beating GM Danny Gormally

November 9, 2005

On Saturday, I took part in a rapidplay chess tournament in the wonderful ‘old world’ Kings’ Hall at Newcastle University. The tournament has been a happy hunting ground for me, and Saturday was no exception.

My final round opponent was Grandmaster Danny Gormally, one of England’s best players… he was joint leader of the tournament, and no doubt expected an easy passage to 1st prize in the final game. I was late getting to the game, and more than a little surprised to find myself paired against him.

My chances should have been between zero and very low, but nonetheless, I felt reasonably relaxed. I’m a believer that psychology plays a significant role in chess (and in other sports), and that a player is often beaten by a ‘stronger’ opponent before the game even starts: they expect to lose, their body language is poor, and they doubt and double check their every move. For the most part I rose above that for this game, playing confidently and quickly (perhaps buoyed by the fact that our two previous meetings had resulted in a win apiece, albeit that my victory was only a 10 minute game some years ago).

To the game itself: I played the opening fairly weakly, and suspected that I might end up in trouble on the dark squares around my king; I acquired the bishop pair though, and was feeling happy that my position was active and the game double edged. My first and only considerable thought in the game was on move 19, weakening my f7 square but activating a rook in the centre and concealing a tactical shot. Danny also thought long about his reply, but nonetheless failed to spot the tactical threat… his seemingly logical reply, costing him a piece and the game. I uncorked my response immediately, and got up to punch the air and gather some friends, returning to the board in time to accept Danny’s resignation. My first win against a grandmaster in serious tournament play:

Daniel Gormally (245) – Roger Coathup (180), Kings’ Rapidplay, 5th November, 2005
1 e4 c5; 2 Nc3 Nc6; 3 Bb5 Nd4; 4 Bc4 e6; 5 Nf3 g6; 6 Nd4 cd; 7 Nb5 Qb6; 8 c3 dc; 9 dc a6; 10 Nd4 Bg7; 11 O-O Ne7; 12 Rb1 O-O; 13 Be3 Qc7; 14 Bb3 Nc6; 15 Rc1 Na5; 16 f4 Nb3; 17 Qb3 d6; 18 f5 ef; 19 ef Re8; 20 Rf3 Re3 0-1

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2 Responses to “beating GM Danny Gormally”

  1. Gary Murphy Says:

    The aim of all chessplayers (unless you are a GM) is to beat a GM. If you beat me, my initials are GM, so you’ve beaten a GM! Seriously, you can play (and maybe beat) FMs, IMs and GMs on the internet (I go on the ICC – handle geemurfi), and it does give you a buzz, as you’ll rarely actually play one of these guys unless you can get to chess tournies. However, hats off to anyone who does beat a GM in a real game! Gary


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