Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Wotyoulookinat Mate (in three moves)

Battle of the chess grandmasters as leading England player 'attacks' rival over dancefloor move

FOR one British grandmaster, his rival had made a move too far. Danny Gormally, one of Britain’s leading chess players, allegedly attacked the world No 3 at an international tournament for dancing with a beautiful Australian player.

Levon Aronian, leading light of the Armenian chess scene, was apparently punched and shoved, and ended up on the floor during a party at the recent Chess Olympiad in Turin.

He had been spotted jiving with Arianne Caoili, 19, an Australian grandmaster known as the Anna Kournikova of the chess world. Mr Gormally was known by team-mates to be fond of her.

But the next day, after the England captain apologised to the Armenian team, the repercussions continued. When Mr Gormally went out for a coffee with friends, he was attacked by a group of young Armenian players seemingly bent on revenge for their star player.

The unseemly events are expected to lead to an urgent inquiry by the English Chess Federation into Mr Gormally’s behaviour. He was advised to leave the tournament early to avoid further confrontation.

Allan Beardsworth, the England captain, said that drink appeared to play a part. “Danny seems to have punched Aronian for innocently dancing with a girl that he liked. The following day, there was a retaliatory incident. It is a shame, and something that we will have to look into properly,” he said.


Ms Caoili, a child prodigy of Filipino descent who has ambitions of becoming a professional singer, was dancing “energetically” with Mr Aronian. She is ranked No 3 in Australia.

Oh dear, even our chess players are binge-drinking hooligans…

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