bound to score a lot of easy victories.

Please let us know what you think of our new PGN viewer in the comments.

READ MORE [Shock and Awe 4 - Flattening the French] »

Hastings and Harrogate - My Chess Hell GM Danny Gormally

18 January 2017

Tagged: Gorm, Opinion

Remember when you were young, you shined like the sun? Shine on, you crazy diamond!

It seems to me that when I was younger, the whole experience of playing chess was a completely different one to what it is now. Chess was fun! I used to checkmate my opponents with the four move checkmate, I enjoyed finding combinations as I worked my way up the ladder. And now? Now for me chess has become a complete misery. Just woe piled on woe piled on woe. Woe is me, and woe is chess, and chess is me. Woe, woe, woe.

No greater example of this can be provided that the horrible two weeks I just completed which started with the misery of playing one junior after another in dreary hastings, and was completed in Harrogate, where my hopes of capitalising on my 300 rating points edge on the rest of the field were cruelly dashed.

READ MORE [Hastings and Harrogate - My Chess Hell] »

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.

READ MORE [Shock and Awe 3 - Taming the Taimanov] »

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.

READ MORE [Is chess becoming an increasingly elite game?] »


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.


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.

READ MORE [Falling Apart at the 4NCL] »