Ginger GM

Smashing with the Scotch GM Danny Gormally

04 July 2016 | 0 Comments

Danny’s back with the first in a series of cutting-edge theoretical articles: a fresh idea for 1.e4 players. And he’s angry too!

Before starting this weeks article, which is about how to hammer Black’s feeble response to 1.e4, i.e. 1…e5, I want to get a few things off my chest.

We're in safe hands.

The first thing is about Brexit. Actually I didn’t vote, but wish I had now. Personally I think it’s a bit of a joke that we voted out of Europe. Don’t get me wrong, clearly there are a lot of things that can improve about the EU. It’s hardly a perfect system. But distancing ourselves from our European cousins feels like a retrograde step that may well do more harm than good.

We’ve already lost our cherished triple AAA rating that will discourage investors. The pound is slipping. I just get the impression that most of those voted for the exit voted more with their hearts than with the heads. Yes I know we have currently one of the stronger economies in the world so we may not need the support of others. The fact is though that a big reason we hold that position is because of the easy movement of people through our borders, who have helped to build our economy, the VERY people that now we apparently want to get rid of. We might claim differently, that this is not what the vote is all about, but what impression does it give to someone wanting to relocate in this country? They are going to choose somewhere else, because we have given out the view that we don’t want your type here.

The kind of people who voted for Brexit are the kind of people who are stuck with this image of a sepia tinted 1950s Britain, a land that never had it so good, but the world has moved on, we live in increasingly globalised times and you cannot afford to isolate yourselves.

Safe hands? Photo:

Now along similar lines, lets talk about the England football team. ENGLAND ARE DIRE. What a dismal performance that was against Iceland. There are many things you can pick out. For one, the helter skelter premier league, the frenectically paced nature of those matches does not lend itself to developing the more subtle, intricate play that is needed to breakdown more intelligent international defences.

We don’t have any players with any great skill. They are excellent at breaking at pace, at pressing the ball and all that stuff. But get 11 men behind the ball and just defend and we look completely clueless. There’s no sense that we know what to do to create any space. Raheem Sterling is one of the few who has the ability to stretch defences, but he seemingly lacks the skill at this level to match his ambition. He gives away the ball far too much which works at Premier league level when you get it back straight away, but it didn’t work in the Euros.

I also think we play far too many games. England looked lethargic,mentally drained. Spain also, who have an equally competitive league, looked tired and wholly redundant of ideas. Yes you could blame the manager and clearly he was promoted beyond his mediocre standing. But compare the situation to chess. Imagine if I was in a team with Arkell, Hebden and Williams, facing a team of Carlsen, Aronian, Caruana and Kramnik. If we lose do we turn around and blame Brian Smith or Steve Ledger, or whoever our team manager is? No of course we bloody don’t, because we aren’t good enough. I know the situation is different in football to chess, the manager has more input and all that, but ultimately it comes down to the players, and the England footballers just aren’t that good.

Now I’ve got that all off my chest, lets move onto the chess. I was coaching this kid the other day and he asked me if I had a system to play against 1.e4 e5. That got me thinking. The problem now is if you go into the mainline Ruy, not only do you have to know what to do against the old mainline and any sidelines that Black might play (many of which are very reasonable) you also have to know how to bust the Berlin, which looks almost unbreakable. Not to mention the positions you get in the main line of the Berlin are very boring.

So to that end I tried to think of a system where you didn’t have to learn that much theory, where it’s not all analysed to death. That’s going to be the idea of these articles, to provide a series of systems that the reader can use which are tricky for the defender and also don’t require a lot of work. Anyway that’s enough preamble, lets get on with it.

In conclusion, the lines with Qe2 are very interesting and will surely gain more practical tests. Perhaps they are not better than the main line Scotch for White, but the chances are your opponent will not be ready for it, so if you prepare well you have a good chance of advantage.

About the Author GM Danny Gormally

    GM Danny Gormally

Danny Gormally is a talented English Grandmaster. He lives in the bustling market town of Alnwick, somewhere near Scotland.

Danny’s first DVD for Ginger GM, Improve Your Practical Play was released in September 2013. His new book “A Year Inside the Chess World” is available now.