YP Article 17 – 6th February 2016

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John Gallagher is a 62 year old blind player who has become an inspiration to all aspiring chess players. He has risen from being an average club player to becoming one of the strongest players in the county in just two years. At the turn of the year John was ranked 16th in Yorkshire and a few years back was called up to represent the England team in the World team Olympiad for blind players in India.

He started to take the game more seriously a couple of years ago and adopted a better attitude away from the board. He has found that new technology allows him to study the latest books and theory as well as explore all the top games through the internet. International Master Richard Palliser has helped direct him to the best resources and he has been encouraged by fellow England blind player Chris Ross.

John learnt how to play chess at the age of 12 at school. He attended the same school in Sheffield as the MP David Blunkett who was a little older but offered good advice for one so young. “Don’t cry John. Just look the world in the eye then face it with a smile!”

The Winning Move

Variation from Gallagher-Combie, York 2014. Gallagher wisely avoided this, but how would Black have broken through here? Last week: 10.f5! Bxc4 11.Bg5! and Black’s queen is trapped.

Variation from Gallagher-Combie, York 2014. Gallagher wisely avoided this, but how would Black have broken through here?
Last week: 10.f5! Bxc4 11.Bg5! and Black’s queen is trapped.