(1) Lalic,Susan (2344) - Gormally,Daniel (2504) [B26]

Game of the day No1 goes to Danny Gormally for his flawless performance in a Closed Sicilian.

1.e4 c5 2.Sc3 Sc6 3.g3 g6 4.Lg2 Lg7 5.d3 d6 6.Le3 e5 7.Sge2 Sge7 8.0-0
[8.Dd2 looks a little more flexible,possibly intending to castle queenside.]

8...0-0 9.Dd2
White is content to develop her pieces and await events, but Gormally has chosen a very effective counter to this solid approach. Black occupies d4 at the right moment and can look forward to the usual Sicilian counterplay with ...b7-b5 or ...f7-f5.

9...Sd4!= 10.f4 Lg4
[10...Tb8 11.h3 b5 is a very decent alternative: 12.Sd1 (12.Tf2 b4 13.Sd1 f5= ; 12.a3 Le6 13.Tae1 Dd7 14.Kh2 f5= ) 12...Le6 13.c3 Sxe2+ 14.Dxe2 Dc7 15.Tc1!? (15.Sf2= ) 15...Lxa2 16.f5 Szekeres,R-Radnai,A/Budapest 2003 16...gxf5 17.exf5 f6 18.Ta1 (18.b4 Ld5 19.Lxd5+ Sxd5 20.Df3 Sxe3 21.Sxe3 Lh6~~ ) 18...Lb3=/+ ]

11.Tae1 Dd7 12.Sc1
White's short-term plan is to get rid of the pesky Knight on d4 by playng Nd1 and then c2-c3. It's all rather slow. Gormally demonstrates complete equality with his incisive game move.

12...Lh3!
[12...Tac8 13.Sd1 Lh3 14.f5 Lxg2 15.Dxg2 gxf5 16.c3 fxe4 17.cxd4 cxd4 18.dxe4 dxe3 19.Sxe3 Lh6-/+ Hansen,C-Smirin,I/Cap d'Agde 1996 ]

13.fxe5 dxe5= 14.Sd5 Sxd5 15.exd5 Lxg2 16.Dxg2 b6 17.c4 Sf5
The Knight heads for the excellent d6 square. Gormally continues to play thematically and accurately.

18.Ld2 Sd6 19.Lc3 Tae8 20.b3 f5=/+
The problem for Susan is that she can't really do very much. Meanwhile, Black begins to limber up on the Kingside,where he holds a pawn majority

21.Se2 g5 22.Kh1 e4! 23.d4
[23.Lxg7 Dxg7 24.dxe4 Txe4 25.Td1 Tfe8 26.Sc1 is still clearly better for Black ,but he has yet to break through.; 23.dxe4 Txe4 24.Ld2 Tfe8 25.Sc3 seems like another decent try to claw back equality. Susan is indecisive at this stage of the game and it costs her a share of the point.]

23...e3 24.dxc5 bxc5 25.Lxg7 Dxg7 26.Sg1 Te4 27.Tf3 Tfe8 28.Se2 Db2
[28...a5! cramping the queenside was also possible.]

29.Df1
[29.Sg1 e2 30.Tf2 Dxa2 31.Tfxe2 Dxb3 is a clear-up of White pawns.]

29...g4 30.Tf4 Dd2 31.a3 a5! 32.a4 Tb8 33.Td1
[After 33.Txe4 Sxe4 34.Sc1 Te8 35.Se2 Black wins with 35...Sf2+ 36.Kg1 Sh3+ 37.Kh1 Dc2! 38.d6 Dd2 39.Ta1 Sf2+ 40.Kg1 Dxd6 White is paralysed.]

33...Dc2 34.Tc1 Dd3 35.Tc3 Txf4 36.Dxf4 Dxe2 37.Txe3
[37.Dg5+ Kf7 38.Dh5+ Ke7 39.Dxh7+ (39.Dg5+ Kd7 40.Dg7+ Kc8 41.Df8+ Kb7 42.De7+ Ka8-+ ) 39...Sf7-+ ]

37...Dd1+-+ 38.Kg2 Dc2+ 39.Kf1 Dc1+ 40.Kg2 Db2+ 41.Kf1 Dc1+ 42.Kg2 Tf8 43.Dg5+ Kh8 44.De7 Db2+ 45.Te2 Df6 46.Dxf6+ Txf6 47.Te7 Se4 48.Kf1 Tb6 49.Ke2 Txb3 50.Te6 Kg7 51.d6 Tb7 52.Te5 Kf6
This is the type of White system that is played frequently by players who havent got a lot of time to look at chess. White just gets the men out,has a ongoing plan of Bh6 and then f4 followed by a Kingside attack. Well, this might win at lower levels but against Grandmasters something much more specific is needed and this is why I liked this game so much. Gormally's play was a model of how to play the Black side. 0-1