About Natalia
Our Team
Chess Links
Play Chess
Pogonina's Chess Shop
Contact Us


 Follow Natalia on Twitter:

Please help Natalia promote chess by making a donation:


Link to

Play chess at ChessOk Biggest Online Chess Games Database

Check for Japanese bitcoin casinos.

Here you can find Swedish sites without license, Spelkonto utan licens.

Find new casinos at the brand new Online Casinos XYZ site with reviews and ratings of the best gambling sites for UK players.

Play the popular King Kong Cash slot machine at Slot Strike, the new slot site for UK players.

Grab the chance to win big with a high RTP on the goonies slot progressive jackpot. - made an easier way to find Skrill casinos lists the best online casinos for Finnish gamblers. For more information visit:  

Sweden is now a regulated market, which means that as a player you can only play at casinos with a license. See all regulated
casinos in Sweden by Mr casinova.

To find the best casino in Norway take look at
norske casino at CasinoPiloten.

Find the best Norwegian casinobonus at

Get exclusive access to a
huge range of free spins & no deposit casino offers with Spin Bonus.

Try the exhilarating new 20p Roulette game.
Play it online at thecasinodb and find casinos to play for real money.

Get the best casino bonus information with Casino Gorilla.

Chess games at Gametop For you that want to find online casino strategies, guides and a good casino bonus!


What's your FIDE rating?

What should Natalia do to make more interesting for you?

Who is your favorite active top player?

Poker or chess: what do you like more?

What's the largest monetary chess prize you ever won?

How much time per day do you spend on chess-related activities?

Do you have a special chess mascot (pen, badge, toy, etc.)?

Which time control do you prefer for over-the-board tournaments?

The strongest women's chess team in the world is

What is the strongest national chess team in the world?

Will Magnus Carlsen's rating reach FIDE 2900?

Do you think you can become a GM?

From Russia with Love

User Rating: / 11
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 21 October 2013
By GM Daniel Gormally, England, FIDE 2504

Bookmark and Share
"From Russia With Love" features a brilliant chess combination

I saw the documentary film "Senna" the other day, and it's just as brilliant as its reputation.

Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian racing driver who died tragically young in 1994 in a terrible formula one accident. Tragic were it not for the fact he packed more into his 30 odd years than most people would do if they were given 100 lifetimes.

What stood out for me in this haunting documentary was Senna's love of the pure experience of combat, without the need for any extras. What restricted and frustrated him was that motor racing didn't always come down to who was the better driver- it was often more about who had the better technology, who had the better car. He wanted badly to prove that he was the best driver, if you stripped away everything else.

Nowadays when you play chess the actual act of playing is just the final part of an overall and draining process.  There's the preparation bit. Spending hours on the computer before the game, painstakingly looking for any weakness in your opponent's armour.

The pure joy I felt when I first discovered chess, the raw excitement of seeing a brilliant combination for the first time when I was just a kid, has long gone. I first fell in love with chess when I saw the film "from Russia in love" when the Sceptre double agent Kronsteen, played an combination that was lifted from a famous Spassky-Bronstein encounter. I was astonished and overjoyed by this in a way I'd never been now. Now sadly, It's a case of "seen it all before".
Spassky - Bronstein, 1960, 15.Nd6!!

View the game

Chess has just become a war of attrition. I suppose life is like that, it's a grind. But every now and then you yearn for that primal sense of combat- that you shrug off the burden of preparation and you just play. Next time you have a game of chess try it- don't prepare at all, don't spend hours and even days worrying about it- just sit down and play. You'll be surprised at how exciting this sense of freedom will feel.

Incidentally, Peter Zhdanov made very similar observations recently about how players have become obsessed about preparation these days to the extent that they forget what they actually got into chess for- to play. He wrote:

"Most of the pros that I have talked to (including GMs rated 2700+) claim they dont spend much time studying chess. Instead, every year they play 80-100 tournament games and do their homework (game analysis; updating their opening trees) while preparing for the next event. If they fail a competition, they shrug and go for another one. This real-life experience is by far more useful than slacking at home and dreaming about potentially showing up at the Tal Memorial and beating everybody. "

Spot on, even if I don't believe the 2700s who claim they don't prepare a lot. That may be bravado- to try and create the impression that they are so gifted that they can just turn up and win without any preparation. Believe me these guys work very very hard. But the argument is valid- to really improve you need to play.

Originally published in GM Danny Gormally's blog

Other posts by GM Danny Gormally:
The England Chess Team & Jack Wilshire
Should the grandmaster title be scrapped?
ECF Book of the Year?
Is being a chess pro worth it - continued?
Is being a chess pro worth it?
An Elitist Game?
Does hard work in chess pay off?
World Cup Final preview
World Chess Cup Semi-Final preview
World Chess Cup Quarter-Final preview
World Chess Cup 1/8-final preview
Why are Russians so good at chess?
British Champs-2013
Ghent and now the British
I'll never be fat again!
Lessons learnt!
The sad case of Borislav Ivanov: Part II
Does Anyone Have a Cure for Anger Problems?
The Depth of Chess
Fundraising in chess
Nurturing a Chess Prodigy
The Sad Case of Borislav Ivanov
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men - Part II
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men
One move, one line - Part II
One move, one line
Candidates Final Review & Preview of Upcoming World Championship Match
Would Carlsen have beaten Capablanca?

Bookmark and Share

Comments (3)
1. Written by 0_x on 08:19 22 2013 .
Since one is always "Prepared" to recieve all kinds of feedbacks from readers when writing articles- 
I might insert my own ideas as well. :p 
I think the 'point' of the article is missing.(or biased?) 
Example: Senna; 
Was he trying to show who had better 'natural gift' by birth? OR 
Was he challenging others to show that he had correctly followed the right(superior) method of preparation? 
"Adaptation" is more close to it, but that sounds a bit 
...Scientific and crazy :x 
I dont have the word, but thats not important, isnt it? 
A 2700+ rated player & a 1200 player will never play 'balanced' chess, even if both werent prepared.  
The purpose of preparation is simply, to develop the natural senses- physical & psychological. Isnt that the law of nature? It is. 
(No! I know what you think! Im not a crazy religious philosopher.. LOL!) :p 
Which is why i believe- 
even If 32 piece tablebases are programmed, people who are better "adapted/prepared" to calculate with natural senses will always play better chess. 
I think natalia has an article on preparation too.
2. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 19:23 23 2013 .
Naturally gifted = Hou Yifan (Prodigy)..
3. Written by 0_x on 09:21 24 2013 .
Exactly. ^_~ 
...gifted with the ability to learn "how to learn". 
There's no such thing as getting good at something naturally without "preparing"(or adapting). :x 
Anyhow sitting at home and absorbing data & information like 'copying data to memory card or pen drive' isnt "preparing". 
I think that type of "preparing" was what the article was trying to say by saying"... 
"don't prepare at all, 
don't spend hours and even days worrying about it- just sit down and play" 

Write Comment
BBCode:Web AddressEmail AddressBold TextItalic TextUnderlined TextQuoteCodeOpen ListList ItemClose List

Code:* Code

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 October 2013 )
< Prev   Next >